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Elbrus: Local Features
June 10, 2015 15:20


Elbrus is the highest mountain in Russia. Its western peak has a height of 5642 m, eastern one - 5621 m. Elbrus is a cone of a dead volcano on a high pedestal of granite and schists.

Local Features.

The Elbrus region is a mountainous region of Russia, a real paradise for ski fans or adventurers.

The mountains are beautiful at any time of year, but in early spring it is unsafe there - glaciers begin to melt, and therefore the risk of avalanches increases.

What to bring from here.

Local women knit things of wool and underfur of goats and sheep. Now many of them have switched to knitting machines, and product quality deteriorated. But you can still find hand-knitted products - from socks and hats to sweaters, as big and warm as fur coats, and very thin lace shawls.

Knitted things may have some smell of goat, but don’t be embarrassed - this smell disappears very quickly, especially after a washing. They also sell national felt hats and boots (“chuni”), Cossack hats made of goat and sheep skins. You can buy buffalo’s horns, horseshoes, and a variety of punchwork and pottery. Local markets sell dried lamb, smoked Kabardian cheese, khalva of local origin. People living in koshi (summer pastures with lonely huts) will sell you milk, ayran and cheese.

The Legend Of Elbrus

Once upon a time a terrible monster lived on Elbrus who sent many hardships to the land of highlanders living in the valley: rockslides, avalanches, earthquakes.

The highlanders paid homage to the monster giving the best boys and girls of the village to it. Many brave men tried to kill the villain, but they all died. One day a boy was born in a poor highland family, they named the boy Nart, which means “warrior”. At the age of 17 he became a real athlete. He decided to kill the monster and went to its lair. They fought for a long time. The mountains shook, there was thunder and lightning. Finally, Nart grew weak.

Then the monster chained Nart to the cliff swept by all winds. Frost and sun hardened him. An eagle flew and pecked at his liver, which healed in a moment. Every spring the monster came to see how Nart suffered. Nart lifted up his head, looked at the enemy, and asked: “Terrible monster, tell me is the grass in the valleys still green, is cattle grazing, are highlanders alive?” It answered: “Everything is true, but you will never see what you love”. And Nart wept. His tears came out at the foot as springs, burning ice and rock. People drank this water and felt that they were becoming stronger and stronger.

Finally they fearlessly climbed to the top of the mountain and killed the monster in a bloody struggle and set Nart free. Since then mineral water have been called after the name of Nart, and the word “sano” means “drink”. So, Narzan is a water of warriors.

Local Transport

Any gorge can be accessed from Nalchik by one of the regular buses connecting the city with the alpine villages. They run not so often, but every day and without interruption.

Tourists heading to the Elbrus region prefer a taxi, it is convenient and relatively inexpensive. In order to get to one of the resorts, it is better to call one of the many taxi services of Nalchik in advance and order a car. Buses also regularly go to the Elbrus region, the final stop is the village of Terskol.

If you are going to travel through the gorges and passes by car, you have to imagine the degree of passability of the territory. To be honest, it is rather poor. You can easily pass through the Baksanskoe Gorge by car. The rest of the gorges and passes can be overcome, if desired, but you will completely ruin the car – almost all roads are of natural soil, there are a lot of stones. An UAZ or an SUV is the best option.

You can also access Nalchik, Prokhladnyi, Mayskiy, Terek by railroad. The rest of the territory has only poorly developed railroad transport – the landscape is not suitable for this.



Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Elbrus     

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