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Ecotourism in Sochi: Mount Fisht
January 25, 2020 17:31


Mount Fisht occupies a special place on the map of the Caucasus. This is far from an ordinary rocky peak of the Russian South, but one of the few objects included in the list of Natural Heritage of UNESCO. The peak attracts researchers and tourists from all over the world - there is a unique fixroflora, ideally clean rarefied air and several dozen objects with camp sites and high-altitude shelters.

The height of Mount Fisht is 2867 meters. Together with other peaks - Psheha-Su and Oshten - it creates the Fisht-Oshten Range. The name goes back to the archaic forms of the Adyghe language and literally translates as: "gray head". The ancient inhabitants of these places could not give another name to the peak, which is wrapped all year round with a snow cap and dense swirling steam.

Landscape and weather features

Geologists, studying rock samples, still have not come to a consensus when Mount Fisht appeared. According to recent publications, its age may exceed 250 million years, that is, the peak is much older than the Black Sea. In that era, the land around was washed by the ancient ocean, and what has now turned into a mountain was a tiny island in the midst of the raging seas and giant volcanoes of the emerging planet.

After the Ice Age, the rocks were severely deformed, and labyrinths of gorges and karst caves began to appear. The appearance of the so-called "steps" or terraces, which are very popular in tourist photographs, dates back to the same time. Long protrusions have been formed for thousands of years, and partly thanks to them, modern scientists can give at least an approximate archaeological assessment of the terrain and rock formations.

As for the landscape and flora itself, most of the slopes to the edge of the glaciers are classic alpine meadows, populated by dozens of species of birds and mammals. 25% of the flowers and vascular plants growing here are endemic, which do not grow anywhere else on the planet. Snow caps are a source of fresh water, it is from here that the largest rivers of the Krasnodar Territory and the Republic of Adygea originate, including arteries that flow into and feed the Black Sea.

Weather on Fisht Mountain is unpredictable. The area is considered one of the wettest places in Russia - up to 3000 mm of rain and snow fall here in a year. The maximum air temperature over  1000 meters above sea level never exceeds +10 ° C, even on   summer days. In winter, sudden cold snap to -20 ° C is possible, while the wind does not calm down even for a minute.

Fisht Mountain Routes

To date, several dozen routes have been laid around the summit, divided according to the degree of difficulty in accordance with the Russian classification - from 1B to 5A. This can be traditional hiking with a mandatory overnight stay in a tent, horseback riding under the strict guidance of an instructor, and even full-fledged climbing. The choice depends on the tourist  and the degree of the  preparation.

Most routes have a main transshipment stop, the Fisht Shelter. This is a kind of high-altitude camping, where you can pitch a tent, spend the night and gather your courage to continue climbing or vice versa - return to the foot. The camp is located at an altitude of about 1,500 meters, a river flows here, and   there are picturesque views of the surrounding plateaus.

Any climb to Fisht Mountain means moving around the specially protected territory of the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve, where special rules exist. Outside the shelters it is strictly forbidden to litter and make bonfires, you should also beware of bears and other wild animals, which calmly rise to a height of up to 2000 meters. In addition, it should be remembered that the routes are closed for tourists from October to March inclusive - in the winter, avalanches and landslides regularly go off.

The Red Rocks and the Big Glacier are very popular among extreme sportsmen - these directions are mountaineering and inaccessible to the average tourist. Seasoned mountain climbers regularly compete in speed climbing. It is believed that it is from the glacier that the shortest path to the peaks lies, but it is impossible to overcome it without the appropriate equipment. If you have equipment and move quickly, then the peak will appear in about 30-40 minutes.

Those who do not want to take risks will be offered to stay in the ecological village "Flower Sea", which is located in the Absheron region, 20 km from the foot. It is often used as a starting point for dozens of excursions, covering not only Fisht, but also many other natural attractions of the region. The main advantage is that it is open all year round, unlike high-altitude bases and shelters.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: ecotourism Sochi Krasnodar Territory travel to Russia Russian regions 

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