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Summary

It has it all, 30 meter sport routes, pumpy boulders and a wide variety of highballs.

Description

It is located 40 minutes from the republic’s capital of Nalchik and is on most days easily driven to in most any type of vehicle. The rock type is Tuff which allows for a great variety of holds but tends to be on the soft side. There are cracks, crimps, sloppers, bulges, wacos, pockets both passive and positive big and small, pinches, off-widths and the list goes on and on. The area is still being developed and has endless potential. Parts of the crag are climbable most days all of the year due to it's unique placement in a small valley and the south facing face of the main cliff. In summer you'll find routes that are shaded and cool. In spring and fall you'll find routes that are overhung (keeps you dry) as well as in direct sun to keep you warm. In winter if the sun is shining the south facing wall will warm up to a perfect 65* of quiet calm. All sport routes are well protected and most have stainless steel bolts and belay stations. Trad climbing is limitless with the only barrier being your ability to push your limits and the occasional loose boulder the size of a VW Beatle. Marked routes are clean and safe but climb cautiously at other unmarked locations.

Access issues

The Crag is easily driven to on most days by car although in winter and spring the road can become impassable by car requiring a four wheel drive. It's located 5 kilometers past the village of Lechenky on a well traveled dead end gravel road. The gravel road is 8 kilometers long and you'll know when you get to the crag because you'll narrow into a small valley with the wall 40 meters to your right. In Russia there are very few places in the woods, hills or mountains that are off limits due to private property and those that there are tend to be well marked.

Approach

Drive up, park and walk the 40 meters or so to the wall. The hardest things about the approach (in the summer) is the growth of the very healthy stinging nettle which locals say is good for you. The plant life grows to Jurassic park proportions.

Where to stay

Nalchik (the republic’s capital) has many modestly priced hotels and sanatoriums (the Russian equivalent of a hotel/hostel) but camping at the crag on climbing days is preferred. There are 3 camping sites each of which allows for different groups sizes. Closest to the crag will host 3-4 tents. Just down from the crag (perhaps 500 meters) is our second campsite which can host 5-6 tents and still further down the road (approximately 2 kilometers) is our third campsite which can hold 20 – 30 tents.

Ethic

The biggest thing we can ask is that you keep the trash picked up and use common sense when finding a place to use the bathroom. Bolting is best left to those who have the experience and equipment but help in the process is always appreciated. Chalk when needed but use sparingly if possible.

History

View historical timeline

This area was first bolted by an unknown Russian whom I believe lives in the Krasnodar area. He made some homemade hangers in his shop, bought some anchors from the local market and started drilling. He set 2 routes and one traverse. Many of the hangers are still hanging on but plans to remove them are in process. 4 years ago another groups of climbers found the area and began developing it. There are now 26 routes and counting with endless potential. Every time we look up we see another great route. We are now also in the process of building a 200 meter zip-line that will span the valley giving each person a thrilling ride 60 meters off the valley floor.

Routes

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Grade Route

A comfortable yet challenging climb that requires the uses of stemming to get you off the ground. Great route for the young climber that may have a little fear of heights since you don't feel much exposure while inside the corner. It’s also a great first lead route for the developing climber. Protection is safe and well placed with the exception of a few older bolts that are on the list to be replaced.

FA: unknow Russian climber, 2008

A short and shallow crack just a little smaller then a fist jam and a little larger than fingers. It's pumpy and roles out on the edges. A great place to learn the art while be very well protected. You'll see this one just to the right of the Dihedral.

FA: Hajismel, 2012

An fun but relatively easy route for the whole family. The start is the hardest part of the climb and requires you to use a small crack system and some stemming to get up to the next hold. From that point it's just big holds and pulling yourself up to the chains.

Set by jetson, 2011

FA: jetson, 2011

This route is just to the left of the Fridge but only has top rope access. It's a nice route but is seldom climbed since there are other more popular routes near by. This route uses many different types of climbing technique and keeps the climber tucked away inside a smooth seam of rocks which cuts down on most beginners fear of heights.

Set by Mark Scott & Jetson, 2012

FA: Mark Scott, 2012

A great route with many different types of climbing all rolled into one route. You start off on a slab with good cracks and pockets then go into a stemming section that has just enough incline to make you feel the pull. Next you pull a little slopper section and then back into a stem. During it all you feel very little exposure since you're in a small seam much of the time. It's well protected but has a little reach to the first bolt. This route can be set from the top but it's best done from lead as the route to the top is hard to find and tricky to get into.

FA: Mark Scott, 2014

Fun route for all who enjoy the feeling of being squeezed into a jello mold. It has tons of good holds a keeps you inside a rock seam much of the time so exposure is at a minimum. The constrictive shape of the rocks makes for some interesting climbing and requires you to be moldable. It’s fun for the whole family. This route is not yet bolted for lead and must be set up from the top. I usually lead The Fridge and then set up the 10 Commandments. They are only about 10 meters apart with this one being just to the right of The Fridge.

FA: jetson, 2013

This route is a great, yet short off width which also has many face holds although they are small. It's located in a great spot that has full light but gentle heat from the sun and you feel like you're in Jurassic Park. We are still projecting this route but it is sure to be a classic when it's ready to go.

Set by jetson, 2015

FA: Adam K, 2015

A short climb that is half crack and half small face pockets. The crack is easily climbed without the use to the face but if your not a crack climber then the pockets will help make this climb a success. It's located in a great spot for summer climbing since it's well shaded and tucked away between many different large rocks that help to keep it cool.

Set by Akmed, 2015

FA: Zalina, 2015

Fun route full of wacos to choose from. You can make the route much harder by only using the passive wacos but most opt for the ever present waco jug that can be found everywhere. This route is located just to the left of one of the best lookout points in the valley, place we call, "The Apartment".

Set by jetson, 2015

FA: Adam, 2015

Activity

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