Kazbek is the easternmost silent volcano among the eight 5000m. summits of the Caucasus. Situated on the Russian-Georgian border, the massif includes two summits – Eastern Kazbek (5033m) and Western Kazbek (5015 m).
Kazbek was first climbed in 1868 by D. Freshfield, a 23-year-old English mountaineer. Russian surveyor A. Pastukhov in 1889 became the first researcher who climbed Kazbek to carry out geological and meteorological research. He reached the peak together with 60-year-old Ossetian guide Tepsariko Tsarakhov. The pair of mountaineers put onto the summit a red banner, in good weather conditions visible from as far as Vladikavkaz.
Kazbek is home to many legends and sites of interest. Around the 3800-m altitude, a cave inside the 80-m cliff wall hosts the ancient Georgian monastery Betlemi (Bethlehem). According to the Kartlis Tskhovreba chronicle, church treasuries and saint relics had been hidden in the monastery, only reachable by climbing a hanging iron chain. The legend says that St. Joseph, having by God’s will ascented to the Beltemi monastery, presented Tsar Irakly with a piece of Abraham’s tent.
Arrival to Mineralnye Vody.
Meeting at the airport, check in to the hotel.
Equipment check and adjustment.
An acclimatizing walk to the Mashuk hill (993m).
Transfer to Vladikavkaz and to the Genaldon gorge.
Check at the border control station.
Trek to the camp at hot mineral water springs (3-4 hours).
Trek to the camp at “the cross” (3600m).
The route first follows a trail to the edge of the glacier, then crosses the glacier to a cliff buttress.
A steep trail on the buttress leads to the campsite (5-6 hours).
Night in tents.
Trek to the high camp beneath the OJD peak (4200m).
Night at the camp.
Acclimatization walk to the altitude of 4400-4500 m.
Snow and ice technique training.
Night at the high camp.
Descend to the camp at 4200m.
Descend from 4200m to hot springs.
Night in tents.
Trek to the border control station (the Karmadon village), return to Mineralnye Vody.
Night at the hotel.
Departure to the Mineralnye Vody airport.