1. The mountainous area overview.
2. Central Caucasus structure.
Caucasus is higher and more difficult part of Great Caucasus. The peaks of Shhara,
Dihtau, Koshtantau, Jangitau, Kazbek are more than 5000 m altitude. Here
the highest peak of Caucasus – the Elbrus mountain (5642 m) is situated.
This is the two-heads cone of unburned volcano. Standing as giant over snow-capped
passes it is seen over 100 and more km. long. There
are the most giant glaciers on Bezengiyskaya wall, Elbrus and Kazbek in that
Among the original region peaks there are famous Ushba, Shhelda, Tihtengen, Tetnuld, Shara, Ailama.
Central Caucasus valleys are wider and harsher than of Western Caucasus. Rivers going out of glaciers are stormy and quite muddy. Central Caucasus in its axis, the highest part is formed by firm rocks- granites, crystals and loamy schists and sandstone.
Periphery parts are composed by precipitation, younger and softer rocks- limestones, malms, etc. Arising on links of Bokovoy ridge volcanic cones of Elbrus and Kazbek are situated on highly swelling socles made of granites and schists. There are a plenty of non-active volcanoes on the Kelsky volcanic plateau to the West of Krestovy ridge.
Caucasus consists of Vodorazdelny ridge of compound relief where some parts
have a direction differ from the general on 90-120%, and a number of great ridges
– Elbrussky, Adylsu, Adyrsu, Bodorku, Kargashilsky, Bokovoy, Sungansky, Tseysky,
Saudorsky, Teply, Jimaraisky on the North and Shtavlersky, Nakrynsky (Tsilgmil),
Ushbinsky, Svetgaro-Gvaldinsky, Kulak, Zagary, Chhunder, Svanetsky, Lechhumsky,
Rachinsky – on the South. The parts of Vodorazdelny ridge situating to the south-west
and south of Teply and Jimaray-Kazbek sub-regions of Bokovoy ridge are called
Dvaletsky and Mtiuletsky ridges.
Central Caucasus middle mountains and low mountains have mountain- erosion relief, highlands has mountain-glacier presented by jagged ridges with steep slopes, karlings, trade valleys, etc. The regions climatic features are determed by high zone and by main water air streams coming from the West. The precipitation quantity fluctuates from 2000 mm on the western part to 1500 mm – in the eastern.
Caucasus has the considerable freezing: of all square – 70 % on the
northern slope and about 30 % - on the southern. It can be explained by
stormy snowy transfer by western winds Vodorazdelny ridge forward and by higher
insolation of the southern slope. About 40 region glaciers have the square
exseeding 5 sq. km.. and five of them (Dihsu, Bezengy, Karaugom, Lekzir
and Tsanner) have the square of approximately 40 sq. km each. The
glacier table of Elbrus is more than 140 sq. km.
The weather in this region is not stable: even in summer sunny days is often changed in highlands into harsher and long (3-5 days) foul weather. Central Caucasus has wide possibilities for organizing various kinds of treks, climbings, mountaineering, pass hoppings. It includes treks for beginners, treks for relatives with children, local and out-going mass meetings and competitions, training measures (as for initial and for as high training), treks in inter-season and in winter period are held. The 1-6 complication category treks can be practised in the limits of the region.
Sub-regions having technically not complicated gorge paths including passes through Great Caucasus Range are Prielbrusie (Donguzorun - 1A), upper reaches of Chegem (Tviber - 1B) and Chereka-Balkarsky (Sharivtsek-1A and Gezevtsek-1B), Digoriya (Gebivtsek-1A and Gurdzivtsek-1B), Teply-Jimaray-Kazbek (more than 10 passes of the highest complication category and 1A) and Svanetsky ridge. The most technically compound sub-regions and mountainous points are a part of Glavny range between peaks of Yusenga-Uzlovaya and Ortokara, Glavny (Great) and Bokovoy (Side) ranges in the limits of Bezengiyskaya wall and massifs Dihtau-Koshtantau and Tsey-Karaug.