I had no experience in glacial climbing and I was alone. I hadn't booked any tours and it wasn't possible to join "on the spot". I rented all special equipment (harness, crampons, ice ax, helmet..) at a rental office that was at the second floor of an old soviet building. The other, more fancy rental had no more gear available (I was renting the gear ON THE SPOT the same day I was going climbing). At this point I wasn't sure if I will ever make it to the top.
I started hiking towards the Green Camp as I met a Russian group of 5 who soon told me to join them as I told that I am alone. They had climbed Elbrus before and had experience in glacial hiking, though this was their first time at Kazbek. We camped at Green Camp, even though I think it would have been very doable to continue to the Meteorological station the same day. They were building a guest house at the Green Camp as I was there.
The second day we continued to the Meteorological station and as we would have had to pay to camp there (without much added value), we moved one more kilometer further to the top, where there were just us. There we established a base camp for 3 nights. On the second day we also climbed until the beginning of the second glacier, around 4200 meters, and then returned.
On the third day the weather was bad, it was snowing also at our base camp. No one had reached the top that night. We climbed to 4500 meters even though the weather was stormy.
On the third night we started climbing to the top around 2 am. I had been climbing at the Caucasus for 10 days before this climb at 4000 meters high so I do not think the altitude created any extra challenges or risks for me. Only the lasts 100 meters, that is quite steep, were tough. It was beautiful weather that day, though very cold on the top. Our team didn't use a rope - there was lots of soft snow and the path was clear. Still I could imagine the risk of crevasses, especially lower down we had to jump over some. It was good we had crossed the lower part already in daylight.
I was very exhausted as I came down. I was back at the tent around 1pm. We rested one more night and came back to the town on the 5th day. This is physically a very demanding climb, but not impossibly hard. Also the good acclimatization assured that I wasn't suffering from altitude sickness (except a bit on the last 100 meters).
Would do it again!!! Very beautiful.
Nice for a short trip.
Climbed on normal route with friends
Impressive mountain. We climbed across Betlemi hut following the normal route.
Very good weather conditions. Tremendous views. Group of 5. It was Maria's birthday on top of everything :)
Me, together with my girlfriend Åsa and Vincent Brunner (GER) who we met at our guesthouse in the valley, summited Mount Kazbek in perfect weather 28 July. Day 1 we hiked to camp 1, day 2 we continued up to camp 2 at the Bethlemi hut. On summitday we left camp at 02:20 and stood on the summit at 10:00. It was a very long scramble through dirty and dry glacier until we reached good snow. Route finding in the dark was not too easy. A long and beautiful climb in very nice weather conditions. No doubt an extra day at camp 2 would have have been good for acclimatizaion.
Guesthouse Nazy in Gerengeti I can warmly recommend.
It was a great adventure, we had perfect weather. For photos an informations (in German) see: http://www.hikr.org/tour/post84540.html
Climbed solo, normal route from Bethlemi Hut. Start 3am, top 8.45am, back 12.30. Good conditions, unfortunately cloudy on the peak.
Went up by the normal route. Camped by the river one night and then by the Black Cross. Weather wasn't great so had a couple of storms and then another on summit day, just at the top so didn't actually see the mountain until we'd made it back down to the bottom. 3,300m of ascent from Kazbegi so very physical if you take your own food, tent, etc.
Quite long but rewarding route. Got the perfect weather during the summit bid. Camped in tents little above 'White cross'.
Great time with 'Baniaczek team'.
The only calm and sunny day without the storm. Perfect summit day with great company of Jacek, Piotr, Adrian and Lukasz.
Very nice climb, easy walking and a little bit of steep terrain before the summit! Done in 7 hours from Betlemi meteo, 3 hours down.
28/04/13 - walk from Kazbegi to meteo station.
29\04\13 - start 7 a.m., Top - 01 p.m., down on ski to meteo station - 3p.m., 2 hours rest and down by ski to Kazbegi. In village - 9p.m.
Good weather, sunny, not wind, but many snow.
We started around 3am from meteostation. We had very nice weather.
Awesome weather. From the village to the top and back to the village took only 2 days. Aclimatization before in Turkey.
first attempt about 4850 m and go down because the weather so bad, waite one day and success about 8:00 o clock ;)
a little bit crowded in this perfect day
Climbed at night with full moon, strongly recommend! Best to summit by sunrise and descend via normal route before snow softens and gives easy access into crevasses.
Perfect climb on the hard packed snow, no crampones until the Seddle. Ideal views of all the Caucasus. Start from Bethlemi at 3.30, 10.30 on the top. Back to Kazbegi 19.00 the same day.
With a two polish men, meet by accident. First day: from church to meteo station. 2nd day: From meteo station to a little metal church somewhere above, then back to station. Third day to the top, and back to Kazbegi. 4th day, suffering from burned eyes. Don't forget the sunglasses :)