Russia is a vast country with some extremely impressive mountainous areas right across the nation. The two most prominent and well known regions are the Caucasus and the Urals and there are some incredible natural phenomena in both.
The tallest mountain in Russia is Mount Elbrus and if fact, this is the tallest mountain in the whole of Europe, standing some 5,642 metres (18,510 feet) on its taller, west summit. Elbrus is in the Caucasus and while some dispute whether it is in Asia or Europe, common consensus brings it down on the European side, thereby qualifying it as the tallest mountain on the continent.
Elbrus is in fact an inactive volcano and it proved a difficult challenge for even the most skilled of the early mountaineers. The first successful ascent was therefore carried out relatively late by an expedition led by Florence Crauford Grove in 1874.
The Urals by comparison
The Grove expedition may have conquered Elbrus after many of Europe’s other formidable peaks had been climbed but the ascent took place some fifty years before the tallest peak in the Urals was even discovered.
Mount Narodnaya dominates the skyline for many miles around but its isolation meant that it wasn’t discovered until 1927. Narodnaya reaches to an impressive level of 1,895 metres (6,217 feet) at its summit and it can be found in the Tyumen Oblast of the country. Outside of the Caucasus range, this is the tallest peak on the European side of Russia but as a climb, it is relatively easy in places.
The north west ascent is by far the easiest and is described as no more than a challenging hike at times. Only with the worst of the weather conditions should you even need crampons. Conversely, the south wall is something of a sheer face and has yet to be conquered.
While the Urals and the Caucasus dominate any list of Russian mountains, there are in fact over forty distinct mountain ranges in the whole of the country.
These include the Sayan, the Chersky and the Tannu-Ola and while little is known about them outside of Russia itself, there are some very impressive mountains hidden within these ranges.
The Sayan form part of the border between Southern Siberia and North Western Mongolia and they are arguably the most attractive range in the whole of the country. The tallest peak here is Saridag at 11,457 feet.
The Chersky range was named after the Polish explorer Ivan Chersky and although relatively small by comparison with other ranges in Russia, their location in Northern Siberia makes them extremely treacherous.
Only the most experienced of mountaineers would even think about tackling some of the peaks in the Chersky range which includes Peak Pobeda, which is the tallest here at just over 3,000 metres.
With it being so vast, Russia is home to some incredible natural scenery and the many and varied mountain ranges sum that situation up rather nicely. If you aren’t in a position to tackle any of the peaks, the regions are still worth visiting in order just to soak up the magnificence of some of the mountains in question.