Elbrus. Caucasus. Russia. Travel to Kabardino-Balkaria

Welcome to Elbrus, the highest mountain peak in Russia and Europe

Kabardino-Balkaria is known all over the world as a wonderful corner of nature, which attracts climbers, alpine skiing enthusiasts and tourists

It is in Kabardino-Balkaria that the highest peak of Russia and Europe is located - Mount Elbrus. Elbrus is a place that is definitely worth a visit for the unimaginable beauty of nature and unforgettable sensations. The National Park of Elbrus is an area with unique opportunities for backcountry, freeride and heliski (helicopter riding), an area with unique natural landscapes and ecosystems.

Elbrus is a mountain in the Caucasus, on the border of the republics of Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. Elbrus is located north of the Greater Caucasus Mountains and is the highest peak of Russia and Europe. Elbrus is a two-peak cone of a volcano. The western peak has a height of 5642 meters, the eastern peak is 5621 meters. They are separated by a saddle of 5200 m and are located at a distance of 3 km from each other. The last eruption happened almost two thousand years ago.

The total area of Elbrus glaciers is 134.5 km, the most famous of which are: Bolshaya and Maly Azau, Terskol. Its boundaries are quite conditional, but in general, its main part is located in the territory of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic. The republic is located in the central part of the northern slope of the Greater Caucasus. It borders with the Stavropol Territory, the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, the Republic of North Ossetia and Georgia.

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Elbrus. Caucasus. Russia
The village of Terskol is located at the foot of Mount Elbrus in the Baksan Gorge in the territory of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, on the banks of the Baksan River. The whole economy of the village is connected with tourism - in the winter a popular ski resort works here (there are trails on Cheget and Elbrus), and freeride is very popular, in the summer many people from all over the world come here to climb the highest mountain in Europe.

Tour climbing Elbrus from the south is not technically difficult

An important point for those who want to climb the top of Elbrus - some tourist agencies offer climbing Elbrus in the form of a weekend tour. In no case should you go on such an adventurous ascent. Enough banal knowledge of human physiology to understand that the body will not be able to adapt to the height of Elbrus in less than 7 days. Reducing the period of acclimatization leads to serious consequences of the influence of height on the body, sometimes even lethal. Proper acclimatization makes climbing absolutely safe.

The top of Elbrus is one of the coldest places on the planet (even in July-August there is always below zero, a similar temperature during this period is observed only in Antarctica and Greenland). This mountain is like nature itself is intended to set records. Even if you never thought about conquering peaks, you will certainly want to climb it when you arrive at Elbrus. This can be done without risk to life, although with a lot of thrills.

Calmness, friendliness and hospitality - these are the distinguishing features of the Elbrus region. In the east of Elbrus, in the mountainous regions of the Central Caucasus, along the gorges of the Baksan, Malka, Chegem and Cherek rivers, Balkarians live compactly. Towards the west of Elbrus, similar areas along the gorges of the Kuban, Teberda, Zelenchuk and Laba rivers inhabit the blood stream of Karachais.

Elbrus is a stratovolcano: this means that it is layered; the lava flowing from its crater is so thick and viscous that it does not have time to flow down the slopes, but freezes quickly, mixing with ashes and rocks - this creates many layers of which the mountain consists. Scientists also disagree about the activity of Elbrus: some believe that it erupted many thousands of years ago, and others only a few hundred; At present, the volcano is considered to be active, but temporarily "sleeping.".

How does the volcano work? When the "valve" in the Earth opens (the cork of the volcano kicks out), the pressure in the upper part of the magma chamber sharply decreases; below, where the pressure is still high, the dissolved gases are still part of the magma. In the vent of the volcano from the magma gas bubbles are already beginning to stand out: the higher, the more they become; these light "balloons" rise up and carry viscous magma. A continuous foamy mass is already forming near the surface (frozen volcanic stone foam is even lighter than water - this is a well-known pumice stone). Magma degassing ends on the surface, where, having escaped to freedom, it turns into lava, ashes, hot gases, water vapor and rock fragments.

After a stormy process of degassing, the pressure in the magma chamber decreases, and the volcanic eruption ceases. The volcano's mouth is closed by solidified lava, but sometimes it's not very strong: enough heat remains in the magma chamber, therefore volcanic gases (fumaroles) or jets of boiling water (geysers) can burst to the surface through cracks. In this case, the volcano is still considered active. At any moment, a large amount of magma can accumulate in the magma chamber, and then the eruption process will begin again. There are cases when volcanoes erupted, silent for 300, 500, and 800 years. Volcanoes that erupted at least once in a person's memory (and can earn money again) are called sleeping.

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