Ushba (Georgian: უშბა) is one of the most notable peaks of the Coucasus Mountains. It is located in the Svaneti (Region of Georgia), just south of the border with the Kabardino-Balkaria region of Russia. Although it does not rank in the 10 highest peaks of the range, Ushba is known as the "Matterhorn of the Caucasus" for its picturesque, spire-shaped double summit. Due to its steep profile and unstable weather, Ushba is considered by many climbers as the most difficult ascent in the Caucasus.
Ushba's south summit is slightly higher than its north summit, which has an elevation of 4,690 m (15,387 ft). The north summit was first climbed in 1888 by John Garford Cokklin and Ulrich Almer, while the south summit saw its first ascent in 1903 by a German-Swiss-Austrian expedition led by B. Rickmer-Rickmers.
Ushba Plateau is of one of the most interesting mountain climbing regions of Central Caucases. Getting to Ushba Plateau isdelf is quite Intereesting adventure indeed, since, due to global wrming. uppe part of Ushba Glacier became quite cracked and difficult to pass.
The best time to climb theUshba is mid July to mid September.
WAy to Ushba Plateau commenes at border guard's hat (6km from Maxeri vilage) and passing Becho Waterfalls, heads to the Hunter Overnight steps camp 1 (2367m.) to this point the way is well knoen and marked. The overnight stop is located at the top of thr most beautiful Becho Waterfall. The middle of th waterfall (2077m) can be reached by house. few years ago the tongue of Ushba Glacier almost reach the overnight stop, however, nowadays it has backed for quite a distance.
From the Hunter's Overnight stop we get to moraine and walk along it. in 2.00-2.30hours we get to gliecer. Theglacier turns in the (photo below).Wile ascendibg up the glacier, we shekk position ourseles on it's left side (in the direction of walking). Hare on thorough the snow andcrushed stone slope we shell get over the edge bulwark; Here we can find several excellent camping places. From the rock bulwark we shell continue in the direction of glacier This segment of Ushba Glacier is extremely fraggmented; therefore, we shall move with caution and try to avid the cracks. In 3.00 hourse we will reach the upper plateau of Ushba Glacier, which ends with Shkhelda Crossing. At the left edge of the plateau there are overnight stop places.
From the upper plateau of Ushba Glacier we coutinue towards south, acrross the cracked slope coverd withsnow. in 1.00-1.30 hours we rech Ushba Plateau Camp 4 (4070m)
Myshliauv route (Мышляев, Лев Владимирович) approach is almost the same as to the route of Gabriel. From the left side of the Lower Ledge of the Middle Rock Belt of the West Ridge climb up 240-260 m taking a little to the right by vertical and very difficult rocks (smooth faces, corners, chimneys, overhanging and cornices) of the big corner-chimney of the left side of the main bastion of the Middle Rock Belt (mostly aid climbing).
By the icy 30-meters couloir climb to the Upper snow-ice slope of the NW Face. From here 120-150 meters up and to the right by the steep slope with projecting rock slabs move to the beginning of the rock face in the Upper part of the West Ridge. From the Lower ledge (beginning of the route) four days of hard aid climbing.
From the beginning of the rock face in the Upper part of the West Ridge climb up 350-380 m. by the vertical and partly overhanging rock (sleeping in hammocks) to the beginning of the Upper snow-ice slope of the NW Face.
By this slope climb up to the rock face in the Upper part of the W Ridge.
From here climb 60 m. by the steep couloir (6+) to the small flat ledge.
From this ledge climb up by the very difficult icy chimney (aid-climbing) then 20 m up by the difficult wet rock face (attention - loose rocks) climb the West Ridge above the Middle Rock Belt.
From the Ridge traverse the snow-ice slope 60-80 m to the right to the rock crest near the Red Corner.
From the Red Corner climb the difficult small (3-4 m) rock face and then climb by the steep rocks of the Crest (average difficulty) 150 m up to the beginning of the SW Ridge of the Summit Rock Belt.
From the Crest, by the 4-6 m rock face climb to the slanted smooth rock platform 3x4 m.
From this platform climb up 15-20 meters by the SW Ridge. Then there is a very difficult traverse 10-12 m (aid climbing) and then climb up 15-20 m by the hard vertical corner to the ledge. By the slanting rocks of this ledge climb up and right, then 25-30 m up and left and then by difficult chimney climb the "Roof of Ushba".
By the simple rocks climb to the small flat place where bivouac is possible. From the Red Corner 8-10 hours.
From the bivouac climb up by easy and average difficulty rocks 200-250 m to the W Ridge. By the easy and average difficulty rocks of the W Ridge climb the Summit of the S Ushba.
The route is not equipped. There are some gear (bolts and pitons) left on the route by the first climbers 30 years ago, but I do not recommend to use it.
Ropes, crampones, technical ice axes, snow stakes, pitons, hummers, bolts and drills, icescrews. Planform for sleeping on the rock.
Climbing this route takes 5-8 day depending on the weather conditions.
First time this route has been climbed by L. Myshliaev team 28 July 1960. It took 17 days to climb this route for the fist climbers.
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