The highest mountain in Europe: Mount Elbrus

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Lluis Enric Mayans
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SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Located in the southern part of Russia, in the Russian Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, the Mount elbrus it is the highest mountain in Europe. It is a now extinct volcano, cone-shaped, which ends with two peaks: the highest, to the west, measures 5.642 meters above sea level, while the lowest, to the east, measures 5.621. This site, one of the most beautiful places in Russia, attracts thousands of tourists every year, who try their hand at skiing or climbing. It is in fact one of the seven peaks, that is the highest peaks of each continent: a ranking in which the monte Elbrus occupies the fifth position. Its summit is covered with eternal snow, which feeds several glaciers.



Monte Elbrus: a bit of history

In ancient times this very high Russian mountain was known as Strobilus. Mythological legends are told about it that link it to the story of Prometheus: it would in fact be the place where he was chained. Although it is an inactive volcano, there are numerous signs of activity even in recent times. An example is what happened on 6 October 1906, when the snow cover of the summit completely melted, probably due to the heating of the underlying rock due to the rising magma.

La first ascent of the summit higher than Mount Elbrus, in Russia, was completed in 1874, on July 28th. To implement the feat were the mountaineers Florence Crauford Grove, Frederick Gardiner, Horace Walker and the guide Peter Knubel. The lower peak was climbed for the first time by an expedition led by Сhilar Сhačirov, in 1929. In 1942 it was reached by some Nazi units.



Climb up Mount Elbrus on foot

Sul monte Elbrus, from the imposing height, it can be climbed on foot or on skis. The climb on foot, according to experts, is not particularly demanding from a technical point of view, however, to tackle it it is necessary to have the right physical preparation. In short, it is something that cannot be improvised, because they are always and in any case over five thousand meters high. So it is necessary to prepare with a intensive training, but also learning to adapt to outdoor life, with tents and nights out in the open.

If you decide to go on an expedition to Mount Elbrus it is strongly recommended to do it with a organized group and in any case avoid doing it alone. It should also be borne in mind that the area is subject to sudden and frequent perturbations, due to wet currents arriving from the Black Sea. Finally, equipment for climbing is necessary, as the final stretch requires the use of crampons to tackle frozen snow.


Go up on skis to Mount Elbrus

As for the ascent on foot, also the ascent to Mount Elbrus on skis technically it is not particularly difficult. However, this does not mean that the company can be underestimated, as the environmental conditions often make it impervious, especially when the weather changes abruptly and the summit is hit by snowstorms and wind. The view, once you reach the top, is splendid and fascinating: the monte Elbrus in fact, it offers a 360-degree view of the entire Caucasus mountain range.


Europe Russia
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