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Elbrus: "Shelter 11" Station
April 25, 2017 16:49


One can reach the “Shelter 11” station (“The Shelter of Eleven”, 4100 m on the South-eastern slope of the Elbrus Mountain) only by foot or by a snow groomer. There are no cableways here anymore. It is one of the last stops for the conquerors of the Elbrus Mountain, a landmark with a large and interesting history.

The height was called “Shelter Eleven” in 1909 when the expedition of the Chairman of the Caucasus Mountain Society Rudolf Leitsinger  stopped here for a night — there were eleven of them (Leitsinger, “ the grandfather of the Russian mountaineering”, paved the trail from the Glade of Azau to the Eastern and Western peaks of the Elbrus Mountain).

A wooden “Shelter 11” Hotel, the highest one in Russia, was built at this place in 1932. A solid three-story building resembling an airship was built here by the project of N.M. Popov in six years: a stone foundation and the first floor with a kitchen, a storehouse and a bath, another two insulated wooden floors for mountaineers, scientists, instructors and lifeguards. The hotel had a “pinwheel” - secure Kremlin telephone connection.

A meteorological station was built nearby. In 1942 the “Shelter” was conquered by the special squad of Germans: the battles for the control over Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe, were fierce. The building, however, survived, and after the war enthusiasts created a museum on its third floor.

The “Shelter” had stood here for 60 years, and by the end of this period it was virtually abandoned:  people were not so interested in Elbrus in 1990s. However, the hotel had been used by mountain climbers until 1998 when wooden floors burned to the ground. The old “Shelter” was never restored. Nevertheless, the legendary place today enjoys great popularity due to more frequent ascensions.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina


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