Mount Beshtau: five legendary peaks that everyone can conquer
Mount Beshtau is the highest mountain in Pyatigorye. Its name, translated from the Turkic, sounds like this: Five (Besh) mountains (tau). It consists of a main peak, 1400 m high, and four main spurs with peaks.
The first mentions of the mountain are found in the notes of Greek and Arab travelers of the XIV century. At the end of the 18th century, the Caucasus was annexed to the territory of Russia, from this period scientific research of Mount Beshtau began.
Beshtau is very popular among tourists not only because of the variety of natural landscapes and views, but also due to the accessibility of climbing. Several trails of different difficulty levels will allow travelers with different levels of physical fitness to reach the summit.
Where is located on the map of Russia
Mount Beshtau is located on the territory of the Stavropol Territory and is the central mountain of the Caucasian Mineral Waters. Popular resort towns are located nearby. Distance from Lermontov 9 kilometers, from Pyatigorsk 14 km, from the center of Zheleznovodsk 26 km.
From the top of the mountain, in good weather, you can admire the gorgeous views of the Caucasus Range and even see Elbrus.
Mount Beshtau was formed in the north of the Caucasus Mountains due to the eruption of magma millions of years ago. At the same time, the release of magma to the outside was recorded here. The diameter of the foot of the mountain is about 8 km.
- Big Tau 1401 m
- Small Tau 1254 m
- Two brothers (Fox nose) 1124 m
- Goat rocks 1167 m
- Shaggy 1080 m
The mention of Pyatigorye and its main mountain Beshtau is found in the historical records of Russia since the 17th century. The first research began in the 18th century. In September 1793, the first ascent of Beshtau was made by the German scientist Peter Simon Pallas, who was in the Russian service at that time. He preserved the impressions and discoveries of this campaign in the book “A Journey to Different Provinces of the Russian Empire”, published in German and English.
Fyodor Petrovich Haaz (Friedrich Josef Haaz), a Russian doctor of German origin, climbed Beshtau twice and left for his followers a detailed description of the ascent to the mountain. He noted: “Since it is really easy to climb, which is not usually believed, I hope these notes will spark interest in such an expedition. People who have never climbed high mountains will be grateful to me Well, how can we not recall Lermontov, who in his works mentions Beshtau more than once, calling the mountain briefly Beshtau.
The mountain also has an industrial part of its history.
In the 19th century, quarries appeared here, where stone was mined not only for the construction of nearby cities, but also for many large objects of national importance. In 1944, uranium reserves were discovered in the bowels of the mountain, and its active mining began in 1949. During this time, many mines and mines were built to supply the Soviet Union with radioactive fuel.
Despite the fact that in 1961 Beshtau was declared a natural monument, the mine was officially closed only in 1975. And work on cleaning and conservation of the mining site continued until 1985. They say that the work of the deposit was supervised by the secret administration of the NKVD and Beria personally. The secrecy label still does not allow us to find out the entire history of developments at Beshtau.
In 1927, a 14-kilometer ring road was built around the mountain. It connected all five peaks of Beshtau with each other. Mostly this is a primer, but to complete a full circle you need an SUV, or a bicycle is perfect for these purposes. How to climb Beshtau
There are many trails leading to the top of Beshtau, but there are three most popular routes.
The most accessible route starts at the outskirts of the city of Lermontov. Its length is 2.5 kilometers, there are no steep climbs, and the height difference is about 600 meters.
Perhaps the most popular, but not the easiest route, starts from the side of Zheleznovodsk. The ascent, 3.7 kilometers long, passes through the forest between the peaks of Bolshaya and Malaya Tau. As with any route, you will find mesmerizing views of the neighboring cliffs and surrounding towns. The difference in height along this path is 750 meters.
The third route from the side of Pyatigorsk is suitable for those who come by car. On an asphalt road you can reach the Vtora-Athos Monastery, where a 2.5 km ascent begins from the Devil’s Finger rock with a climb of 600 meters. Many well-trodden paths lead to the top of Mount Two Brothers (Fox Nose), then, following east, you will reach the highest point of Beshtau.
- The peaks of Mount Beshtau are located in such a way that all five can be seen only from above.
- Since 1981, mass ascents dedicated to the Day of the Soviet Army have been held to the top of Mount Beshtau. It has become an annual tradition.
- In the upper part of the coat of arms of Pyatigorsk, adopted in 1996, there is a white silhouette of Mount Beshtau, which gave the name to the city.
- The well-known Moscow ufologist Sergei Alexandrenko writes that he has repeatedly observed unidentified flying objects in the area of Mount Beshtau.
- On the southwestern slope of the mountain is the Monastic Lake, dug by the monks of the Second Athos Monastery. In the 1990s, one of the residents here planted pink water lilies. Surprisingly, they have taken root, despite the cold climate in winter. In the summer you can see their enchanting bloom.
- On the eastern side of the mountain is the so-called Temple of the Sun a stone structure in the form of a pyramid. Scientists still disagree on whether this design is of natural origin or made by man.
Climate on Mount Beshtau
In winter, the weather on the northern slopes of Beshtau is rather severe. The snow that fell at this time does not melt in some shaded areas until March. High humidity and wind are not conducive to comfortable walks along the hiking trails. The average temperature in January was minus 4 degrees, and the absolute minimum was 33 degrees below zero.
Spring on Pyatigorye comes quickly enough. Already in mid-March, the average daily temperature becomes positive. In the afternoon in April, up to 13 degrees Celsius, there are not many rainy days. In May, temperatures range from 11 to 27 degrees, the sun warms the slopes of Beshtau, and it appears in all its glory.
Summer in the vicinity of Beshtau is warm, the temperature can rise to 35 degrees during the day, but at night it becomes cooler, up to 14-18 degrees. Different slopes have their own characteristics, so on the South and West sides it is always drier and warmer than in the North and East. The average monthly temperature in July is 21 degrees Celsius. Fogs are not uncommon in the Zheleznovodsk area, while in Pyatigorsk and Lermontov it is dry and hot.
Autumn on Beshtau is quite pleasant, although noticeable cold snaps occur at night. Comfortable conditions for recreation and walking here remain until November. In the last month of autumn, it often rains on Pyatigorye and a cold wind blows.
Beshtau mountain nature
The Beshtaugorsky forest stretches over most of the mountain more than 60 tree species, including the valuable hornbeam. Barberry and raspberry feel great. At an altitude of about 1100 meters, the deciduous forest is replaced by crooked forests, and a little higher there are subalpine meadows, where rhododendrons and crocuses bloom. There are many endemics among more than 2500 plant species. The slopes of the mountain look especially bright at the end of May, when bract poppy blooms here also an exclusively local plant.
Beshtaugorsk mineral water enriched with radon is known all over the world. It is dangerous to consume it in large quantities, but it is used in therapeutic and therapeutic doses in the sanatoriums of Pyatigorsk, where it gets through a special radon pipeline. An analogue of this water is only in Germany in the city of Baden-Baden. On the southwestern slope, there is the Beshtaugorskoye field with low carbonate sulphate-hydrocarbonate calcium-sodium waters and hot carbonate hydrocarbonate-sulphate waters with an increased content of silicon and hydrogen sulfide, the temperature of which can reach 75 degrees. The second large deposit is called Inozemtsevsky, where carbonic sulphate-hydrocarbonate sodium waters flow.
What animals live
On Beshtau you can find ferrets, wolves, foxes, weasels, weasels, European hares, ferrets, jerboas, badgers and hedgehogs. There are not many snakes here, but you should still be careful while walking. Occasionally on Beshtau you can meet deer, which local residents sometimes confuse with roe deer, which are more common in this area.
Black swifts and eagles, falcons and griffon vultures, stone partridges live on mountain cliffs, and ducks, pheasants and waders live near the Dzhemukha River. There are many predators, hawks and kites here. Walking through the forest, you can hear the woodpecker knocking and the chirping tits; in the summer, swallows, starlings and hoopoes come here.
More than 25 species of endangered animals live on the territory of the Beshtaugorsky reserve. Among them are the snake-eagle, the griffon vulture and the golden eagle, the Caucasian otter and the Caucasian forest cat.