Kazbek from Kazbegi Approach
Mount Kazbek, 5047m,
It is reached from the small town of Kazbegi, 1700m, mountain paths lead across alpine pastures filled with flowers past the superbly located Gergeti chapel - an outstanding viewpoint. Then on up to the grassy Sabertse Pass, 3150m. Just beyond this is the first campsite, 2950m. Now a moraine is followed to the Gergeti Glacier which leads to the old Meteorological Station and high mountain refuge situated on the southern slopes of Mount Kazbek.
It is best to spend a day for acclimatisation and exploring the area. In good weather it is possible to climb Mount Ortsveri, 4365m. An alternative is to visit Betlejem, a hermit's refuge at over 4000m in a carved cave a short way up a cliff (easy roped climb). The route to the summit of Kazbek leads via the Maili Plateau at 4500m. From the saddle above the plateau, 4900m, it will probably be necessary to put on crampons and rope up on an easy angled (35 to 40 degrees) but often icy slope. In good weather the summit provides spectacular views of the Caucasus chain stretching westwards to Elbrus 200km. away.