Travel guide to the top of Gara-Bashi station (Mount Elbrus)

Gara-Bashi station is a ski lift at an elevation of 3.883m (12,739ft) above the sea level, located in the highlands of Kabardino-Balkarian Republic of Russia. It's one of the highest roads of Europe.

Gara-Bashi station (Mount Elbrus)

Where is Gara-Bashi station (Mount Elbrus)?

Tucked away in the south-east slope of Mount Elbrus, between the Black and the Caspian seas, only 20 km from the Georgian border, Gara Bashi is the highest ski lift in Europe. Near the lift are the Garabashi (also known as Botchki) huts. The huts are on the way to the ascent of Mount Elbrus, the highest point of Europe in the Caucasus Main Range. The huts look like grain silos laying on their side. They are sparsely furnished and comfortably sleep six climbers each. The track climbs up to the cable car and chairlift system. From the upper ski lift station it is about 50-60m distance to the Barrel Huts, a group of 11 huts. The huts belong to the municipality of Terskol, the last town in the Baksan Valley at the foot of Mt Elbrus. Near the huts is the Observatory Terskol (at 3.092m above the sea level). Some snowmobiles can climb up to 4.486m asl.

Is the road to Gara-Bashi station challenging?

Set high in the western Caucasus mountain range, the road to the summit is totally unpaved and brutally steep, hitting a 33% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. 4x4 vehicles only.

How long is the road to Gara-Bashi station (Mount Elbrus)?

The track is accessible during some summer days only. Starting at Terskol, the road to the ski lift is 10.5 km (6.52 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 1.695 meters. The average gradient is 16.14%.

Conquering Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe

Alexander Abramov, a Russian adventurer, aimed to conquer the summit of Mount Elbrus, Europe's highest peak at 5,642m (17,919ft). Seeking an original approach, he undertook the challenge in a fully equipped Land Rover Defender. Despite facing harsh conditions, including glaciers and challenging terrains, Abramov and his team successfully reached the summit on September 13, 1997, setting a Guinness World Record for taking a vehicle to such heights. The journey, spanning 45 days, involved overcoming snow, ice, and mechanical issues. Although the Land Rover was left at the summit, the team's safe return marked a remarkable achievement in extreme off-road exploration.
Pic: Olegs Boroviks