Kabardino-balkaria republic

республика кабардино-балкария

The Kabardino-Balkaria Republic is one of the Russian restless Caucasian republics. Visitors come here mainly to reach Mount Elbrus the highest peak in Europe. Actually the mountain has two summits – the western at 5642 m and the eastern at 5621 m. The area around Elbrus is a paradise for skiing, snowboarding, trekking and rock climbing.

Mount Elbrus at a distance

Mount Elbrus at a short range

The road to Elbrus from Nalchik – the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria – runs through the Baksan Valley. The road is very scenic as surrounding mountains although smaller than Elbrus are equally awe-inspiring.

Visitors who are not mountain climbers can use the chairlifts to go as high as 3500 m for better views of Elbrus and surrounding area.

In 1995 I was among a small group of 8 people who not only climbed the mountain but also jumped on the eastern summit from a helicopter flying at the altitude of 7000 meters.

Mt. Elbrus summits as seen from a helicopter

Gliding over Elbrus

Rejoicing the safe landing

Our helicopter is landing on the eastern summit to pick up the mountain skydiving team

Climbing to the top

On the slopes of Mt. Elbrus

Another attraction of Kabardino-Balkaria is Blue Lakes. They are five picturesque bodies of water located just some 30 km south of Nalchik.