The unpaved road to Terskol Ice base, built in 1938

Terskol Ice base is a ruined military complex at an elevation of 3.675m (12,057ft) above the sea level, located in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay–Cherkessia of Russia, near the border with Georgia. It’s one of the highest roads of Europe. The route passes along a very steep road built in 1938. The average gradient is 12,68%. This road has humbled many egos.

Terskol Ice base

The dirt road to the summit, located within the western Caucasus mountain range, is totally unpaved and impassable from September to July. Along the way are several tributes to Russian World War II casualties on the Battle of the Caucasus and abandoned houses and huts. 

The drive is very scenic with beautiful waterfalls on the way. 4x4 vehicle required. The road to the summit is very steep. It’s not for the sissies and shouldn’t be attempted by novice drivers. Starting from Terskol (at 2.166m above the sea level), the ascent is 11.9 km long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 1.509 meters, and the average gradient is 12,68%, with some sections up to 18%.
Pic: Alexandr Demidov