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Alexey Rubtsov bouldering at Djan Tugan in Russia
Photo by Nikita Tsarev
Alexey Rubtsov bouldering at Djan Tugan in Russia
Photo by Nikita Tsarev
Alexey Rubtsov bouldering at Djan Tugan in Russia
Photo by Nikita Tsarev
Alexey Rubtsov bouldering at Djan Tugan in Russia
Photo by Nikita Tsarev

Alexey Rubtsov: bouldering at world-class Djan Tugan in Russia

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Alexey Rubtsov reports about the huge bouldering potential at Djan Tugan in the Caucasus in Russia where he has established 30 boulder problems up to 8B+. The Russian bouldering champ has described the area as 'new world-class bouldering area’.

For decades Alexey Rubtsov has been one of the fiercest competitors on the international bouldering scene. In 2009 the Russian was crowned Boulder World Champion at Qinghai in China and even today he can easily end up on the podium. The 31-year-old has just returned from a climbing trip to Djan Tugan in Russia which he has described as a "new world-class bouldering area in Russia! Everything as needed: a beautiful area with mountains views, glaciers, gorges; the rocks start right next to the parking; good infrastructure; and most importantly, very high quality granite." Intrigued by these words, planetmountain.com got in touch with Rubtsov to find out more.

RUSSIAN ROCKS by Alexey Rubtsov
The Djan-Tugan area is located in the Caucasus at the foothills of Mount Elbrus.  The nearest airport is in Nalchik, 120 km away.  The climbing area is located in the gorge shaped by the Adyl-su river, and starts at an altitude of 2200m; although there’s mainly bouldering, there are some walls for sport climbing.

You can sleep both in the gorge, in a campsite adjacent to the bouldering spot, or lower down in hotels, located about 10-15 km away. This valley initially developed as a ski resort, so there are no problems finding hotels, cafes, shops, but take note, they’re all Caucasus style :-)


The gorge is extremely picturesque and there are several glaciers and waterfalls in it. In good weather the highest peak in Europe, Mount Elbrus, is clearly visible from the river sector. The rock is granite.  At present there is a small guide with about 200 blocks, but in my opinion only 5 - 10% of the area has been explored.

I stayed there for 2 weeks and made 30 first ascents from 5 to 8B+, ranging from very safe and low boulders to big highballs. In the river sector the climbing is very specific, sloper style, which is extremely rare for granite. I believe Djan Tugan is undoubtedly the most promising area in Russia for bouldering.

There is a minor hassle though if you wish to visit: since the rocks are located close to the Georgian border, foreigners need a pass. This is issued free of charge, but it takes a long time to get. When planning a trip, you’ll need to apply for it a couple of months before your trip.  But don't worry, you won't be disappointed!

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One of the best rocks I've ever climbed! First ascent of mega project “Bonanza”. The height of the stone is more than 10 meters, and you need to be as confident and concentrated as possible. I'm not sure about the grade, maybe 8B +, but now it's quite hot here, so with good friction it can be a little easier. In any case, this is a super line that gave me great pleasure. I continue to explore the area, there are still a lot of interesting things!) @madrockclimbing @russiaclimbing #climbintokyo #climbingismypassion Один из лучших камней которые я когда-либо лазал! Наконец я смог его пролезть. Первопроход мега проекта “Bonanza”. Высота камня больше 10 метров, подходя к нему нужно быть максимально уверенным и сконцентрированным. На счет категории не уверен, возможно 8В+, но сейчас тут достаточно жарко, так что при хорошем трении может быть чуть легче. В любом случае это супер трасса, которая доставила мне огромное удовольствие. Продолжаю исследовать район, тут ещё очень много интересного!)

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