Mount Elbrus (Russian: Эльбрус) is one of the peaks of the Greater Caucasus Mountains; it is also the highest peak of the Bokovoy Mountains and is a dormant volcano located on the border between Russia and Georgia. The northern slope is located in Russia, and the southern slope is located in the European part of Georgia.
Mount Elbrus is the highest peak in both countries and is considered the highest in Europe. Its geographical coordinates are 43°21′ north latitude and 42°26′ east longitude. It is more than 20 kilometers away from the dividing line between Asia and Europe in the south, and the mountains are all within Europe.
Throughout the Greater Caucasus Mountains, which are more than 1,100 kilometers long, there is no shortage of peaks over 5000 meters. Mount Elbrus has become the most noticeable European peak with its absolute altitude. You will get more interesting facts about the highest point in Europe.
Mount Elbrus Descriptions
For a long time, Westerners often put the crown of the highest peak in Europe on the head of Mt. Blanc (4810 meters), the main peak of the Alps, without explanation. By the early 1950s (possibly earlier), the international academic community reached a consensus that the main ridge of the Greater Caucasus Mountains was used as the natural boundary of the southern section of the Asia-Europe land boundary. Since then, the problem has been solved.
Nowadays, Mount Elbrus is officially one of the seven highest peaks in the world and the highest peak in continental Europe. Located between the Black and Caspian Seas, Mount Elbrus stretches across the territory of the Russian Federation, just 20 kilometers from the Georgian border. Thousands of foreign tourists from more than 70 countries visit it every year. Some of them are ski enthusiasts, but most dream of conquering one of the highest peaks in the world.
Mount Elbrus is a dormant volcano resulting from long-term continuous volcanic eruptions in geological history and is mainly composed of andesite. The last eruption occurred about 2000 years ago. Its conical shape clarifies that it is "the son of a volcano." The east and west peaks of Elbrus are two craters. Shards of solidified lava can be seen everywhere on its slopes.
Height And Area of Mount Elbrus
Mount Elbrus consists of two andesite lava cones; its west peak is the highest at 5,642 meters (18,510 feet) above sea level, and the east peak is 5,621 meters (18,442 feet) above sea level. Mount Elbrus' prominence, a measure of how distinct a mountain is from nearby peaks, is 4,741 meters (15,554 feet), making it the 10th most prominent mountain in the world. And there are many mineral streams and more than 50 large glaciers. The total area is 140 square kilometers (53 square miles).
Climate and Natural Landscape
Mount Elbrus is located between the Caspian and Black Seas and has a temperate maritime climate. Due to climate and geography, Elbrus is prone to avalanches and thunderstorms, so the best climbing season is usually from June to August. The top of Mount Elbrus is covered with snow and ice all year round.
The snow line on the north slope is 3200 meters above sea level, and the snow line on the south slope is at 3500 meters. More than 50 large glaciers flow down naturally. The melting water at the end of the glaciers feeds hundreds of streams around the mountain. The famous Kuban River and Terek River in the Caucasus region originate from these glaciers and flow into the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, respectively. The vertical changes in the natural landscape where Elbrus is located are very obvious:
- Below 1200 meters is broad-leaved forest;
- 1200m to 2200m is coniferous forest;
- 2200m to 3000m are sub-alpine and alpine meadows;
- 2600m to 3500m is alpine tundra;
- Above 3500 meters is the alpine ice and snow belt.
Mount Elbrus has a variety of natural advantages. The beautiful scenery is a natural wealth bestowed by God, which bought great mountaineering and tourism value. Russian officials and private people have started planning and operating the region since the 1960s and have developed this area into a well-equipped mountaineering activity base, sightseeing center, and ski sports center, attracting tourists from all over the world.