After one our from city Nalchik we pass town Tyrnyauz. The narrow gorge behind town Tyrnyauz with sheer walls rising to a height of up to a thousand meters soon expands. The slopes are very contrasting: the southern ones are treeless, exposed to the sun; northern – thickets of bird cherry, alder, pine trees grow higher. 18 kilometers from the city is the village of Upper Baksan. From here in the last century the first climbers went to the tops of Elbrus.
Here, near the village of Upper Baksan, the Adyr-su River flows to the right. It breaks out of a narrow and deep gap in the rocks, and the entrance to the gorge, raised above the level of the Baksan River, is so little noticeable that, without knowing, it is difficult to assume that there is a beautiful and large gorge here.
There is no direct entrance to the Adyr-Su gorge. From the main highway, a short road leads to an elevator. The elevator raises the cars serving the climbing camps, and only after it begins the highway along the stormy and high-water river.
The National park reserve regime is observed in the gorge, there are few tourists and casual visitors, which is why nature is so pristine. Mountain Goats descend from the alpine meadows into the forest zone on specially arranged ones, bears live in the thickets of the undergrowth and in the berry fields. With height, the forests thin out, give way to alpine meadows, behind them – snowy peaks, glaciers, impregnable rocks.
Among the rocky walls and screes live mountain turkeys – snowcocks. This cautious bird is rarely seen, but its melodious whistle is often heard in the silence of the highlands. The Adyr-Su gorge attracts botanists who study the flora of the highlands with its extraordinary diversity and abundance of plants.
For ten kilometers, the road winds through pine and birch forests with dense thickets of raspberries, currants and gooseberries in the undergrowth, occasionally crosses picturesque meadows, all in flowers, and finally breaks out into the expanse of a wide valley. This is one of the differences of the Adyr-su gorge: narrow with steep slopes, it becomes wide in the upper reaches, with a flat bottom, along which the river spills into many constantly changing channels.
In the upper reaches of the Adyr-Su River, among a large pine forest, there is a sports climbing camp “Dzhailik”, and higher, a kilometer from it, on the same bank – one of the first Soviet climbing camps “Ullutau”. They got their names from the mountains of the region.
The top of Ullu-Tau, which is part of the Main Caucasian Range, closes the gorge. From the Adyr-Su Gorge through the Mestia Pass, groups of tourists and climbers made an interesting transition to Svanetia. This is the shortest way from Kabardino-Balkaria to the regional center of Georgia – Mestia. Through simple passes you can go to the neighboring gorge – Adyl-su.
The Ullu-Tau peak closes the Adyr-su gorge. At its foot is the Ullu-tau climbing camp, one of the oldest in Russia.
There are many reserve places in the Adyr-Su gorge where Caucasian Turs graze calmly, mountain turkeys – ulars (snowcocks) are found.
Day 1: Transfer to the Adyr-su gorge to the Ullu-tau alpine camp - Bivouac
Behind the lift begins the glade grown with a pine forest. Having crossing over the bridge to the right bank the tourists approach to the Vodopadnaya river. A tourist parking is equipped here. Further the road twists above the Adyr-su. Some sites of the forest piled up by avalanches are met. Approximately in an hour the glade extends, the road passes on the left bank of the river. On the right on a course opens the glade Djalovchat where is constructed a jack for the amateurs of the mountain skiing.
Above the river is clenched by huge boulders. Behind a canyon the road goes on the broad flat left bank. In front of it the massif Ullutauchan opens in all its beauty, above the road on a green site the monument to the perished climbers is established.
Soon the path enters the forest again, intercepts the Klumkolsu river leads the tourists to the climbing camp “Djailyk” (2300 m). Just behind it on the bank of the Adyr-su river there is a good survey site from which the passes Garvash (a steep saddle to the left of Ullutau) and the Mestiysky pass are visible.
Day 2: By Svanskaya path to the Mestia hut
Below them is seen a tongue of Mestia glacier – a place of training of the climbers – beginners. More to the left, under a deep saddle of the pass Garvash, hangs down an ice-fall. Opposite it, on the left side of the glade is seen a glacier, above it -a saddle of the Gumachi pass, lower along the glade, by high rocky Koiavgan-bashi summit, is viewed narrow snow lobby of the Koiavganaush pass. It seems vertical, though actually not so is abrupt, the mountain outlook distorts a true picture.
Just opposite, above the port side of the Mestia glacier, on a rock resembling a whale a little is the Mestia hut (3150 m) – a purpose of our hike.
To go on hiking one can only both at good visibility and reserve of forces and time. Along the glacier made as the “Tail of a Whale”. The glacier isn’t steep, but it demands attention. Having bent a rock at the left on a course, the tourists mount it behind along the scree slope. One can overnight in the hut, and if it’s occupied you can put the tents. From the “Tail of a Whale” the whole glade Adyrsu is visible. In the evening above Baksan village white clubs of mist hang. Oblique rays of sunset, breaking between summits, light up bright spots on the slopes. “Tail of a Whale” itself situated in the middle of ice, creates a feeling of flight.
Above the hut there is the Mestia pass for a long time served as a way from Svanetia to Baksan. To cross the pass one needs special climbing equipment. It takes not less than 3 hours to return to the camp Ullu-tau.
Day 3: To the glacier Yunom.
The path leads to the final morain of the Yunom glacier, to the small lake (3050 m). By the lake there are sites with traces of bivouacs – lower Kichkidarskie night lodgings. In the hugher reaches of the glacier is the Golubev pass, leading to the Chegem gorge. It takes 3-4 hours of an ascent from the climbing camp “Djailyk” up to the night lodgings. It will take 5 hours more for coming back to Verhny Baksan village.
*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||2 days / 1 night|
|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|