American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Commonwealth of Independent States, Russia, Central Caucasus, Ushba Region, Overview

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2002

Ushba Region, overview. The region of Ushba is the heart of the Caucasus. Baksanskoy ravine is rather wide, limited by Mt. Elbrus on the one hand and the peaks of the Main Caucasian mountain range on the other hand. There are more ravines downstream of the Baksan River; they also lead to the peaks of Main Caucasian range. They are Yusenghy, Adel-Su, Ader-su, Tutu-su.

Baksan is the most popular region of the Caucasus. There are lots of hotels and mountaineers’ centers here. The most difficult and interesting peaks of the region have wall heights from 700 to 1700 meters. Mountaineers began developing this region at the end of the nineteenth century, but the main classical routes were formed in the 30-60 years of the last century. At present time there are not so many chances to open some new routes, but they still exist. The best known peaks of the region are: Elbrus (5642m-W, 5621m-E), Ushba (4710m), Shkhelda (4320m), Shurovsky (4259m), Ullukara (4302m), Free Spain (4200m), Coockoortlu (4639m), Juhntugan (3991m), Bashkara (4241m), Chaten (4368m), Nakra (4451m), Donguzarun (4468m), Ullutau (4207m), Jaileck (4533m), Tutu (4460m), and Cheghem (4461m).

All these mountains (with the exception of Elbrus and Juhntugan) have difficult mixed walls. There is only a little part of the region in the panorama below. The photo was taken from the mountain ridge that separates the Adel-Su and Ader-Su valleys.

Yuri Koshelenko, Russia

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