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Ascent of Mount Kazbek


Mount Kazbek is located in the central part of the Caucasian mountain system, on the border of Russia and Georgia. This is the easternmost five-thousander of the Caucasus (5033 m). Like its closest relative Elbrus, it is a dormant volcano, showing some signs of activity: hot springs, emissions of hydrogen sulfide.

This mountain was named Kazbek in Soviet times, when the Georgian village of Stepantsminda and the beautiful mountain above it were renamed in honor of the Georgian writer Alexander Kazbegi, grandson of Kazibek Chopikashvili, a noble Georgian official and founder of the Kazbegi clan. In 2010, on the initiative of the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, the historical name of Stepanzminda was returned to the Kazbegi village, and the peak known to the whole world retained the familiar name Kazbek, although in Georgian language there is another, more beautiful local name - Mkinvartsveri, which means “a mountain with an ice peak ". Also, other nationalities, long living in this Caucasian region, had their own names for this mountain.

Conquerors of Mount Kazbek

  • 1868 – the first successful ascent, undertaken by the British climbers D. Freshfield, Tukker and A.U. Moore;
  • 1874 – climb to the top of Mount Kazbek accomplished by the military explorer of the Caucasus A. Pastukhov. A year later, he will write his name in the history of the conquering Elbrus;
  • 1923 – the first public expedition – 18 Soviet climbers reached the summit of Mount Kazbek.

Two countries - two ways

Today, the mountain can be reached from two countries - from Russia and Georgia. If the starting point of your trip is in Russia, then the main advantages of this route are cheaper and simpler logistics to the starting point (Nalchik-Vladikavkaz), as well as the lack of bureaucratic formalities associated with crossing the Georgian border.

If you plan to start your route from Tbilisi, combine a mountain tour with a visit to numerous historical and cultural monuments of Georgia, and also reach the top by the same route as the pioneers, then the path to the summit from Georgia is open for you.


From a technical point of view, all climbing routes of Mount Kazbek are affordable even for those who have no climbing experience. But these routes cannot be considered too easy - with relatively moderate physical exertion, they require good physical shape and good health.

It should be noted that, in comparison with the higher Elbrus (5642 m), the way to Kazbek (5033 m), is considered physically simpler although requires basic skills to deal with climbing equipment. This allows in some cases to include Kazbek in the acclimatization program before climbing Mount Elbrus.

Mountain tours

MCS AlexСlimb Mountain Climbing School offers the following routes to Kazbek:

  1. Kazbek from Russia via the Karmadon gorge. This program is suitable for those who do not want to get involved into the bureaucracy on the Russian-Georgian border, although issuing of border passes is still required. The advantages of this route - an interesting and non-standard ascent route with very low traffic. The pristine purity and great views of the mountains. There are natural thermal springs. This ascent route is a real mountain expedition. Duration of the tour is from 9 days, the price is from 850 euro / person.

  2. Kazbek from Georgia Normal Route. The most popular route to the top. In addition to a set of standard climbing tasks, climbers can enjoy one of the most classical landscapes of Georgia - a view of the ancient Gergeti monastery from above, when the outlines of the ancient temple soar above the clouds swirling in a deep valley. Of the pluses of this route: the availability of a variety of the touristic services – carrying cargo on the horseback, the possibility of using mountain shelters and restaurants. High-traffic route. Duration of the tour from 9 days, price from 600 euro / person.

  3. Kazbek through the Devdorak Gorge (Old Classic route). This is another ascent route from Georgia along the southeast slope of the mountain. It is ideal for those who appreciate the pristine nature of the landscapes and the lack of people around. Where, if not here, you can enjoy the real magic of the mountain landscapes - this route runs away from the crowded trails. Of the pluses: the most beautiful exposition of the route - at dawn you can admire the incredible sight of the peak blazing from the rising sun. There is practically no traffic on the route. Duration of the tour from 7 days, price from 750 euro / person.

  4. Kazbek + Elbrus - ascents of two mountains in one round. The first climb of the lower and more accessible Kazbek (5033 m) – that is a way to get acclimatized for the next confident achievement of the summit of West Elbrus (5642 m). The duration of the tour is 12 days; the price is from 70,000 rubles / person.

  5. Bezengi - Kazbek (Russia-Georgia). This variation of the program involves adding to the main climb the acclimatization in the Bezengi Gorge, the most technically interesting, safe and comfortable region for climbing in the North Caucasus. The duration of the tour is 11 days; the price is from 55,000 rubles / person.

  6. Bezengi (Russia) - Kazbek (Georgia) - Ararat (Turkey). Climbing Ararat (5156 m) and Kazbek (5033 m), with acclimatization in Bezengi region - all this within one mountain tour. Of the additional advantages of this program - a significant saving of time and budget relative to the same programs, but ordered separately. Duration of the tour from 14 days, the price is from 1150 euro / person.


Climbing equipment

Regardless of which route you choose, the main priority of MCS AlexClimb Mountain Climbing School - is safety. The group is led by professional mountain guides, only high-quality certified gear is used, as well as the most up-to-date navigation equipment. We use in our tours only:

  1. Modern high-quality and comfortable tents;
  2. Convenient cooking and camping equipment;
  3. New ropes and safety equipment;
  4. Modern satellite navigation systems;
  5. Different modes of communication and safety alarms - mobile, satellite, radio - a guarantee of your comfort in any situation.

Requirements for the physical preparation of participants:

  1. Lack of medical contraindications for mountain climbing;
  2. No problems with the musculoskeletal system;
  3. Normal physical form - the ability to run 5-7 km at any pace;
  4. The ability to pull up and climb the rocks for this route is not required.

We guarantee that you will enjoy our mountain tours! Choose the Kazbek climbing route and program and send to us a request!

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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.