ApproachThe easiest way to travel is through a travel agency. Without one, travel is confusing, to say the least.
Typically the travel/transportation goes like this:
Fly to Mineralnye Vody (Nalchik), usually from Moscow, and from there travel by bus to the Baksan Valley. Traveling from Moscow to Baksan Valley usually takes an entire day.
The trailhead to Cheget Peak is actually at Cheget Villiage. Any local will be able to point you to the villiage. The trailhead is actually right at the base of the ski lifts right next to the villiage. You can't miss it.
Route DescriptionMost climbers actually cheat and ride the ski lifts to the 2500 meter (8202 foot) level (in Sept 2003, the lift wasn't operating beyond this point). Purist can follow the steep trail underneath the ski lifts to the top terminal.
From the top of the lift, follow the well used trail (an old service road) up the slopes. Soon spectacular views of the North Face of Donguzoran and Elbrus begin to unfold. The North Face of Donguzoran is a huge and terrifying serac-laced wall of 1500 meters (5000 feet). The Europeans in our group likened it to the Eiger Nordwand (North Face of the Eiger). The views of Elbrus provide plenty of inspiration for the climb to come. Most of the route is easy along the trail, but right at the end it turns in to a class-2 scramble. Before mid-July you should have an ice axe. Though this peak is just a minor crag compared to t he surrounding peaks, the views make the climb well worth the effort. Views of an endless sea of incredibly jagged peaks, terrifying and huge mountain walls, glaciers, and icefalls await you at the summit. Enjoy the views of one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the world.
Although an incredible viewpoint, Cheget Peak itself is more of a false summit of Mount Cheget than a mountain all in itself. Even so, it’s a worthwhile climb and has some great views of Elbrus and Donguzoran. While the vast majority of people stop at Cheget Peak, experienced climbers can continue from the summit of Cheget Peak along the ridge to the summit of Mount Cheget. This is a technical mixed snow and rock climb.