The famous mountain range of the Caucasus Cheget, located 5 km from the highest point of our country – Elbrus, annually attracts many tourists – those who love rock climbing, mountaineering and, above all, skiing. The highest mountains of Cheget are Donguz-Orunbashi (more than 3750 m high) and Azaucheget-Karibashi (more than 3400 m). For Russia climate and geography, please check TopPharmacySchools.
Cheget is the most famous Caucasian ski resort. Back in Soviet times, it was one of the most frequently visited. Cheget is very large and, oddly enough, almost wild: given its size, it is a ski resort with the worst infrastructure. And skiing here is extreme and not suitable for beginners. What is called trails here can only be conquered by an experienced athlete.
Dashing young people go to Cheget, for whom puzzling descents and a wild adrenaline rush are more important than the smiles of the hotel staff and the amenities in the rooms.
Rest on Cheget is not suitable for those who are accustomed to comfort and a high (at least some) level of service. The local population is not too fond of visitors. Dashing young people go to Cheget, for whom puzzling descents and a wild adrenaline rush are more important than the smiles of the hotel staff and the amenities in the rooms. In addition, it is inexpensive to relax here, and the views of the mountains are absolutely amazing. In good weather, two snow-covered peaks of Elbrus are visible from here, and many believe that this makes up for all the inconvenience.
How to get to Cheget
Cheget – a mountainside and a meadow of the same name with hotels, cafes and apres-ski parties – is considered part of the large Elbrus ski region. You can get there in winter without any problems: skiers run bus routes, taxi drivers wait for guests at the nearest train stations and airports, and convenient minibus transfers are organized.
The nearest airports to Cheget are in Nalchik (130 km, less convenient) and Mineralnye Vody (200 km, receives several flights daily from major Russian cities).
Next, skiers are waiting for taxi drivers (2000-3000 RUB), minibuses (from 600 RUB) or “ski” buses (from 300 RUB), running only in winter. From Nalchik, you will have to spend 2-2.5 hours on the way, from Mineralnye Vody – from 3 hours. The prices on the page are for May 2021.
The railway is not laid directly to the Elbrus region, the nearest stations are in the city of Prokhladny, Nalchik, Mineralnye Vody and Pyatigorsk. But for obvious reasons, it is better to buy tickets up to the last two points – an order of magnitude fewer trains go to Nalchik and Prokhladny. The fare on a reserved seat from Moscow will be about 3000 RUB one way, for a seat in a compartment or SV car you will have to pay twice as much.
In winter, tourists organize special buses from Moscow and St. Petersburg directly to the elephants of Cheget. Decent option, despite the long journey (1600 km from the capital). Skiers will not have to go with a transfer through the village of Elbrus – firstly. And secondly, the buses are equipped with everything you need, so 17-20 hours on the road will not seem tiring. The fare is from 3000 RUB, includes the transport of skis or boards.
Cheget lifts are something fantastic. In a not very good sense of the word.
Glade Cheget can please skiers with a good choice of hotels. Yes, there are not very many of them, so it is better to book rooms in advance. But on the other hand, in terms of the number of services and the quality of service, they are quite comparable with their “brothers” from the Azau glade. The minimum room rate is 1400 RUB. For this money, almost every hotel offers guests their own sauna or bath, as well as a cafe. Another significant plus of Cheget hotels is their location in relation to the ski lifts. Guests will have to walk no more than 5 minutes to the lower station.
Due to the high avalanche risk of the Chegetskaya Polyana, it is worth checking with the hotel in advance whether their building is considered safe. Alas, they say, not every hotel in the clearing is 100% protected from avalanches.
The tracks of Cheget are probably the most difficult in Russia, and by European standards they are difficult. Firstly, the height difference on them often exceeds a kilometer. Secondly, along the tracks there are a variety of obstacles, quite dangerous. For example, these are stone blockages without snow cover, lack of markings. There are no snow guns on the slopes.
The famous Cheget hillocks (on the second stage) are the best way to check if the skier is really an ace.
The most terrible slope of Cheget is the northern one. Mostly those who perfect the freeride technique gather here. The southern slopes are more gentle. In any case, no matter which slope you choose, do not deviate from the route so as not to get lost. One of the most famous descents is popularly called “Dollar”, and it is not famous in the best way: it is a real test for every leg muscle.
Boarders can recommend the slopes in the south, where they are waiting for wide and steep fields, as well as a descent along the northern route “Dollar”. However, it must be borne in mind that they are under the supervision of the control and rescue service due to their avalanche risk and are often closed.
Only one small section of the slope for beginners is a 350-meter green track equipped with a tow rope on the highest section of Cheget. Below, from the Cheget-3 station, red and black slopes begin, so there is no big reason to learn to ski there.
For one ski season on Cheget, a huge number of injured tourists are recruited. Take safety seriously and don’t ride alone.
Cheget lifts are something fantastic. In a not very good sense of the word. There are two lower lifts at an altitude of 2100 m (in fact, usually one works), and the lift itself (excluding the queue) takes 25 minutes. The highest point, where you can reach, passing the cafe, is at an altitude of 3000 m. Further on the “Cheget-3” you can climb on the top lift, and even further – a hundred-meter yoke. If the ski lifts are closed due to bad weather (wind), which is not uncommon on Cheget, you can go skiing in Azau on Elbrus – the taxi ride takes about 10 minutes.
The chair lift on Cheget was opened in 1963 and became the first in the Union.
Having risen on the lower lift, you will find yourself at the Ai cafe at an altitude of 2700 m. There is a popular observation deck next to it.
There are no reusable ski passes here, there is only a subscription for a day – 1400 RUB and a one-time sightseeing lift for 500 RUB.
Cafes and restaurants
On the slopes of Cheget there is only one cafe where you can eat. The very place where all skiers strive to “check in”, where Yury Vizbor liked to visit and where they serve excellent tea with sea buckthorn is the cult cafe “Ai”. On the Cheget glade, the choice is richer: there are a couple of disco clubs (modest semblance of nightclubs), several nice restaurants and cafes. Everywhere they offer dishes of Caucasian cuisine, in some places and European. It is better to check the availability of Wi-Fi in advance, only every second establishment can boast of free access to the network for its guests. The average check depends on the skier’s appetite: you can have a bite of khychin for 300-350 RUB, and have a hearty dinner for 800-1000 RUB.
Weather in Cheget
The ski season on Cheget lasts from November to May. Dry winds rage at high altitudes, which make it possible to make an exception for the upper lifts, where you can also ski in June. But they also contribute to the formation of snow cornices, which become avalanche-prone at the slightest thaw.