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Mt Shkhara as seen from Khalde (Photo A. Muhranoff, 2011).jpg
Highest point
Elevation5,193 m (17,037 ft)[1]
Prominence1,357 m (4,452 ft)
Isolation6 km (3.7 mi) Edit this on Wikidata
Coordinates43°00′02″N 43°06′44″E / 43.00056°N 43.11222°E / 43.00056; 43.11222Coordinates: 43°00′02″N 43°06′44″E / 43.00056°N 43.11222°E / 43.00056; 43.11222
Shkhara is located in Caucasus mountains
Location of Shkhara within the Caucasus mountains
Shkhara is located in Kabardino-Balkaria
Shkhara (Kabardino-Balkaria)
Shkhara is located in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti
Shkhara (Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti)
LocationSvaneti region, Georgia Shkhara
Parent rangeMain Caucasian Range
Greater Caucasus Mountains
First ascent1888 by U. Almer, J. Cockin and C. Roth[2]
Easiest routeNortheast Ridge: snow/ice climb (Russian grade 4b)[3][2]

Shkhara (Georgian: შხარა) is the highest point in the nation of Georgia[4] It is located near the Russian-Georgian border, in Russia's Kabardino-Balkaria region on the northern side, and the Svaneti region of Georgia in the south. Shkhara lies 88 kilometres (55 mi) north of the city of Kutaisi, Georgia's second-largest city, and closer to the townlet of Mestia in Svaneti. The summit lies in the central part of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range, to the south-east of Mount Elbrus, Europe's highest mountain. Shkhara is the third-highest peak in the Caucasus, just behind Dykh-Tau.[5]


Shkhara is the high point and the eastern anchor of a massif known as the Bezingi (or Bezengi) Wall, a 12-kilometre-long (7.5 mi) ridge. It is a large, steep peak in a heavily glaciated region, and presents serious challenges to mountaineers. Its north face (on the Russian side) is 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) high and contains several classic difficult routes. The significant sub-summit Shkhara West, at 5,068 m (16,627 ft), is a climbing objective in its own right, and a traverse of the entire Bezingi Wall is considered "Europe's longest, most arduous, and most committing expedition".[2]


The peak was first climbed in 1888 via the North East Ridge route, by the British/Swiss team of English climber John Garford Cockin and Swiss guides Ulrich Almer and Christian Roth.[6] This route is still one of the easier and more popular routes on the mountain. The first complete traverse of the Bezingi Wall was in 1931, by the Austrians K. Poppinger, K. Moldan, and S. Schintlmeister.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The elevation and coordinates given here are taken from a DGPS survey by Peter Schoen and Boris Avdeev in association with GeoAT. It was carried out in July 2010 and made available in November 2010. Some sources, including the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, give the estimation of only 5,068 metres (16,627 feet), but this is the correct height of the lower western summit. Soviet era 1:50,000 mapping shows a 5,158-metre spot height to the east, and this can be verified using a panoramic photograph taken from Elbrus. The true elevation is on higher ground still further east along the Shkhara ridge.
  2. ^ a b c Audrey Salkeld, ed. (1998). World Mountaineering. Bulfinch Press. p. 70. ISBN 0-8212-2502-2.
  3. ^ Shkhara on Summitpost
  4. ^ "Shkhara -". Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  5. ^ Shkhara. Weather Forecast, Georgia
  6. ^ J. G. Cockin, « Shkara, Janga, and Ushba », The Alpine Journal, vol. XVI, n° 122, novembre 1893, pp. 477-494 - reproduced in Douglas W. Freshfield, The exploration of Caucasus, E. Arnold, 1896, Volume II, pp. 38-58