Three days up and one day down. Herd of wild chamois above 4000m. Fresh bear tracks in the sandy stream bed. Fresh snowfall on summit day and 50m visibility. Yet the biggest challenge is definitely bureaucratic.
After heavy snowfall the weather got absolutely clear - fnatastic landscape and wonderful condition!
A beautiful climb on eastern Caucasus highest mountain.
very interesting hike to this peak in a remore place, which is till now seldom climbed because of red tape issues.
The climb is not difficult,, just hiking if done in summer times. Snow becomes very scarce on this peak and on northern (russian / dagestan) side, glaciers seem really in bad shape, or moving into rock glaciers. We went from Khinalig valley up to approximately 2835m (4wd drive required). Getting a special permit is the real issue for climbing this peak, and it's wise to ask for a guided tour there to make the climb simplier and more enjoyable as well.
Environment remains wild and pristine, keep it that way in the future.
From 2830 one reaches the site of a camp located at at river crossing at approx. 3215m (or, more confortable at 3250m if accepting crossing one branch of the river, coming from the right when you get up the valley). The river crossing if you want to join a grassy terrace (with access to cleaner water) can be quite tricky, be careful.
From this point, the climb on loose rocks is quite boring (zig zags) up to the main eastern ridge of B . The upper parts above 3850/3900m become less step). at approx 4150m, it's possible to make a traverse on the left to join the ridge with small ups and downs (be careful if the Wind is strong when walking onnthe ridge, but it's not much exposed). After a small col (approx 4275m) a traverse on the southern part (a bit of snow there) leads you to a gentle and gradual acsent up to the main summit (geodesical summit and 360° view from there, I recorded 591,3 hpa pressure on the top). Wind can be quite strong on this isolated peak, and thermic effects may strengthen these effects.
No water available above camp.
The way down is quite fast (it took us 2h30 with a few stops) compared to 6 hrs for going up at a normal rate (including stops).
For a rapid well organized group, the climb is doable in two days with good fitness and coordination for transport.
Since the peak lies north of Caucausus main ridge, it's actually located in Europe.
our route was "right" (east) compared to the red route on the map on SP.
A great adventure!
For photos and more information (in German) see: http://www.hikr.org/tour/post100077.html