Shkhara Peak

Shkhara Peak

Shkhara is the highest peak in the main watershed range of the Caucasus Mountains. At a height of 5,203 metres above sea level, the peak is composed of granite and crystalline shale, and stands on the Khalde (Bezengi) Wall of the central Caucasus Mountains.
Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti

What Makes Shkhara Unique?

“Shkhara” means “nine” in Svan, and there are exactly nine peaks on Shkhara. The mountain is sometimes also called “Tskhrataviani”, which means “nine-headed” in Georgian, and is equated with the nine-headed giant that is a main character in several Georgian fairy tales. At first glance, this might seem like a ridiculous comparison, but after seeing the fairytale views of the Svan towers dotted across the snowy peaks and mountain slopes, you might start believing in the nine-headed giants.

When the leader of the first successful expedition to Mount Everest, John Hunt, saw Shkhara, he called it “little Himalayas”. In 2018, the British publication The Guardian, called Georgia the best alternative to the Alps, and named the Svan Towers and Shkhara Glacier as evidence of this.

The British paper The Independent went one step farther, saying Shkhara is even better than the Alps, because it is 386 metres taller than the highest peak of the Alps, Mont Blanc.

The permanently snow and ice-covered Shkhara is so beautiful that it is constantly attracting more and more mountain-climbers, difficulty notwithstanding. However, very few groups of alpinists have been able to summit Shkhara.

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