What a beginner should know about Kazbek climbing
Kazbek is not a technically difficult peak, and the option of climbing from the south along the 2A route of difficulty category is suitable for the first climb to the five-thousander. But! You need to take the preparation for the ascent and the ascent itself very, very seriously!
Get ready for the ascent
Good physical shape is essential to make it easier for you to endure the loads in the mountains. Without proper preparation, the body will go nuts - the muscles will clog, the lungs will overstrain, and there is every chance that you simply do not have enough safety margin. Of course, perseverance and desire can replace fitness, but it will be hard.
Therefore, at least three months before the ascent:
- Start running. Run a lot and quickly, preferably over rough terrain.
- Cycling (high mileage, rugged terrain) is fine too.
- In winter, cross-country skiing will be useful.
Run a lot and fast
Checking the correct selection of equipment before leaving
The selection of equipment and clothing needed when climbing Kazbek should be taken seriously, because comfort and safety on a hike depend on its quality and quantity. The right equipment will make climbing a pleasure, not an attempt at survival.
For the summer ascent to Kazbek, we advise you to prepare the following equipment:
- a backpack of 80 liters for a girl and 100–120 liters for a boy for transportation and approaches.
- a small backpack of 30-40 liters will be used when climbing;
- sleeping bag with comfort temperature -7C°;
- a puff with a hood, which we will take with us on the ascent and can be used in the base camp;
- thin puff;
- thermal underwear, (medium activity) 2 sets;
- waterproof windproof jacket and trousers (preferably with a Gore-tex membrane);
- protective mask against wind and frost (balaclava, buff);
- sports suit for movement on the approaches and on the ascent;
- climbing boots (heavy trekking). Must be adapted for attaching climbing crampons. It’s good if the shoes are 1–1.5 sizes larger than your city shoes;
- sneakers or mountain boots (light trekking) for walking on the approaches;
- flip flops;
- thin gloves for the base camp and approaches;
- warm gloves, fleece;
- warm mittens for climbing;
- hat (warm);
- sun hat;
- climbing crampons;
- ice ax;
- climbing helmet;
- insurance system;
- trigger device;
- self-insurance mustache;
- carabiners with couplings - 3 pieces;
- trekking poles;
- polyurethane foam or inflatable mat. When choosing a rug, remember - overnight stays in the snow are possible;
- raincoat for yourself and for a backpack;
- protective leggings made of fabric, worn on the lower leg on the approaches;
- sunglasses or ski mask;
- sunscreen UV at least 30;
- hygienic lipstick with a UV factor of at least 30;
- headlamp (+ batteries for it, 2 sets);
- gas burner and gas;
- mug, spoon, bowl, knife;
- thermos, volume not less than 1 l;
- a flask for water, a volume of at least 1 liter;
- an individual first-aid kit with medicines that we usually use;
- personal hygiene products;
- garbage bags with a volume of 120 l - 4 pieces for sealing things on the approaches.
Attention! On tours, organizers sometimes provide group equipment. This is usually: ropes, tents, burners, gas, pots (pots). All this must be clarified before the start of the tour. As an additional option - rental of personal climbing equipment and clothing.
Basic climbing skills
It's good if you have at least some basic mountaineering training.
No - no problem. The commercial tour provides classes where they will teach, show, explain.
Here are the skills and abilities we are talking about:
- movement on grassy slopes, screes and moraines;
- moving in crampons on a non-steep glacier;
- movement in bundles on a glacier and a snowy slope;
- work with ice tools: ice ax, drill;
- self-detention on a snow-ice slope;
- knitting the simplest climbing knots;
- rope work, railings, rappel.
Climbing Kazbek in summer with Extremetout.pro
You have arrived at the starting point of the tour. What's next?
Hooray! Finally got to the starting point. Here begins exactly what you have been preparing for so long.
As a rule, all commercial groups begin their program in the village Stepantsminda.
Yes, and independent groups start there.
As a rule, before the trip or at the time of arrival, the issue of accommodation in Stepantsminda is first resolved. There are no problems here, there are many hotels, guest houses, etc. for every taste. And we, in turn, offer you to stay at our guest house - Archi and Nino (Archil and Nino Gigauri Guest House).
After settling in, perhaps even a short rest, many make an introductory walk around Stepantsminda. They look at shops, cafes, museums, etc., but someone needs to find an Information Center or a RENTAL point with equipment, clothes, shoes, cards. Perhaps someone will be interested in finding a guide to climb Kazbek.
There are no problems with this either. All this can be taken from the MTA (Mountain Travel Agency). Here you can choose everything you need at the box office, as well as get advice and, if necessary, you can use the services of a local guide. The agency is located on the central square of the village.
On the day of arrival, or a day later, you can walk up to the Church of the Holy Trinity and take a walk there. Let your body get used to the height.
Church of the Holy Trinity
As an alternative, there is a good option for acclimatization - a trip to the highland zone - Juta, the Chaukhi massif. Here you can walk up to heights of about 3000 m. The beauties will amaze you!! The second option is an excursion to the Truso Gorge: mineral springs, lakes, rivers, ancient settlements, fortresses, monasteries, etc.
You will have unforgettable memories
The next day, your path will also start from the church, where you should already drive up to save energy, because the first uphill climb with a backpack is ahead!
At the end of October 2022, very good people, in the area of the car park and the beginning of the trail towards the Soberce pass (Kazbek), installed a new information board.
New information board with a view of Kazbek
The path from the church to the Weather Station, where the ascent begins, is recommended to be divided into two days for better acclimatization. A suitable place for an intermediate overnight stay is behind the Sobertse pass. Near the Altihut hut there are places for setting up tents and a spring with drinking water.
Glade near the Altihut hut
Well, if you need maximum comfort, use the services of the AltiHut, 3014m, in which comfortable beds, a lounge, a bar, a terrace, etc. They cook very tasty food here, there is tea and coffee, and you can even try or buy AltiHut branded Chacha!
AltiHut - full service and comfort!
From the glade - rise to the Weather Station. 1 hour to the foot of the glacier, then 2 hours on the gently sloping glacier. This crossing is your first climbing experience. You will try out your new equipment, learn how it is to walk in crampons and a bunch.
Climbing the glacier. The members decided not to contact
Arriving at the Weather Station, the group sets up camp and usually snow and ice classes are held that day. The next day is devoted to classes and a walk uphill for better acclimatization, usually up to an altitude of 4200 - 4500 meters.
After two days of living at the Weather Station, an exciting day comes, or rather, a night - the ascent begins. 5-6 hours of work and you are happy at the top.
As an alternative to tents, you can stay in the Weather Station building.There are rooms for living with bunks, a dining room for self-cooking, a cafe. Turn on the electricity in the evening.
As a rule, the exit to the ascent is very early, around 2-3 am
The difficult path to the top
Descent. One more night at the Meteorological Station, or, according to the group's condition, the descent to the Altihut hut. The next day - descent to Stepantsminda.
Climbing Kazbek in winter with Extremetour.pro
Congratulations! Now you are a real climber.
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