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Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe, at 5,642 m (18,506 ft). It is located in the western Caucasus mountains, on the border between Russia and Georgia. (Geographically, the Caucasus is part of the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia, so mountains on the north side of the range are in Europe.)

Elbrus stands 20 km (12 mi) north of the main range of the Greater Caucasus[?] and 65 km (40 mi) south-southwest of the Russian town of Kislovodsk[?]. It is an extinct volcano. Its permanent icecap[?] feeds 22 glaciers which in turn give rise to the Baksan[?], Kuban[?], and Malka Rivers[?].

The ancients knew the mountain as Strobilus and believed that Prometheus was chained here. The lower of the two summits was first ascended in 1868 by Douglas Freshfield[?], A. W. Moore[?], and C. C. Tucker[?], and the higher (by about 40 m) in 1874 by a party led by F. Crauford Grove[?]. The Soviet Union encouraged ascents of Elbrus, and in 1956 it was climbed en masse by 400 mountaineers[?] to mark the 400th anniversary of the annexation of Kabardino-Balkaria, the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic[?] in which Elbrus was located.

The climb is not technically difficult, but it is physically arduous because of the elevations and the frequent strong winds.


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