Trekking in Irik-Chat valley with ascent to Chatkara 3914 m from the Irik-Chat pass 3667 m.
2 days program with trekking in Irik-chat valley – one of the most beautiful in the Caucasus. Not difficult routes and motorways, passes in the pine forests and alpine meadows.
The Irikchat Gorge is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful in the Elbrus region. The valley is located between the southeastern and eastern spurs of Elbrus. During the entire journey, the snow-white eastern peak of Elbrus rises ahead.
The gorge is located in close proximity to the mountain Elbrus. The trek is designed for two days, with spending the nights at an altitude of 3000 m in a tent camp. It’s quite long and beautiful hike line, which allows on foot to pass just in two days way from the Upper Baksan forest area to the eternal ice fields of the eastern slopes of Mount Elbrus, which are adjacent to the pass Irik-Chat, which is our way on the second day in order to climb to the top Chatkara 3914 m.
The Irik-Chat pass is one of the closest to ring of passes around Elbrus, it is surrounded by glaciers flowing directly from the slopes of Elbrus — Irik-Chat glacier on the south side, and the huge Jikaugenkez ice field — on the north. The trek allows, along with the gain of altitude (Chatkara 3914), to train your legs very seriously. It will take a lot of walking here, though not too hard. There are no dashing climbs «in front» (perhaps the most dashing is to the pass — it is steep, but short), but there are long distances, lovers of «walking» — this trek will be to your taste. Perhaps your legs will get pretty tired, but the views that open from the Irik-Chat pass, and further from Chatkara, are worth it, and the body at the time of resting will later thank you for all this. Here Elbrus is very close, you can see the Achkeryakol lava flow — the line along which Elbrus is climbed from the East. Kalitsky Peak is visible, from the pass to it is a stone’s throw.
However, due to the distances, people who train on the flats from time to time, or do not train at all, or are in the mountains for the first time, should think three times before choosing this particular trek. If you train quite fiercely and diligently, in the most regular way (your anaerobic threshold, or the threshold of anaerobic metabolism in this case will not be lower than 170-180 beats / min in running or walking, and the resting heart rate is not higher than 55-60 beats / min), then you are here.
This hike is not technically difficult and does not require special climbing equipment. All you will need on the hike (and what you will need to take care yourself) is a sleeping bag, mat, clothes (for more details, see the article about trekking clothes), personal hygiene items (sunscreen, sunscreen lipstick), sunglasses, headlamp, personal first aid kit, trekking poles. The total weight of the backpack is unlikely to exceed 10 kg. Camping equipment, its delivery, kitchen, groceries, cooking — are provided by our KavkazSkiTur team. Sleeping bag, sleeping mat — in case of absence of something, you can rent it from us.
Day 1: Arrival. Trek to the Irick-chat gorge till the tongue of the glacier (3000 m)
Early arrival to village Elbrus (80 km from nearest city) to the foot of Elbrus from the South side.
Trekking starts from the village of Elbrus 1800 m (early in the morning).
Ascent to the «hanging valley» of the Irik river, the trail goes through the pine forest.
Exit from the forest (about 2200 — 2300 m).
Ascent to the «hanging valley» of the Irik-Chat river (about 2500 m).
Hike up to 3000 m, setting up camp.
The duration of the transition is about 6-8 hours.
You need to take clothes with you for overnight stays in tents. The day will be long and hard. The approximate distance to the tent camp is about 15 km. The ascent is about one kilometer.
The plan of this day is hike to the Irick-chat gorge till the tongue of the glacier (3000 m).
The valley of the Irik River is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful in the Elbrus region. The river flows out of the glacier of the same name and flows into the Baksan near the village of Elbrus. The valley is located between the southeastern and eastern spurs of Elbrus. Its level is 500 m higher than the Baksan valley. Before flowing into Baksan, the river flows in a deep canyon, the slopes of which are covered with pine forest.
The route starts on the northern outskirts of the Elbrus village (1770 m) near the power transmission tower on the left bank of the Irik. There are two trails from here. The first bypasses the bottom of the rocky outcrops on the left side of the valley and after 25 minutes leads to the springs of mineral water narzan. The second goes along the grassy slopes above the rocky outcrops to a sloping clearing with a stream. The springs of narzan are 50 m lower, it is not difficult to go down to them. On this section of the route, be especially careful, as even a small stone carelessly pushed aside on steep grassy slopes can cause a lot of trouble. From the glade we rise in the direction of huge mushroom-shaped remnants of yellow sandstone. Steep screes give way to slopes overgrown with a century-old pine forest, over which Elbrus rises with a white dome . Snow-white peaks appear as theatrical scenery — Dzhan-Tugan (4012m), Ullukara (4302m), Bzhedukh (4163m) , Eastern Ushba (4697m) etc. The trail traverses the slope of the valley and enters the pine forest. There are a lot of mushrooms and berries here.
Having passed the glade with the coshi, the tourists intercept some gullies and descend to the Irik river. In 3,5 hours from the village they reach the edge of the forest (2250m). On the background of Mt. Elbrus the glacier Irik is seen.
Continue the rout to the upper reaches of the Irik river.
Over the path of the left bank it is necessary to leave to the coshi, located above a coalescence of the Irik River with the left influx Irik-Chat, then cross over the bridge to the right bank of the Irikchat. On the flat glade grown with grass, by the coalescence of both rivers, there are a lot of ground-squirrel holes. The path leads up to the right bank of the river Irik, and then along it – to the tongue of the glacier (3000 m). Here, about an ice cave, from which the river outflows, the path ends.
Irik glacier is visible against the background of Elbrus. Here the hike ends — a halt, setting up a camp, preparing dinner.
Overnight stay in tents.
Day 2: The rise to the pass Irik-chat 3667 m and Mt. Chatkara 3914 m.
Early rise (at dawn), breakfast, going out light.
Ascent to the Irik-Chat pass 3667 m (about 2 — 3 hours).
Ascent to Chatkara Mountain 3914 m (from the pass — one hour) along the western ridge (1B category, in some places a trail is guessed).
Descent to the camp on the way up (2-3 hours). Dinner.
The camp at 3000 m is a cozy meadow, next to a river and a spring water source with a small pool. The glade is located on the upper border of the alpine meadows of this gorge, further along the path stones already begin. All along the route to this point there is a very comfortable, well-filled trail, which allows trained people to keep a very good speed of movement. From the camp 3000 m till the pass and to the pass — the path is a little less convenient, due to the rocky «coverage» and periodic small ups, but also readable and well-traveled. The passage along the ridge of Chatkara to the top is also not particularly difficult anywhere. Shoes — trekking, comfortable, mobile. Crampons are not needed.
On this second day, our task is to climb the Irik-Chat pass, which is more than 3643 m high. We leave light, taking only dry rations food and insulation cloths. The trail at first presses against the stream running from the glacier, which makes it difficult to move, but then the terrain widens and we just go to the rocky bottom of the gorge. There is already a feeling of height. Having reached the glacier, we pass it, depending on the time of the year, either along the snowfield covering the glacier, or along the mud-stone cushion, which reliably filled all the cracks. And after that takeoff to the pass!
It makes no sense to describe emotions when the expanse of the Jikiaugenköz glacier with the Kalitsky peak, crowned to the left by the already close Eastern peak of Elbrus, suddenly opens up in front of you. This is a must see! Depending on circumstances and strength, it is possible to traverse one of the nearest peaks from the pass: Ryzhiy Bugor and Chat-Kara, with a height of 3762 m and 3914 m. respectively. After that, descend along the ascent path.
Day 3: Departure.
Gathering the camp, descent to the Elbrus village (4-5 hours), transfer to the city.
Backpacks will be much lighter, and we are more trained, so the descent will not be noticeable. On the way we will make two stops: at the lower camps and at the Sand Castles.
*The tour can be realized with a group from 4 pax.
Tour price includes:
tents and camping for 2 nights (delivery and setting)
all food in camp: breakfasts and dinners, lunch packages
Trekking pole rental;
all program transport services;
transfers (to/from city or airport).
personal equipment rental.
Trekking tour does not require exceptional physical fitness, just good health is enough. From the equipment you also do not need any specialized things, here is a short list of what you need:
Sleeping bag and mat. Comfortable clothing for movement, preferably with covered arms and legs, for hiking. Warm clothes, the temperature in the evening at these altitudes can drop to zero degrees even in summer (usually around +10 in the evening, but it can be humid). Raincoat, or waterproof layer of clothing, in case of rain. A cap, (can be buff, or another headdress), can be with a visor to better protect your face from the sun. Sunglasses. Sunscreen. A middle backpack (for clothes, water and food on a hike). Headlamp. Trekking poles or regular ski poles (can be rented from us).
Full list of equipment and clothes please see in a tab.
|PRICE||20’000 rubles per person|
|DEPARTURE TIME||any day by booking|
|DURATION||3 days / 2 nights|
|AMOUNT IN THE GROUP||from 4 pax|
|INCLUDED IN THE PRICE||
|You must have all gear enumerated in equipment list.
Important to know! If weather conditions are unfavorable for the tour, then changes to the planned route are possible, including the day and time of departure.
List of personal trekking equipment
Clothes and shoes
Jacket, windproof coat, light.
Lightweight shirt with long sleeves (protects against burning of the arms and neck)
Hiking pants, light
Cap / panama hat
Waterproof clothing and/or raincoat
baseball cap for trekking (with protective brim covering the neck from the sun).
Fleece 2 pcs (thin and thicker)
Trekking socks (medium and thick) 2-3 pairs.
Trekking telescopic poles (rental included)
Jacket Gore-Tex or any other membrane
Pants Gore-Tex or any other membrane
Alpine sunglasses (protection 3-4)
Backpack 60 l.
Thermos 0.5-1 l.
Safety & Personal Care
Sunscreen and lipstick (Prot 50).
Individual first aid kit. Mandatory: elastic bandage, plaster.
Personal care products
Plastic bottle 0.5 l (for drinking water on the route)
Mug, spoon, plate, knife (for caming in the mountains, for tea a non-breakable mug)
Backpack for walking (20-25 liters). In the backpack — personal belongings and products for lunch, which are issued by the instructor (400-600 gr)
*Equipment can be rented on the spot for an additional fee.
|Transfer airport (city) Nalchik/Minvody — airport or city|
|Tents and camping 2 nights|
|Trekking pole rental|
|Intra-route transport services|
|Resort fees, Elbrus National Park, Visa support|
|Breakfast, lunch bags, dinners|
|Additional personal equipment|
|COST||20 000 Rubles|