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FAQ

Elbrus German airfield?

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My collection of routes to Elbrus is here

What airfield is located on Mount Elbrus? What kind of object is called the "German Aerodrome"?

Mount Elbrus - Terra Incognita in the mountains of Russia 

An interesting fact is that people who ask the question of which airfield is located on Elbrus usually do not mean any operating site for landing aircraft (by the way, there are many helipads in the Elbrus region, but there are no airfields for the planes), but a place associated with aviation only by its name. I will also try to tell this story, which excites the fantasy of the mountain lovers, who are prone to collecting legends and strange stories.

Northern Dzhaly su -

Not a single peak of the Caucasus is shrouded in such a dense veil of secrets and mysteries as the two-headed Mount Elbrus. Many stories are associated with this mountain, some of them are completely fictional, some are based on real events, and some stories simply do not have any logical explanation. There is nothing surprising in the fact that Elbrus is so closely associated with the local and tourist folklore – this is the most famous mountain of Caucasus, which is visible from a huge distance even away from the mountains.

Elbrus - view from the north, from the

Mount Elbrus at all times inspired the brave man to exploits, poets - to compose ballads, storytellers - to create fantastic images.

Regardless of whether you are a skeptic or a dreamer, you cannot deny the fact that many strange and inexplicable incidents occur on the slopes of Mount Elbrus. For example, the number of missing people on this mountain. A lot of disappearances have not been solved, and the disappeared people have never been found. The reason for this can be explained by the specifics of the relief - numerous deep crevasses that make a deadly threat to anyone who goes astray and loses the path on the glacier.

Moonrise over Elbrus glaciers

Or the repeated cases of unexplained deaths of groups of tourists who fled in a panic from their tents and were found frozen not far from the abandoned camp. Or cases of the very strange behavior or complete insanity of people during the ascent of Mount Elbrus - this may partly be due to the influence of a lack of oxygen, but there may be other, less obvious reasons.

Among the inexplicable legends of Mount Elbrus there is the story of the "German airfield".

Ascent to the top of Mount Elbrus by the northern slope

The legend of the "German airfield" is associated with the period of the Second World War, when the Nazi army tried to seize the resources of the Caucasus - the Baku oil fields, the Tyrnauz mines, where tungsten and molybdenum were mined. At that time, there was a battle for the passes of the main Caucasus, while on the northern slope of Elbrus it was quite calm. German military climbers, after fighting on the southern slope, occupied Shelter 11 and hoisted Nazi flags on the tops of Mount Elbrus.

German flags on Elbrus

There are few witnesses of these events, because the local residents - the Balkar people, immediately after the liberation of the Caucasus from the Germans, were subjected to repression and were almost completely deported to Central Asia. This tragedy of an entire Balkarian nation, superimposed on the horrors of the occupation, left little room for vague rumors and conjectures to remain in memory.

Sunset on the endless snow fields of the slopes of Mount Elbrus

However, there is a legend among local residents and tourists that during the Great Patriotic War, strange activity of German aircraft was observed on the northern slope of Mount Elbrus, which allegedly made repeated landings there. According to this legend, adepts of some mystical cults were brought to Mount Elbrus to perform strange rites. Perhaps they were trying to find a way to the mysterious mountainous country of Shambhala or to open the door to another dimension.

Secrets of the slopes of Mount Elbrus, German airfield

Despite the fact that there is no documentary evidence, the legend tells about the presence of Tibetan lamas in the Caucasus. It is completely incomprehensible where the Germans could have taken these lamas - Tibet was very far beyond the limits of Germany's activity during the Second World War. Nevertheless, outbursts of folk fantasy painted a picture of an almost global occult meaning…. In deep secrecy, the leaders of the Reich was searching for the mystical Shambhala and the keys to managing the world through the use of subtle matters.

German information sign on the Hotyu Tau pass in the Elbrus region

In their research, they pinned great hopes on the highest mountain in Europe – Mount Elbrus - because the slopes of this volcano have unconditional energy anomalies. This is indeed a real fact - magnetic devices behave strangely there and inexplicable disappearances of people were observed... So, possibly Hitler's secret plan was to master the energy flow of Elbrus and use it to gain access to control the flow of world processes. For this, the necessary equipment and personnel were delivered by special aircraft. Under a veil of secrecy and tight guards, some experiments and strange rituals were carried out. After which there were stone pyramids laid out in a mysterious order and incomprehensible metal structures left.

So looks the place on Mount Elbrus, which is called the

Being once in the Elbrus region, sorting through archives of the post-war years miraculously preserved in a private collection, I stumbled upon a record of history that has nothing to do with the German airfield, but, nevertheless, bears the tinge of an inexplicable mystery. During active hostilities in the Caucasus in the summer of 1942, the 2nd Romanian Mountain Division, after fighting near the village of Kendelen, was forced to retreat towards Zayukovo down the Baksan Gorge. A reconnaissance brigade of 20 fighters was assigned to reconnoiter the surroundings of Hill 910 and to search for a possible counteroffensive from the northern flank.

Defense of the slopes of Elbrus by the Soviet army

The brigade did not return to the place of deployment and no signs of their death were found in the reconnaissance area. They just disappeared. Since then, many similar stories have happened on Elbrus, but for some reason it seems to me that this particular story can be connected with the mysterious planes that, according to rumors, visited the northern side of Elbrus in those hot days of August 1942.

Headlines of German newspapers about the conquest of Mount Elbrus

How does a legend appear? I think that one insignificant fact and the presence of people with a rich imagination are enough for this - this can explain so many beautiful fairy tales that have never had a connection with reality. Regarding the “German Airfield”, it can be assumed that they really tried to find a gate there, or even opened this gate to another dimension. Or maybe they just landed there in order to equip this site for a spare or auxiliary airfield to support combat units on the South Slope, where the battles were fought.

German soldier on Mount Elbrus

Now we can not find the answer to this question. So, let everyone believe in what he likes best! And the German Airfield is a really strange place. A completely flat area of natural origin is located at an altitude of 2850 meters, with the coordinates 43°25'44.89"N, 42°29'19.60"E. Many thousands of years ago, it was left behind by a glacier retreating along the slope of Elbrus. The dimensions of the "German airfield" are approximately 700x300 meters - this is quite enough for landing and takeoff of a medium-sized aircraft. Several heaps of stones in the corners could well serve as landing landmarks. But the iron pole in the middle is already the post-war Soviet era. It served to measure the thickness of the snow cover and conduct meteorological studies.

German airfield today

Sometimes, on cloudy evenings, you can see that the fog over this "airfield" is arranged in concentric circles - this phenomenon has been noted more than once by tourists who spend the night nearby. Perhaps this is due to the peculiarities of the aerodynamics of this place. Or maybe they are the ghosts of the missing brigade of Romanian mountain rangers, who are still wandering in circles, getting lost in the mountains and not returning to their base in August 1942.

Climbing Mount Elbrus, Northern slope

In general, it seems to me that there is little romance in the fact that people disappear or die under strange circumstances, or do strange things that they would never have done in their normal life. So, the practical benefit of all the above - may be that it reveals to us the true nature of this mountain, which, like a magnet, attracts lovers of all kinds of adventures.

Mount Elbrus - view from base camp North Dzhaly Su

If you approach the issue carefully, it becomes clear that the highest mountain in Europe has a predatory and evil character - one way or another, all the legends about this mountain are more sad than romantic.

And in order not to become the hero of another Elbrus story, you need to be careful and consistent in your actions, do not overestimate your strength, do not trust the seeming "simplicity" and "accessibility" of the mountain. Do not forget, that many of those who have already fallen into this trap - forever remained with Elbrus and added their names to the long list of its secrets and victims.

On the slopes of Mount Elbrus

The author of the texts and photographs Alex Trubachev
Your professional mountain guide for Mount Elbrus and other mountain climbing routes in Caucasus

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