The 63rd IAVS annual symposium excursions

Pre-symposium excursion I - Caucasus (Vladimir Onipchenko): July 12, 2020 - July 18, 2020

Excursion start: July 12 at 8 a.m. from airpoirt Mineralnye Vody
Finish: July 18 at 17 (5 p.m) airpoirt Mineralnye Vody
Capacity 25 persons

COST: 750 EURO per person. Cost includes transport, accommodation, lunches, and guides.

Reservations for this excursion will be through the same website as Registration.

Transportation notes

Hotel for July 11 may be booked at Mineralnye Vody as well.

To fly from Mineralnye Vody to Vladivostok you can buy direct ticket (but there is no direct flights) with about 2 stops, but usually it is much more expensive that two different flights (Mineralnye Vody Moscow and Moscow Vladivostok). In this case you have to get and check in luggage yourself in Moscow. Keep in mind that transfer between Moscow airports (Sheremetevo, Domodedovo or Vnukovo) needs at least 3 hours.

During the excursion main type of transport will be 4x4 cross-country vehicles (5 person per car).

Specific instructions

Limit number of participants 25. It is better to have mountain boots (not very strong), but Russian tourists often use sport sandals. Mountain walking sticks will be very useful. Caucasus is very humid (especially in July), so it is better to have rain-protected wear, umbrellas are not very useful according strong wind. Temperature in high areas may drop low (about 0C) so warm wear is welcome.

More details will be sent to excursion participants directly

Before registration, please make sure you have registered as a participant of the 63rd IAVS symposium. You will need your registration number that came with the invoice for registration fee payment (invoice number). Your participation in excursion is secured when you receive our confirmation.

Contact person: Vladimir Onipchenko []

Click to register

Excursion itinerary
Excursion map, click to enlarge
Excursion map

Click to enlarge
Subalpine meadows near Upper Mara

Teberda, click to enlarge
Climate diagram for Teberda station

July 12
Departure from Mineralnye Vody (Stavropolskiy krai). Rests of steppe vegetation. Way to Baksan (Kabardino-Balkarskaya Republic). Way up on Baksan valley. Cross of Rocky Ridge (Skalistyi Khrebet). Mountain xerophytes (Salvia canescens, Ephedra procera) and Juniperus shrubs in inner depression near Bylym. Lunch in Tyrnyaus. Upper part of Baksan Valley with pine forests (Adylsu river) and Hippophae shrubs on the bottom of the river. Hotel in Terskol (near Elbrus Mt).
July 13
Morning trip to Elbrus Mt. (the highest peak in Europe, 5642 m) up to glacier at 4000 m (elevator to station Mir and upper). Subnival plant communities at the upper border of vascular plants. Upper alpine plant communities on a glacier moraine, outcrops and screes. Way down to Azau (lunch). Afternoon trip by elevator to Cheget (about 3000 m) and foot way down to look at the typical alpine (snowbeds, meadows, grassland and Rhododendron caucasicum heath) and subalpine (tall herbs, schrubs, treeline) plant communities.
July 14
Departure from Terskol to Teberda. Back way by Baksan Valley and then to Kislovodsk. Cross Rocky Ridge on Gumachi Pass. Stop and field trip near Gumachi pass carbonate outcrops and floristically rich subalpine Festica varia meadows. Rich meadows near Upper Mara village with a lot of plants in flower (see photo). Arriving to Teberda and short excursion in Nature Museum and local Zoo. Hotel in Teberda.
July 15
Morning excursion to Dombay (near Great Caucasian Ridge) and Mussa-Achitara Mt (elevator to 3000 m). Foot way down to TreeLine Station (2400 m) and look around typical (but disturbed by winter sport infrastructure) subnival (screes and outcrops), alpine (Ranunculus crassifolius snowbeds, Cetraria islandica heaths, Geranium gymnocaulon Hedysarum caucasicum meadows) and subalpine (Calamagrostis arundinaceae meadows) communities. Lunch in Dombay. Afternoon excursion to Alibek valley (upper point about 2000 m) (up by cars about 7 km, down by feet) with rich Polygonum bistorta subalpine meadows, Betula litwinowii and Acer trautvetteri elfin woodlands, Abies nordmanniana forests. Hotel in Teberda.
July 16
Trip to Arkhyz (Bolshoi Zelenchuk valley). Road Teberds Kumysh Zelenchukskaya Archyz. Grasslands and mountain steppes near village Kumysh. Oldest churches (X century) in Nizhnii Arkhyz village. Coniferous forest in Kyzgych valley (Teberda State Reserve). Lunch in Arkhyz. Subalpine meadows near Arkhyz (elevator). Back way to Teberda.
July 17
Trip to upper Kuban valley (Uchkulan, near Elbrus). Way from Teberda to Karachaevsk and upper along Kuban valley. Mountain hardwood forests (Fagus orientalis, Carpinus betulus, Quercus robur) forests near Karachaevsk. Mountain meadows (Brachypodium pinnatum, Seseli libanotis). Dry (arid) area near Uchkulan: Juniperus communis shrubs and Astragalus aureus xerophytic communities. Lunch in Uchkulan.
July 18
Way back from Teberda to Mineralnye Vody. Hardwood forests and old church near Nizhnyaya Teberda. Grasslands in Melovoi (Chalk) Ridge visit to local farm near Dzheguta (lunch there). Road to Mineralnye Vody through Cherkessk. Arriving to airport about 17-00 (5 p.m.)
Rocky Ridge (Skalistyi Khrebet), click to enlarge
Rocky Ridge (Skalistyi Khrebet)

Pine forest in upper Baksan Valley, click to enlarge
Pine forest in upper Baksan Valley

On the slopes of Elbrus (4100 m), click to enlarge
On the slopes of Elbrus (4100 m)

Ziziphora puschkini (Lamiaceae)  typical subnival plant in Central Caucasus
Ziziphora puschkini (Lamiaceae) typical subnival plant in Central Caucasus

Mt. Gumachi in Rocky Ridge (Skalistyi Khrebet) near Upper Mara
Mt. Gumachi in Rocky Ridge (Skalistyi Khrebet) near Upper Mara

Alibek glacier with Ertsog Mt in Alibek valley, Teberda Reserve
Alibek glacier with Ertsog Mt in Alibek valley, Teberda Reserve

Dark coniferous (Abies nordmanniana, Picea orientalis) forest in Teberda Reserve
Dark coniferous (Abies nordmanniana, Picea orientalis) forest in Teberda Reserve

Coniferous forest near Arkhyz
Coniferous forest near Arkhyz

Arid valley (Uchkulan) in upper part of Kuban river
Arid valley (Uchkulan) in upper part of Kuban river

Salvia canescens in xerophytic communities near Uchkulan
Salvia canescens in xerophytic communities near Uchkulan

2020 Organizing Committee