For many tourists coming to Georgia the primary activities consist of a cultural tour of Tbilisi, centered around the Old City and Rustaveli Avenue, and then a trip to the Black Sea.
Fewer are interested in the magnificent peaks of the Greater Georgian Mountains, which is a shame, considering that the peaks of Georgia and Russia are significantly higher than the peaks of any other mountain range in Europe. The highest mountains of the Alps are about 4,500 meters, while the Greater Caucasus has six peaks above 5,000 meters, two of which are in Georgia. (The other four are on the northern side of the border in Russia, including the tallest peak in Europe, Mount Elbrus at 5,642 meters.)
Kazbek is located on the Khokh Range, a mountain range which runs north of the Greater Caucasus Range, and which is pierced by the gorges of the Ardon and the Terek. The mountain itself lies along the edge of the Borjomi-Kazbegi Fault (which is a northern sub-ending of the Anatolian Fault). The region is highly active tectonically, with numerous small earthquakes occurring at regular intervals. An active geothermal/hot spring system also surrounds the mountain. Kazbek is a potentially active volcano, built up of trachyte and sheathed with lava, and has the shape of a double cone, whose base lies at an altitude of 1,770 meters (5,800 feet). Kazbek is the highest of the volcanic cones of the Kazbegi volcanic group which also includes Mount Khabarjina (3142 metres).
Shkhara (Georgian: შხარა), is the highest point in the nation of Georgia. Located in the Svaneti region along the Russian frontier, Shkhara lies 88 kilometres (55 mi) north of the city of Kutaisi, Georgia’s second largest city. 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.
Shkhara is the high point and the eastern anchor of a massif known as the Bezingi (or Bezengi) Wall, a 12 kilometres (7 mi) long 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 subsummit Shkhara West, 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.”
Dombai-Ulgen or Dombay-Ulgen (Georgian: დომბაი-ულგენი) is a 4,046 m (13,274 ft) high mountain of the Greater Caucasus and the highest point of Abkhazia, a state with limited international recognition otherwise seen to be part of Georgia. It is located on the border withKarachay–Cherkessia, an autonomous republic of Russia. The mountain is composed of gneiss, crystalline schist, and granite. The top is covered by snow and glaciers at all times of the year.
Tetnuldi (Georgian: თეთნულდი) is a prominent peak in the central part of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range, located in the Svaneti region of Georgia. According to most sources, Tetnuldi is the 10th highest peak of the Caucasus. The slopes of the mountain are glaciated generally above the 3,000 metre (9,840 ft) line. The most prominent glacier of the mountain is called Adishi.
It was first climbed by Douglas Freshfield in 1896. The first ascent of the north face was completed by Michael S. Taylor and John R. Jenkins.
Didi Abuli (Georgian: დიდი აბული) is one of the highest peak of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the nation of Georgia. The mountain is located in the Abul-Samsari Range at an elevation of 3,300 m (10,830 ft) above sea level.
Dzhangi-Tau or Jangi-Tau is a summit in the central part of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. It lies on the border of Svaneti (Georgia) and Kabardino-Balkaria (Russia). The elevation of the mountain is 5,051 m (16,572 ft) above sea level. The slopes of the mountain are heavily glaciated. They are most famous for the dormant volcanoes that are hidden under the ice caps
Ailama or Ahlama (Georgian: აილამა, აჰლამა) is a peak in the central part of the Svaneti section of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range, located in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region of Georgia, at the source of the river Koruldashi. The lower slopes are covered with alpine and sub alpine meadows, while the upper slopes have glacial landscapes. There is a mountaineering camp named “Ailama” at the base of the mountain’s southern slope.
Mount Leyli, also Leili (Georgian: ლეილი) is a 3,157 m (10,358 ft) tall mountain between the Georgian provinces of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli. Leyli is second highest peak of the Javakheti Range in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains.
The slopes of Mount Agepsta, up to an elevation of 1,700–1,800 m (5,577–5,906 ft), are forested in Nordmann Fir (Abies nordmanniana) and Oriental Beech (Fagus orientalis) forests. They are in the Caucasus mixed forestsecoregion of the Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Biome.