Jvari Pass (also known as Krestovy Pereval or Cross Pass) is a high mountain pass, at an elevation of 2.379m (7,815ft) above the sea level, located between Tbilisi (Georgia) and Vladikavkaz (Russia) on the Georgian Military Road. The pass is located on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range in Georgia, situated in the Stepantsminda District.
This road is usually open all year, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. Known since antiquity (it was mentioned by Strabo in his Geographica and by Pliny), the Georgian Military Road in its present form was begun by the Russian military in 1799. Avalanches and heavy snowfalls can sometimes block some sections of the road and can be extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. Conditions can change quickly and be harsh. An obelisk marks the altitude but the pass gets its name from a cross of red stone 500 meters to the right installed by General Alexei Yermolov in 1824 to replace one originally placed there by King David the Builder. The views are magnificent, and the air is of a purity that will make city dwellers weep. This part of the road is notorious for avalanches, but galleries have been built for winter traffic and the pass stays open for all but a few days most years.
The surface of the road is asphalt. Along the road a broad orange waterfall originates in mineral spring (with iron in the water) on the mountainside. It is very important to check rainfall in this area before setting off and make sure you are well prepared for the trip.
Pic: Beqa Odzelashvili