Part 1. The Protected Area of the Western Caucasus

From Krasnaya Polyana to the Sancharo Valley, July 6-14
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9 days
One night in a hotel, 6-7 nights in tents, 1-2 nights in a mountaineering camp.
57 km (35 miles) trekking
6-7 walking/hiking/trekking days, of which one day walking/hiking/trekking with a backpack.
price 1,500 USD
Guide and assistant, transportation, accommodation, meals (B, L, D), equipment, all entrance fees and border zone permits

July 6th
July 6th
Project Launch Party
We meet at the Sochi International Airport and go straight to the mountains.
We will spend the rest of the day visiting a Russian bathhouse, getting to know each other, and talking about the upcoming route.
We'll throw a small party in honor of the project launch.
We'll spend the night at the Velia hotel or something similar.
July 7th
July 7th
To the Kardyvach Lake
14 km (9 miles), 600-meters (1,968 ft.) climb, walking/hiking/trekking, horses will carry our backpacks
First, we'll use off-road vehicles to get to the mountains. We'll be driving through the ancient protected forest and then having replenished our forces up by Narzan (naturally carbonated mineral water) coming from a mountains spring, walk/hike/trek accompanied by horses which will carry our gear. By the end of the day, we will get to the amazing Kardyvach Lake in the surface of which steep snow-covered rocky peaks are reflected.
We'll spend the night in tents.
July 8th
July 8th
Through the Pass to the Inpsi Lake
7 km (4 miles), 900-meters (2,953 ft.) climb, 800-meters (2,625 ft.) descent
trekking, horses will carry our backpacks, and then we'll carry them ourselves

Soon after the beginning of the ascent to the pass, we will have to let the horses go and carry our gear ourselves to make it through the Tsyndyshkho Pass (2,750 m (9,022 ft.)).
As we'll be climbing the pass, nature will be getting tougher and tougher. There are only rocks and snow on the pass. There is this majestic silence. The difficulties of climbing will be paid off by stunning views. At the end of this hard day, we will go down to the Inpsi Lake and set up tents on its shores. There are a forest and alpine meadows there. There is this absolutely wild untouched nature around.
We'll spend the night in tents.
July 9th
July 9th
Through the Pass to the Damkhurts Valley
10 km (6 miles), 600-meters (1,968 ft.) climb, 900-meters (2,953 ft.) descent
trekking, horses will carry our backpacks

Today is the final day of the trip to the Caucasian State Nature Biosphere Reserve. We'll get up early to walk/hike/trek until the evening. We will have to make our way through the Kvata Pass (2,500 meters (8,202 ft.)), which is relatively easy to pass, and descend to the Damkhurts Valley. We'll eat delicious dinner, and enjoy a makeshift bathhouse.
We'll spend the night in tents.
July 10th
July 10th
Up the Damkhurts Valley
7 km (4 miles), 700-meters (2,296 ft.) climb.
trekking, horses will carry our backpacks

On this day, we will walk/hike/trek to the upper reaches of the Damkhurts Valley where we will hike to the picturesque lakes on the watershed of Damkhurts and Makera.
We'll spend the night in tents.
July 11th
July 11th
To the Makera Valley
6 km (4 miles), 500-meters (1,640 ft.) climb, 900-meters (2,953 ft.) descent
trekking, horses will carry our backpacks

We'll start early because there are big plans for this day. We will be walking/hiking/trekking to the wild Makera Valley carrying our gear. We will set up tents and make a one-time visit to the pearl of the valley - the big blue Makera Lake.
We'll spend the night in tents.
July 12th
July 12th
Makera - Sancharo
13 km (8 miles), 900-meters (2,953 ft.) climb, 900-meters (2,953 ft.) descent
trekking, horses will carry our backpacks

More lakes, crystal creeks, flower meadows, waterfalls...
We will make our way through the two nearby passes - the Pologiy and Studencheskiy (2,500 m (8,202 ft.)). By the end of the day, we will make it to the Kislyye Istochniki (mineral springs), which have healing power, in the Sancharo Valley.
We'll spend the night at the Kislyye camp.
July 13th
July 13th
Reserve Day
Our trip schedule is perfect. However, various circumstances, such as the weather or the condition of the pass slopes usually require some changes. That's why there is a reserve day so that we could get out in time to get to the Kislyye springs.
We'll spend the night in the Kislyye camp.
July 14th
July 14th
The Kislyye Istochniki
Distance 286 km (178 miles), 5 hours in an off-road vehicle
Leaving for the Mineralnye Vody Airport.
Regular participants of the expedition will stay.
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TREKKING
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Mikhail Golubev
Mikhail Golubev, the leader of the Trekking the Caucasus project, guide
co-founder of Caucasus Explorer and Trekking the Caucasus project
Dmitry Lemeshev
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