Caucasus Elbrus

Caucasus, Elbrus. Canon 50D
Photo: Elbrus

One of the main attractions of the Elbrus region is Mount Elbrus – the highest peak in Russia and Europe, located north of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range on the border of two republics: Karachay-Cherkess and Kabardino-Balkarian.

Elbrus is a two-peaked extinct volcano. The height of the western peak is 5642 m above sea level, the eastern one – 5621 m. They are separated by a saddle – 5300 m. The peaks are located at a distance of about 3 thousand meters. The main composition of the rocks is granites, gneisses, diabases and tuffs of volcanic origin.

Elbrus with two peaks-craters was formed a million years ago during the creation of the Caucasus Range. Huge streams of ash mud swept along the slopes of Elbrus, which swept away all the stones and vegetation. Layers of lava, ash, stones, layered on top of each other, thereby expanding the slopes of the volcano and increasing its height.

The scientific study of Mount Elbrus was begun in the XIX century. Russian researchers. The first person who determined the exact location and height of the mountain in 1913 was Academician V. Vishnevsky. In 1829, the first Russian scientific expedition visited Mount Elbrus, which included the famous Russian academician E. Lenz, the five-mountain architect Bernardazzi, the botanist E. Meyer, and others. The expedition was accompanied by General G. Emmanuel, the head of the Caucasian line. The first successful ascent to the western peak was made by a group of English climbers in 1874 under the guidance of F. Grove, A. Sottaev was its participant.

In 2008, Elbrus was recognized as one of the “7 Wonders of Russia”. Today Elbrus is the largest ski mountain in the world, as well as the most promising place for national and international competitions. Basically, the infrastructure is well developed on the southern slopes of Mount Elbrus, where there are chair and pendulum cableways leading to the parking lot called “Barrel” (at an altitude of 3750 m), which consists of 12 insulated six-seater residential wagons with a kitchen.

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