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Climbing the Achishkho: peak humidity pole – 2 days / 1 night

Mountain Achishkho range is situated on the Main Watershed ridge, 10 km North-West of Krasnaya Polyana and shares a Chvezhipse and Achipse river, which is a major right tributary of the Mzymta river. The Achishkho range is known for its unique microclimate. For a long time on the Western shoulder the weather station “Achishkho” was based. Here is the wettest place in Russia, annual precipitation is up to 3000 mm, and the thickness of the snow cover reaches 10 m. the Number of Sunny days does not exceed 60-70 days a year.
The ascent to the highest point of the array – the top of Achishkho Main (2391,4 m), is one of the most popular routes in Krasnaya Polyana. The best time to visit peaks of the Achishkho is summer and first half of autumn, when the Alpine zone gets rid of the snow. The route takes two days and involves an overnight stay in tents. Hiking some of the trails in the version “Light and “Super-light” presents no technical difficulties and is available to almost everyone – no difficult areas, fords and other obstacles. The classical route involves the ascent of over 1000 meters and will require strength and stamina. For a successful travel you need comfortable trekking shoes and travel clothing.

The main peaks of the massif are: Achishkho main (2391,4 m), Achishkho I Eastern (2321,4 m), Achishkho II Eastern (2363,2 m), Achishkho Western (2317,7 m); Loshadinaya Golova (2159,0 m). The slopes of the Achishkho covered with deciduous, mainly beech forests and fir in the North. On the peaks there are mountain meadows. Ancient landforms are typical for landscapes of Achishkho range.

The most popular version of the translation of the name of the Achishkho with Circassian is achi – “goat” and shkho “big”, which means “big goat” or “cluster of goats”. But other researchers believe that the name of the Achishkho is of Abkhaz origin, and is derived from the achi -“horse” and ashkha – “mountain”. This interpretation echoes the name of one of the peaks of the Achishkho, the local settlers, – “Loshadinaya Golova” (Head of the horse).

We strive to make your stay in the mountains for maximum privacy, the organization of the camp to avoid the accumulation of tourists. We do not sleep in tent camps with public sleeping bags. We only use our own sleeping bags with hygienic liners and tents, which after each use to clean and are subject to special treatment.

Description of the route to the top of Achishkho

The first day

Depending on the chosen route option (“Classic”, “light”, “Super-light”) the program begins with early local transfer from the place of collection to the beginning of the route from Krasnaya Polyana or tranfer by the SUVs from the place of collection to the halls of the Sochi national Park on the lakes Khmelevskogo. Moving on a mountain road (approximately 9 km) takes about an hour.

The pedestrian part of the classic route starts from walnut gardens, located at the top of Krasnaya Polyana at an altitude of about 800 meters above sea level. You will pass through the dolmens (science tend to think of these structures are ancient burial and cult buildings related to the category of megaliths) and begin the ascent along the valley of the river Beshenka. Along the way you can swim in the plunge pool of a mountain river. Although it is better to do it on the way back. The trail goes up along the shelter of the Achishkho, Sosnovaya rock, Kruglaya glade through beech forest for about 5 km. After about 3 hours of constant ascent you will come to the Achishkho range to Zerkalnoye lake, located at an altitude of 1855 meters above sea level. The ascent from the beginning of the route to Krasnaya Polyana to lake Zarkalnoye is about 1000 meters.

If you’ve chosen the “light” or “Super-light”, part of the walking route starts from Khmelevskoyo lakes, located at an altitude of 1750 meters above sea level on the territory of Sochi national Park. A well-developed trail is from here to the Alpine cirques of the massif Achishkho.

The trail starts at the Eco-center of Sochi national Park and bypasses the lake Bolshoe Khmelevskoye from the right, simultaneously coming to the viewpoint – the so-called horizons Khmelevsky, where in good weather a beautiful view opens on the mountains: Fisht, Pshekha-su, Oshten, Chugush, Assar, Pseashkha, Agepsta and Aibga. From here in 30 minutes easy trekking with a gradual ascent through the beech forest and subalpine meadow, we approach the lake Tumannoye.

Then the trail takes us to the extensive subalpine meadows, on which lies a lake, Zerkalnoye, the most beautiful of all the lakes of the array Achishkho. Khmelevskogo lake is 2.5 km away from the lake Zerkalnoye. In the area of the lake Zerkalnoye, you can make a radial walk to the observation deck which offers a spectacular view of the surroundings of Krasnaya Polyana, in no way inferior to outlook of Khmelevskogo.

Lake Zerkalnoye, in contrast to Khmelevskogo lake, is almost overgrown, and in good weather there, as a mirror reflects the masses of the mount Chugush. The area of water surface is small – only 1135 sq. m., maximum depth is also small – about 3 m. the Lake lies in a hollow and has an oval shape. In its origin the lake Zerkalnoye refers to the type of tectonic. It does not fall into none of the stream and no stream flows out of it. For almost 9 months of the year the lake is covered by snow and ice.

The trail circumvents the lakeZerkalnoye to the right and enters “krivolesje”. After 900 m. it crosses a small pass Ostry and descends into the valley of the river Achipse. Crossing the river on the rocks, we are near the suitable sites for the camp, located at an altitude of about 1750 m above sea level. Here we camp and having dinner. From the fields, where we’ll camp, beautiful views open on the middle falls “Bratya”, formed by the falling waters of the river Achipse and its streams. This and other waterfalls on the river Achipse were formed by water falling from the beams (ledges) of ancient ice cars, which in the upper reaches of Achipse, there are four, not counting the smaller ones.

The distance of the path from Khmelevskogo lakes to Achipse’s waterfalls is about 6 km away (a walk of 2-3 hours), and from nut orchards in Krasnaya Polyana is about 9 km (walking an average of 5-6 hours depending on the physical preparedness of participants). In the remainder of the evening, from the camp we can take a short trip to Estosadok waterfalls located at the source of. r. Achipse in the first circus of Achishkho massif, at an altitude of about 2000 meters above sea level. The upper level consists of two streams formed the origins of Achipse (because of these two flows a waterfall is called “Bratya” (Brothers)), and with a roar from the rocks breaking down. Few tens of meters the two flows merge into one powerful waterfall, which is the lower stage of the cascade. The total height of the waterfalls is about 70 meters.

From the waterfalls we return to the camp for night.

Routes “Light” and “Super-Light”:
The length of the road part of the route – 9 km, the ascent is 1000 m.
The Length of the walking part of the way – 6 km, the ascent is 300 m.

Classical:
The length of the road part of the route – 9 км, the ascent is 1100 m.

The second day

Wake up and Breakfast. Climbing on the developed trail in the upper Eastern circus of Achishkho. . Along the way there are anaciguars  – ancient stone buildings, whose origin is controversial to the present day.

From the top circus we are making the climb to the top of Achishkho Glavn (2391,4 m) on the North-Western ridge.

Our options:

«All-inclusive»
For those who do not have their equipment, who do not want to carry extra weight, or spending time on packing. We will everything ourselves, including packing your backpack. All you need is a plane ticket or a train one, and clothing for trekking/camping. Although boots and chaps can be rented.

The price does include:
– professional tour guide
– food, gas, burner, utensils for cooking for a group
– a backpack
– a place in the tent, sleeping bag with liner, pad, trekking poles, a set of marching ware,
– headlamp flashlight.

The price does not include:
– pass to the reserve is 300 rubles/person/day
– pass to the national Park 150 rubles/person

«With you own»
For those who have all the necessary for trekking/camping. If something is missing, then missing gear can be taken on special terms for clients of “Yeti Guide Bureau” to hire. However, catering would be on our backs to sort.

The price does include:
– professional tour guide
– food, gas, burner, utensils for cooking for a group
– local/off-road transfer, depending on route selection

The price does not include:
– pass to the reserve is 300 rubles/person/day
– pass to the national Park 150 rubles/person

Routes

Classic
Fully walking route with local transfer to the beginning of the route in Krasnaya Polyana.

Light
Getting to Khmelevskogo lakes by SUVs to the beginning of the mountain trail, the return to Krasnaya Polyana by walking.

Super-light
Getting to Khmelevskogo lakes and return to Krasnaya Polyana by SUVs.

Cost

The costs below are shown for a group of 5 people or more depending on option and route chosen:

All inclusive:
– Classic: 7000 rubles/person
– Light: 8500 rubles/person
– Super-Light: 9500 rubles/person

With you own:
– Classic: 5000 rubles/person
– Light: 6500 rubles/person
– Super-Light: 7500 rubles/person

For groups of less than five people the price specifies
by phone +7 (928) 2452-540.

Comment on the cost of the program.

 Level of difficulty: In versions “Light” and “Super-Light” there is an easy route, the passage of which does not require special physical and technical training. Short steep ascents and descents will require care and accuracy for their safe complete. Children over 12 y.o. are allowed. For “Classic” route, physical training, sufficient for the climb with a backpack more than 1000 m. of ascent and overcoming a distance of about 10 km during the day is required
The most favorable season: summer and first half of autumn.
Recommended days: every Saturday

When booking please indicate us if you have food allergies and about certain restrictions in food.

For successful and comfortable trips to these places comfortable trekking shoes and clothing is needed.

Trip from anaciguars of the top circus to reverse descent takes 2-3 hours. During good weather, great views open from the top on the mountain surroundings of Krasnaya Polyana, and in the fall when there is no haze, the Black sea. Returning from the top to the bivouac at the foot of Achipsinskiye waterfalls, lunch, and then camp packing.

Return from Achipsinskiye waterfalls to the EcoCentre on the lake Khmelevskogo in the “Super-light” option lies through the same way through Zerkalnoye lake and Tumannoye. In the “Light” and “Classic” programs, from Zerkalnoye lake, the group comes back towards the pedestrian ascent from Krasnaya Polyana.

Routes “Classical” and “Light”:
The length of the walking part of the way – 14 km, the ascent is 400/1600 m.

Routes “Super-Light”:
The length of the walking part of the way – 11 km, the ascent is 400/700 m.
The length of the vechle part of the route – 9 km, the ascent is 1000/1000 m.
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Comment on the cost of the program:
Please note that the cost of participation in the program for a group of less than 5 people depends on the actual number of participants. While booking a program, the participation fee is paid basing on the team composition at the time of booking. If the number of participants increases to 5 or more by the beginning of the program, the difference in price is returned to you.
Please, call in order to specify the cost of the program for a group of less than 5 people by phone +7 (928) 2452-540, or by e-mail: booking@yeti.guide

Program Booking Terms and Conditions:
– When booking no later than 7 days before the start of the program, 50% of the cost of the program will be charged. Payment
the remaining 50% is made no later than 3 days before the start of the program.

– If you book the program later than 7 days before it starts, 100% of the cost of the program is paid.

Cancellation policy of the program:
– If you cancel your reservation no later than 7 days before the start of the program, 30% of the total cost of the program will be charged.
– If you cancel your reservation no later than 3 days before the start of the program, 50% of the total cost of the program will be charged..
– If you cancel your reservation later than 3 days before the start of the program, 100% of the total cost of the program is held..
– Refund of all previously paid amounts for the program is possible only if you cancel the program due to the closure of access to
the route of the fgbu “Caucasian state natural biosphere reserve named after H. G. Shaposhnikov”

– Weather conditions in case the access to the route or to the program area is opened by the administration of the Caucasian state natural biosphere reserve named after H. G. Shaposhnikov, are not objective reasons for the cancellation, termination, program transfer.


Booking a trekking to the Achishkho, online or by email:

The programs given on the site are the standard product of the Yeti Guide Bureau. You are always welcome to order an individual program of any duration and complexity. For detailed information, please, contact us by phone or email.

Websites www.mountaindreams.ru and www.kgpbz.ru were used for the text writing.