OverviewNikita Rock >> Adyrsu Valley >> Elbrus region >> Central Caucasus
Nikita Rock is the first in Russia natural rock-climbing ground with bolted routes located at the altitude of nearly 4,000 meters in the very centre of Central Caucasus which makes it absolutely unique and so much different from climbing walls under the roof.
The relief and structure of Nikita Rock are absolutely atypical for Caucasus, Alps and other mountain ranges of Europe. Many people say that Nikita Rock looks like Yosemite – it’s smooth, rounded monolithic rock with a little number of narrow cracks.
• To set-up a unique rock-climbing ground to improve the rock – climbing skills of the mountaineers;
• Getting free climbing more popular among Russian climbers;
• Identification of gifted rock -climbers;
• Further development of Adyrsu valley, making it the major centre of mountaineering and rock-climbing in Elbrus region.
Project leader – Irina Morozova
Project Manager – Vladimir Bashmakov
Supported by :
Lipetsk Federation of mountaineering & rock-climbing
Mountaineering Federation of Russian Federation
Description of the region
Nikita Rock is found in Kullumkol gorge adjacent to Adyrsu river valley. Adyrsu valley itself joins to Baksan river valley – the biggest in the entire Elbrus region. The mouth of Adyrsu gorge is located just opposite Verkhniy Baksan settlement.
Adyrsu is one of the most popular spots of Elbrus region among the mountaineers and hikers from Russia and abroad. The routes to the summits of Tuytuy-bashi, Shogentsukova and Jailyk varying from 1Б to 5Б grades of difficulty suit perfectly the needs both of freshers and experienced climbers. The foreign climbers got used to climb Tuytuy-bashi which is pretty high in order to get acclimatization before the ascent to the top of Mount Elbrus – the highest point of the whole Europe.
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A - International airport of Mineralnie Vodi
B - Verkhniy Baksan
C - Mountaineering base Ullutau
D - Nikita Rock
From Ullutau base walk towards the ruins of mountaineering base Jailyk destroyed in the eighties by the mudflow which are found just opposite the mouth of Kullumkol gorge and cross Kullumkol river over the bridge. Then walk up along the Kullumkol crossing old mudflow cones, numerous screes and tributaries of Kullumkol river. After one hour walk the trail reaches a flat plateau. After the plateau the trail turns sharply to left and leads to very steep slope. On the top of it you will find “ Rayskie bivy” ( The Paradise Bivouac).
From “ Rayskie bivy” ( The Paradise Bivouac) the trail ( well marked by cairns) crosses the stream and leads to the middle scree and then to bivouac in the mould just opposite Nikita Rock.
The climbing routes on Nikita Rock are perfectly visible from the bivouac in the mould.
Walking time from Ullutau base: 2-2,5 hours with light gear and 2,5-4 hours with heavy backpacks.
HistoryNikita Rock is named after the mountaineer from Lipetsk Nikita Bashmakov who tragically died on Shogentsukova peak on the New Year night 31.12.2008 – 01.01.2009.
In July 2009 the group of volunteers from Lipetsk, Moscow, St.Petersburg, Samara, Orel bolted a few multipitch routes on Nikita Rock : “Classic Rock” on south-east wall of the left tower of Nikita Rock called Nikita Heart Tower, and two routes - In Memoriam and K2 – on the Front Tower.
In 2010 two more routes were added – Mummy-Тroll on Front Tower and mountaineering route Smile Tower on the central tower of the massif – Nikita Big Tower.
In the next year it’s planned to arrange the routes through the centre of Nikita Heart Tower bastion.
The Memory CupEvery year on the 8th of March in Adyrsu valley is celebrated The Memory Day. Traditionally the veterans of mountaineering camps Ullutau and Jailyk come to the valley to commemorate the memory of their colleagues died in the mountains. Usually they walk to Jailyk base and gather near the giant stone with a great number of memory plaques fixed on it.
In 2009 a new tradition started – now the Memory Day coincides with the Memory Cup held on Nikita Rock.
The Memory Cup was hold in two classes
– individual climbing on a short routes bolted on Rescuers’ Rock just above Ullutau base ( 30 climbers took part in the event)
- team climbing ( two-person rope) on the multipitch route In Memoriam bolted on Nikita Rock ( 3 teams took part)
The Memory Cup was held on multipitch routes of Nikita Rock only ( 8 teams participated).
In 2011 The Memory Cup will coincide with 75-th anniversary of Ullutau base. It is planned to held The Memory Cup in three classes:
1. Individual climbing on the short routes of the Rescuers’ Rock.
2. Two-person rope climbing on the multipitch routes of Nikita Rock
3. Specilal climbing tournament for the veterans of Ullutau and Jailyk mountaineering bases.
It is planned to approach The Federation of Mountaineering of Russia with the request to include The Memory Cup into the official annual plan of climbing and mountaineering events for 2011.
Mountaineering base Ullutau (language russian) has all necessary for visitors. You can find there bungalows, simple rooms, a kind of mess with a bar, a small food store and the most impotent thing the rescue team.
Rent a bungalow: 350-500 rub (9-13 euro) (depending on convinience)
Breakfast: 120 rub (3 euro)
Lunch: 160 rub (4 euro)
Dinner: 120 rub (3 euro)
For camping at Nikita Rock you must have a tent.
There are three major towers in Nikita Rock massif – Nikita Heart Tower, Nikita Big Tower and Nikita North Tower. One more smaller tower called Front Tower is situated just in front of Nikita Heart Tower.
The routes are bolted on the eastern walls of Nikita Rock massif just opposite frequently visited bivouac in the mould.
There are three routes on the eastern wall of Front Tower: Mummy-Тroll, In memoriam and K2. On the left hand site of the eastern walls of Nikita Rock massif is bolted the route called Classic Rock. In the centre of Nikita Big Tower bastion is the mountaineering route named Smile Tower.
All the stations at the routes are furnished by two eye-rings connected by a chain. The uppermost stations at all the routes are equipped by all the needful gear for the rappel.
Two lower stations at Smile Tower are equipped by the eye-lids and the bolts; four upper stations – by eye-lids with a steel ring connected by the chain.
Recommended gear. The routes being described are climbed with 25 –meter rope. One has to keep two short slings for the stations. The mountaineering route requires 50 meter long rope. For rock-climbing routes the set of 12 quickdraws is quite sufficient. For Smile Tower and K2 routes one should have additionally a set of stoppers. Should the skill of the climber doesn’t allow him to climb these routes free, he needs additional gear: a set of middle “friends”, chocks and probably a couple of nuts. The aid-climbing tools will also be useful.
List of the routes
Classic rock, 95 м, 7c (8а)
Mummy-troll, 80m, 6а (6b)
In Memoriam, 80 m, 6b (7с)
К2, 100 m, 6b (8a)
Smile Tower, 250 м, 3-4 (max 6a)
External LinksDescription of the region (russian)
Rock climbing in this region (russian)
More pictures of the region here and here
ThanksThis information was provide by Irina Morozova.
For all inquiries pleas contact her mirise [at] mail [dot] ru.