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Northern Central Caucasus. Russia, Kabardino-Balkaria. Climbing Shkhara, 5068 m.

Altitude: 5068 m
Program category: Mountain Climbing
Duration: 13 days
Season: June - September
First climb:
John Garford Cokkin, 1888
Program price from: 3500 Euro

  • 01.09.21 - 01.09.21Special conditions 220000 RUR booking

Northern Central Caucasus, Bezengi valley. Climbing Shkhara (5068 m). Classic climb of Shkhara (5068 m) by "the Crab" (Cokkin route, 5a Russian Grade)

Program "Classics of Bezengi" is available on the reservation at least 90 day prior the trip - special permission needed for entering the border area.

Guided climb of Shkhara - is the exclusive mountain program of MCS AlexClimb, the program which we run for more than 15 years.

It should be kept in mind that climbing the main peak of Shkhara is prohibited by the rules staying in the border zone of the Russian Federation. Officially, we have the right to climb only to the Eastern Peak of Mount Shkhara - continuing the ascent towards the Main Peak may result in the imposition of an administrative fine under the article 18.2 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation (up to 3000 rubles). Or it may not, since detecting and proving this violation will require labor costs and expenses from the Russian border service that are incommensurate with the amount of the fine.

The left side of the famous Bezengi Wall, the most difficult and harsh region of the Caucasus, located on the border of Russia and Georgia, is crowned with a group of peaks collectively called Shkhara. Translated from the Georgian language, this name means "nine" - from the southern side, from Georgia, this mountain really has 9 pronounced highest points. Neither the shape nor the number of peaks, Shkhara resembles any of the neighboring mountains, neither from the north, nor from the south.

The colossal jumble of snow-capped rocks, covered by powerful glaciers, amazes with its scale and power of the forces of nature that created it. The Shkhara massif, the most difficult and harsh "corner" of the most severe region of the Caucasus - Bezengi, challenges the most experienced climbers who come to the Bezengi in order to trial their skill in confrontation with the one of the most serious mountaineering objects of the Caucasus. Climbing Mount Shkhara attracts the strongest climbers from many countries of the world, but not everyone manages to include Mount Shkhara in their list of successful ascents.

Shkhara does not forgive mistakes and over self-confidence, it requires maximum concentration and coherence of actions, the ability to work effectively in a team. The classic route of climbing Shkhara is not only technically difficult, but also it is one of the longest technical climbing routes in the Caucasus. Shkhara, one of the most difficult and highest peaks of the Caucasus, was first climbed in the same year and by the same team that completed another legendary ascent - to the top of Dykh Tau – the second-high mountain of Europe.

Climbing Shkhara is a climbing program of the top level of difficulty, participation in it is available only to well-trained climbers who have experience of similar ascents. In addition, the serious altitude of Mount Shkhara and the exceptional length of the ascent route require careful acclimatization and very good physical shape. The program "Bezengi - climbing Mount Shkhara" is offered during the summer season - from July1st to the September, 30th.

This 13-day program "Climbing Shkhara from Russia" is designed for people who have no illisions about what they can expect in the mountains. Climbing route of Shkhara is dangerous, technically difficult, requires a discipline, coherence, good physical form and possession of practiced skills in belaying and dealing with different types of mountain terrain. Regardless your climbing experience, we recommend passing the MCS AlexClimb Course of general physical preparation and Cours of Mountain Technique (advanced level) before participating in this program.

The First Principle of MCS AlexClimb
The First Rule, by which we are guided in the development of our mountain programs - is safety. Professional Guides lead the group, the highest quality certificated equipment and the most modern navigation equipment are used. This guarantees the highest possible level of your safety in the mountains, which is the most important side of our work. As for Kamchatka programs - in addition to our climbing safety issues, the armed ranger accompanies the group to protect participants from too close contact with the wild life.

Program Schedule

The AlexClimb Bezengi climbing schedule (Climbing Shkhara 2021):

Guided ascent of Shkhara  (5068 m) from the North, 5A Russian Grade
Difficult Climb, High level

Program "Climbing Shkhara from Bezengi" is available on the reservation at least 90 day prior the trip - special permission needed for entering the border area.

Day 1 - International flight to Moscow, hotel accommodation***
Day 2 - Domestic flight to Minvody, transfer to the Bezengi Base Camp, accommodation
Day 3 - Acclimatization
Day 4 - Acclimatization
Day 5 - Acclimatization
Day 6 - Trekking to the Djangi Kosh camping ground 3300 m, at the Base of Shkhara route, setting the Base Camp, overnight in the tents
Day 7 - Climbing the Ridge and setting the Camp I 4100 m, overnight in the tents
Day 8 - Climbing the Ridge and setting the Storm Camp (East Shkhara) 4800 m, overnight in the tents
Day 9 - Summit Day, climbing the Main Shkhara (5068 m), descent to the Storm Camp (4800 m), overnight in the tents
Day 10 - Descent to the Djangi Kosh Base Camp, overnight in the tents
Day 11 - Spare Summit Day
Day 12 - Spare Summit Day
Day 13 - Return to the Bezengi Base Camp, accommodation
Day 14 - Transfer to Minvody and domestic flight to Moscow, hotel accommodation***
Day 15 - Return International Flight

Prices and conditions

The price of the "Climbing Shkhara North Ridge, classic "Crab route", season 2021":

From 3500 Euro - price for the participation in the program for 1 participant at the 1:2 guide/client ratio

The final cost of climbing Shkhara depends on the following factors:

  • your actual mountaineering experience (the possible program format depends on this),
  • guide / client ratio - 1:1, 1:2, 2:1
  • the need for additional services (porters, cook),
  • dates of the program

You have to be ready for:

  • Climbing the route of the top difficulty. The risk and physical load levels are extremely high;

Conditions: previous climbing experience, good physical form. Acclimatization program on Mount Elbrus is highly recommended before climbing Shkhara, the Brief AlexClimb course of mountain technique is recommended.
The price includes: Professional mountain guide services, rent of the communal equipment (ropes, belaying and navigation equipment, cooking gear), hotel accommodation, transfers from the point of the beginning of the program to its end (Nalchik), using the communal basic medical kit, local registering and climbing permits, food for outdoor part of the program.
The cost does not include: Russian visa charges*, International and domestic flight expenses** to and from the point of the beginning of the program (Nalchik),
one day in Moscow if you have long transfer***, obligatory climbing insurance, rent of the personal equipment, food and drinks while being in cities, using the satellite phone.
Group capacity: 2
Guides: 1-2

*AlexClimb Mountain Climbing School can provide Russian Visa support for you. More information on request.
**AlexClimb Mountain Climbing School can book the flights for you.
***AlexClimb Mountain Climbing School can book hotel for you in Moscow and organize, transfers sightseeing and recreations according to your preferences - basic Moscow package cost is 270 Euro wich inclides pick up and drop off in the airport and one night in the Hotel 3*.

Detailed conditions and limitations on the program "Russia. Classics of Bezengi - climbing Shkhara" can be read in the Offer section

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Our Principles

AlexClimb Rule #1 - Safety First

From the very beginning of our activity, here nearly 16 years, the first Principle of work of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb is the Safety Priority. On the basis of this Principle all process of training is based, all programs and rounds are developed and carried out only within this main principle. We consider that at professional approach to development of programs, at personal discipline and correctly put motivation - occupations by mountaineering and rock-climbing are COMPLETELY safe. And from the return - all troubles and accidents in our sport come from nonprofessionalism, from ignorance or neglect by elementary standards of safety, from irrational motivation, from revaluation of own forces and opportunities. All these prerequisites we COMPLETELY EXCLUDE in our work - ours Rock-climbing, Ice climbing and Mountaineering are based on one Principle - the Safety Priority. In rock-climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing, the Priority of Safety of MCS AlexClimb-is your personal security and comfort irrespective of, than we are engaged - we train muscles and we work technology of the movement in the sports hall and on the rock climbing wall, we make the way through snowstorm to top or we relax on golden sand of the Caribbean beach after hot day of trainings on rocks. The Safety priority - the main credo of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb.

AlexClimb Rule #2 - Leave No Trace

Closely interacting with Nature, working with the active programs in mountains, woods, lakes and rivers, we perfectly understand the importance of carefull and respectfull bahavior towards the Nature, for its resources. From the very beginning of our outdoor-activity we adopted rules of  Leave No Trace technique - the standard of behavior of the person accepted in all the civilized world in relation to environment and especially - to the wild nature. After all on the relation of people to the nature near which they exist, itself can draw dalekoidushchy conclusions on the relation of these people to... Where and as we didn't travel - we don't reserve any garbage, we try to reduce whenever possible our influence on environment to a minimum. We clear earlier zagryazyonny tourist parking of the left garbage, we take out and we take out to utilization places that to us other people left there. We consider that only thus, at personal individual consciousness of each citizen, each tourist, climber or autotraveller, we will be able to keep the nature surrounding us in its state, natural, suitable for life, - in it pledge of the healthy future for ourselves and our children.

AlexClimb Rule #3 - Sober Concious

The position of AlexClimb Mountain and rockclimbing School regarding healthy lifestyle is quite clear - we consider that only sober consciousness is capable to fill sincere emotions,  to sympathize, to enjoy life in all its variety. Bright various enjoyable life is possible only on condition of keeping the absolute sobriety and purity of consciousness. Any way of obscuring our perception of reality is intended to do harm to our consciousness and bring harm to our physical health, to replace the true values by false ones, to destroy us physically - to turn us into flabby, weak, senseless, gray herd with empty hazy eyes. We don't force anybody to our point of view, everyone has a God's gift of making his own choice and to destroy himself if that is what he wants... But in AlexCilimb Mountain Climbing School we accept quite certain and very simple set of rules: neither alcohol, nor drugs.