Mountain tourism is a fairly extensive category of outdoor activities. It includes trips to highlands, rock climbing, caving, rafting on mountain rivers, geological explorations, expeditions to familiarize yourself with the flora and fauna. According to the official definition of the World Tourism Organization, mountain tourism is the overcoming of routes running at an altitude of at least 3 thousand meters above sea level. In accordance with this interpretation, in Ukraine there are no mountains of such height that travel on them could be qualified as mountain tourism. For example, the highest point of the Carpathians, Mount Goverla, has a height of 2600 m, and the most significant peak of the Crimea, Mount Roman-Kosh, is located at an altitude of 1545 m.
Mountain tourism in the Krim and Carpathian mountains
Meanwhile, tourists who annually go on difficult trips along the Crimean or Carpathian mountains, can quite reasonably say that they are engaged in mountain tourism. Even a conditional classification of the complexity of routes has been adopted, based on the height at which they lie. In accordance with it, the mountains are divided into low (up to 1 thousand m), medium high (1-2.5 thousand m) and high (more than 2.5 thousand m). Mountain tourism is considered a sport, and hiking within its framework is divided into six categories of difficulty, depending on the length of the route, its length and the extremeness of local obstacles – this is the name of mountain passes, glaciers, canyons and rivers. Even for the passage of routes of low complexity, the traveler requires good physical shape, decent muscular strength, professional skills, the availability of special equipment and equipment.
Mountain tourism does not provide for official climbing to the peaks, as is the case in mountaineering – if the climber’s main goal is to conquer the peaks, then the tourist’s task is to overcome distances and obstacles. However, when overcoming routes of the highest categories of complexity, the boundaries between mountaineering and mountaineering practically disappear.
In recent years, a less extreme variety of hiking in the mountains, called trekking, has developed extremely dynamically. Such mountaineering involves hiking from one camp site to another along routes of varying difficulty. Transitions can last several days and suggest spending the night in tents or in mountain shelters. Usually trekking routes are laid out so that travelers visit a wide variety of landscapes – they overcome the thicket of forests, passes, mountain rivers, rocky climbs, glaciers and snowfields. Practicing trekking tourists do not spend all their strength and attention on overcoming too difficult obstacles and can immerse themselves in the diversity of the animal and plant world of the mountains.
Popular Centers for Mountaineering
The most popular mountain tourism centers in the world are the Alps, the Himalayas, Tibet, the Caucasus, the Pamirs and the Argentine Andes. It is important that these mountain systems are covered by a good tourist infrastructure, so that you can choose a route that is optimal for physical capabilities and interests. For lovers of mountain tourism in Ukraine, the Caucasus Mountains are the most accessible, however, due to the instability of this region, tourist flows to this region have noticeably decreased over the past two decades. After Switzerland entered the Schengen zone, the Alpine direction, on the contrary, shows a dynamic growth in popularity. Almost everything, even the smallest towns located in the Alps, have developed tourist services, so the cost of a tourist trip to this region can fluctuate very widely. The same goes for Nepal, where massive trekking is developing extremely fast.
Svaneti is a mountainous region of Georgia. This part of the country is not just famous among tourists. This is a very picturesque region. Here you can see majestic mountain peaks, dense forests, beautiful rivers and green plains that stretch for many kilometers.
The top of Mount Kazbek is one of the highest in the Caucasus (5033 m.) And is located on the border of North Ossetia-Alania and Georgia. This makes climbing Kazbek from the north a doubly interesting trip: having visited the very top, you actually step with one foot into another state.