Highlands in Russia


Every year, mountainous areas attract a large number of tourists from different parts of Russia and from abroad. Currently, in our country there are eight peaks with a height of more than five thousand meters. Most of them are located in Kabardino-Balkaria. All of them are part of the mountain system of the Great Caucasus. This article will discuss the features of such areas, as well as the highest points of our country.


To the mountains

Mountainous areas in Russia are located in various regions of the country. If the Greater Caucasus is the highest system, the rest are noticeably lower, but they deserve a mention. These are the Ural Mountains, the Verkhoyansk Range, the Altai, the Eastern and Western Sayans, the Sikhote-Alin, the Chersky Range. Tourists come here not only to conquer the peaks, but to admire the majestic mountains that rise above the surrounding cities and towns.

The highest point of Russia at present is Elbrus, which is located immediately on the territory of two regions - Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. Its height is 5642 meters. There are a total of 73 peaks in Russia, whose height is above four thousand meters above sea level. Of these, 67 are part of the Greater Caucasus mountain system, three each are in Altai and Kamchatka.

The definition of mountainous terrain knows everyone who goes to conquer the summits. This is an area with rugged topography and relative elevations. In this case, the absolute height of the relief should exceed one thousand meters.



The conditions of the highlands are always difficult. They are fraught with difficulties that only a physically healthy and strong person can endure.

Perhaps the main feature of the highlands is the special climatic conditions. The higher, the more intense the atmospheric pressure is felt, the air is too clean, the intensity of solar radiation is high, the air humidity is high at low temperatures, the amount of precipitation increases, and strong winds are characteristic of these areas.

In the conditions of the mountainous terrain, only a trained person can make ascents. Therefore, the group of climbers is always accompanied by experienced guides, who at the first signs of deteriorating physical condition of the travelers can interrupt the hike and demand to return to the base camp. Before climbing, you need to understand the dangers of the mountainous terrain. Failure to comply with the requirements of experienced climbers can be fraught with the most dire consequences, up to a lethal outcome.

At an altitude of two to three thousand meters above sea level, a special alpine climate is forming, the signs of which are listed in this article. There they become especially noticeable.


Terrain on earth are divided into several types: flat, hilly and mountain. The mountainous areas in question are subdivided into several subspecies: low-mountain, middle-mountain and high-mountain areas.

Let us examine each of them. Low mountain - the safest type of mountainous terrain for an unprepared person. Its main distinguishing feature is the height above sea level from fifty to one thousand meters. The slopes here are only relatively steep - from 5 to 10 degrees. As a rule, there are many settlements here, a well-developed road network. It is in lowland areas ideal conditions for protection against the effects of conventional and nuclear weapons.

The relief of the highlands in the middle mountains is markedly different. The heights here vary from one to two thousand meters above sea level, and the steepness of the slopes grows to 25 degrees. Here it is already possible to distinguish individual mountain ranges, peaks, chains and ridges, ridges, which have a predominantly smoothed form. To ensure the cross requires significant engineering work, fraught with high costs.

Highlands begin at around two thousand meters above sea level, and the slope of slopes here is most often at least 25 degrees. In such areas, people rarely live, few roads and mountain passes. Roads, if they exist, run through narrow and small mountain gorges, cross passes at considerable heights, and there are a large number of steep ascents along the way.



The highest mountainous area in Russia is Mount Elbrus. Its top is located at around 5642 meters above sea level. She is on the list of the seven highest peaks on the planet.

The name of the mountainous region of Elbrus, according to the most common version, comes from the Iranian expression of Al-Bordzhi, which literally means "uplifting." According to another version, the roots of this word in Zend language, Elbrus means "high mountain".

This highland in Russia is located in the Lateral ridge of the Greater Caucasus. The climate here is difficult, in winter at an altitude of more than three thousand meters the thickness of the snow cover is about 70-80 centimeters, gradually increasing even more. In the spring, snow often melts as a result of avalanches that happen until the end of May. At maximum altitudes, snow can remain all year round, increasing the mass of the glacier.

The first person to appreciate this beautiful mountainous area from the top was one of the expedition guides, organized by the Russian Academy of Sciences, Kilar Hashirov. This happened in 1829. From the top, he brought a piece of basalt, which was sent to St. Petersburg. Interestingly, the rest of the expedition stopped at an altitude of 5300 meters.

The city in the mountainous region in the region of Elbrus is considered the highest in the whole North Caucasus. This town is called Tyrnyauz. It is located at an altitude of 1307 meters above sea level, it is home to about 20, 500 people. The settlement in this place was founded in 1934. Over time, construction of molybdenum and tungsten mines began here.

In 2000, the so-called Tyrnyauz tragedy occurred here. As a result of the gathering of a powerful mudflow, many residential buildings were flooded. Eight people died, nearly forty were on the missing lists.



There are a variety of rocks in the area Dyhtau. This is the peak in Kabardino-Balkaria, whose height is equal to 5204 meters. It is in second place in Russia after Elbrus.

The mountain itself is a powerful pyramid-shaped massif composed of crystalline rocks. It highlights the main and eastern peaks.

There are about ten popular and popular routes for climbers. The first ascent in 1888 was made by the English mountaineer Albert Mummery, climbing the south-western ridge.



You can find photos of the mountainous region of Cochtanau in this article. This peak occupies an honorable third place on Russian territory, reaching 5, 152 meters.

Its name is translated from local adverbs as "a mountain resembling a remote dwelling". She received such an unusual name for the fact that the peak from a distance strongly resembles a hut or a tent.

This is one of the most difficult peaks in the Caucasus. Up to five glaciers of the first category descend from its northern slopes.

They tried to conquer it repeatedly, more than once it ended tragically. So, in 1888, while climbing to Kostanau, the English climbers Fox and Donkin, as well as two guides from Switzerland who accompanied them, died. Most likely, Herman Woolley became the first conqueror of this mountain. Now it is a very popular object for climbing among tourists.

Pushkin Peak

One of the highest mountain peaks in the Caucasus is the peak of Pushkin. It is located in the central part of the Greater Caucasus Mountains at an altitude of 5100 meters above sea level.

It is noteworthy that this is part of the mountain range Dykhtau, about which we have already told in this article. Located on the territory of the reserve between the peak Borovikov and Eastern Dyhtau.

The peak was named in 1938 as part of the 100th anniversary of the death of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin.

On the territory of Russia and Georgia

Dzhangitau is located in the central part of the Main Caucasus Range. The peak is located on the territory of two states at once - Russia and Georgia. The main summit reaches a height of 5085 meters. This is the central part of a unique mountain range with a length of 13 kilometers, which is known as the Bezengi Wall.

This is another popular place for mountaineering, on top of several routes that differ in difficulty categories.


Also on the territory of Russia and Georgia there is another high peak called Shkhara. Its official height is 5068 meters. By the way, in Georgia it is considered the highest peak.

According to recent reports, the mountain was even higher. In 2010, climbers Boris Avdeev and Peter Shawn made it, using special equipment, to establish that the top point is actually 5203 meters above sea level. However, most directories still have the old meaning.

Shkhara Mountain is located 90 kilometers from the city of Kutaisi, located on Georgian territory. She, like Dzhangitau, enters the 13-kilometer massif of the Bezengi wall. The summit itself is composed of crystalline schists and granite. Its slopes are mostly covered with glaciers, one called Bezengi, and the second - Shkhara. By the way, the Inguri River originates from the latter, flowing through Western Georgia.

It is known that Soviet climbers first climbed this peak in 1933. At the foot of Shkhara is the famous village of Ushguli, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous due to the fact that it is the highest mountain settlement in Europe, settling at an altitude of 2200 meters. Currently, about 200 people live there, about 70 families. The village even has its own school.

The architectural ensemble, located on the territory of the village, is considered an important architectural and historical monument. It is thanks to him that the Georgian region of Upper Svanetia was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The village even preserved the ancient Svan houses-towers, traditional for these districts. On the hill near the village is the church of Our Lady, built in the XI century.

Details of these places became known in 1930, when Mikhail Kalatozov shot a documentary film entitled “The Salt of Svaneti”. It showed local customs and traditions, the harsh laws of the community, which is still strictly following the observance of rituals and even makes sacrifices.



One of the most famous mountains of the Caucasus is called Kazbek. Its height is 5034 meters above sea level. This is an extinct stratovolcano, which is located in the eastern part of the Khokhsky range. The last eruption at this place occurred in 650 BC. Past Kazbek passes the famous Georgian Military Road.

It is believed that the mountain was formed about 805 million years ago. According to the authoritative researcher Nikonov, its name came from the name of Prince Kazbek, who owned the parish at the foot of the village at the beginning of the XIX century. Georgian mountain is called Mkinvartsveri, which literally means "ice peak".

The first climb to the summit was made in 1868 by English climbers Tucker, Freshfield and Moore. They climbed from the southeast slope.

And the first to describe the mountain in detail was the Russian surveyor Andrei Petukhov, who conducted detailed meteorological and geological research in these places in 1889. Together with him, the sixty-year-old conductor Tsarakhov Tepsariko, who was an Ossetian, rose to the top. They raised a red banner on top, which in clear weather was visible even from Vladikavkaz. In 1891, the same route was covered by the German mountaineer and geographer Gottfried Merzbacher.

The first expedition in the USSR climbed to the top of Kazbek in 1923. It consisted of 18 people, most of whom were students and staff of the University of Tbilisi.


It is to Mount Kazbek refers to the infamous Karmadon gorge. In 2002, the Kolka glacier came down here. A huge mass of ice, snow and stones moved at a speed of 180 km / h. As a result, a village called Upper Karmadon was completely destroyed, killing more than a hundred people. Among them was the film crew of the mystical action movie “The Messenger”, directed by Sergei Bodrov Jr. Killed himself a talented actor and director.

Until now, powerful glaciers descend from different sides of Kazbek: Chach, Gergeti, Abano, Devdoraksky, Mayli, located in the Genaldon gorge.

A large number of sights and ancient legends are associated with Mount Kazbek. Here at an altitude of about 3800 meters is the Georgian monastery Betlemi. According to the legends, church treasures and shrines were kept in it from time immemorial, in the Middle Ages monks climbed into it along an iron chain hung outside.

In the vicinity there is the Trinity Church, which is a key adornment of the Hevi mountain gorge. The temple is spread directly on the background of Kazbek.

Moreover, at an altitude of about 4, 100 meters, there is another ancient monastery complex Betlemi located in caves. Just below is the old building of the weather station, which is now not working, and is used as a shelter for climbers. Above the weather station is a small, modern chapel in operation.

In 2004, volcanic ash was discovered in the local Mezmaiskaya cave, which, according to researchers, was from the time of one of the ancient eruptions of Kazbek. It is believed that it happened about 40, 000 years ago, which, apparently, caused the so-called "volcanic winter", which was the cause of the death of Neanderthals.

Interestingly, in 2013, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili made an ascent to Mount Kazbek, becoming the second mountaineer president in the post-Soviet space. The first to him was the leader of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who climbed the peak of Abay, with a height of 4, 100 meters, in 1995.


Another remarkable peak in this area is Mizhyrgi. Its maximum height is 5025 meters.

It is part of the Bezengi wall massif. According to the most common version, it got its name in honor of the Balkarian shepherd Mazhir Attayev, who first reached its top in the middle of the 19th century.

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