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NEWS FROM THE CAUCASUS OF 25.05.2001

Norman Canfield on 5000 m
Norman Canfield on 5000 m

Garabashi Station, 3750 m in May
Garabashi Station, 3750 m in May

ruins of Priyut-11
ruins of Priyut-11
    ERSH TRAVELS has started its summer season and we have done our first trip to the Caucasus. Norman Canfield (USA) and Andrey Ershov visited the Baksan Valley from May 14 till May 25. During 12 days several easy treks along the Baksan Valley and its side canyon, the Adylsu Valley, were done. We tried to climb Mt. Elbrus and could reach an altitude of 5200 m. But high altitude and hard weather conditions forced us to go down. There is a lot of snow in the mountains now and such conditions are much more suitable for ski touring and not for climbing on foot.

    During the trip we had not any problems connected with the war in Chechnya, political instability, etc and Norman Canfield wrote the next:

    “Reports in the Western press over the last several years on the conflict between Russia and Chechnya have caused potential visitors to cancel or not plan trips to the Caucasus. I have recently travelled with Andrey Ershov to the Baksan Valley and Mt.Elbrus, the Kabardino-Balkaria region, and found the area is quiet and peaceful. The local people are friendly and hospitable and local businesses are eager to serve visitors.

    Since British explorers described the area more than a century ago, the Caucasus region has had little development compared to other European mountain ranges. For anyone interested in a Caucasus visit the decision to go should be based on the mountain experience desired and not on concerns about political safety.”

    Andrey Ershov
    May 2001

photos: Andrey Ershov

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