Плато Бермамыт

KMV and Dombay

We got together as a group, knew someone, met someone via the Internet. We plotted the route on the map, booked accommodation, flew from different cities to Mineralnye Vody and off we went.

Кавказские горы

I planned, thought through and began to put together a photo tour to Crete. We remember and understand that no one knows this island better than me. However, Covid intervened in my plans, as well as in the life of the entire planet. First, the trip to Crete was postponed from spring to autumn, then to the next season, and then completely cancelled. And so I spontaneously travel along the CMV (this is the abbreviated name for the Caucasian Mineral Waters region), I am incredibly impressed by the landscapes and decide to put together a photo tour for next year here. Planned and done.

Several friends were immediately inspired by this idea, then through the Internet they met the rest of the members of the future trip, and someone joined already on the spot and now we are taking tickets. I’m planning the details of the trip, booking stops along the route and getting ready impatiently.

Action plan: Mineralnye Vody — Zheleznovodsk — Pyatigorsk — Essentuki — Kislovodsk — Dombay. The cities are almost non-stop, seeing only the main and main attractions, but the road to Dombay, its surroundings and the mountains themselves are the main goal.

Плато Бермамыт

Chapter 1.

It is worth noting that our program was not typical for a photo tour. We didn’t stand every dawn with tripods somewhere on a hard-to-reach rock with an incredible shot and didn’t run headlong into the sunset. Because, firstly, the weather in the mountains is so changeable and capricious that relying only on the golden/blue hour would not be wise, and secondly, we decided to enjoy the views at any time of the day and photograph everything. Therefore, many photographs were not taken during regular hours and there is no need to kick us too hard for this.

To begin with, we made a small detour from the main road on our journey and stopped at the Kochubeevskaya wind power plant. And they didn’t make a mistake. We caught a wonderful sunset and were impressed by the scale of the wind turbines — the height is 150 m, the length of the blades is 50 m, and the weight is 320 tons. This is the largest operating wind power plant in the Russian Federation.

Ветряки Кочубеевская ВЭС
Ветряки Кочубеевская ВЭС на закате
Кочубеевская ВЭС ветряки

Our next stops are cities. The CMS region is ideally created for not rushing anywhere, catching peace in the air, drinking delicious water bubbling straight from the ground and eating meat and fish. We did all this, while simultaneously studying the streets and surrounding areas of populated areas. I really liked Zheleznovodsk with its mineral springs, landscaping and new park. I definitely recommend visiting it, you will see everything in the photo below.

Лестница в парке Железноводска
Парк в Железноводске
Миниатюра гор в парке Железноводска
Парк Железноводска с дрона
Парк Железноводска вид с дрона
Парк Железноводска вид сверху

Chapter 2.

Our next stopover for beautiful photos is the Bermamyt plateau. If you open any information or tourist portal, you will immediately come across phrases like “Under no circumstances go to Bermamyt in bad and especially rainy weather!” — and now I clearly understand what it’s about. Of course, we were driving in not the sunniest and clearest weather (and the season), but the goal was designated and our tank could not be stopped. The car constantly gets stuck and gets carried off the road. The ground is very oily and slippery.

And I agree that you should NOT go here in bad weather/rain — it’s life-threatening. And we…we are just experienced travelers with incredibly cool guides and drivers and absolute fearlessness on the verge of dementia. Do not repeat)

Вид на Кавказские горы
Плато Бермамыт
Плато Бермамыт
Плато Бермамыт
Плато Бермамыт с дрона
Горы Кавказа

Here we had our first loss. Each participant in the tour had a drone, or even two — a regular one and an FPV one. So I took a couple of shots with my camera and launched the drone. It flew away from the plateau on which we were located, 2 km, and rose 500 m. The black screen on the phone means the battery on the drone died and it fell like a stone. Meanwhile, dusk was already approaching us inexorably and it began to rain. Me and Konstantin (one of the participants in our trip) decided to try to go down from Bermamyt and go to the supposed fall point. The descent and journey took approximately 2.5 hours. A short search in the already much evening light did not bring us success and we decided to retreat back to the cars. “Look, the bones of some animal have been gnawed by someone, ” Kostya points to them. And the journey back took only 1.5 hours. Frozen and tired comrades were waiting for us at the place, we got into cars and moved to Dombay.

Кавказские горы и дрон

And the very moment when I realized that the drone had fallen, even hit the lens of one of the participants. Actually, here it is.

Dombay mountains. Professional photographer Alexey Nikitin in Moscow

We arrived at our beautiful hotel by the river already at night. Here is a view of it and the surrounding area from above.

Река Теберда

And the view that opened up to us from the rooms.

Вид из отеля на горы

Chapter 3.

Now we are in place, literally at the foot of the mountains, and all the days that we were here we were blessed with the most beautiful weather. We equipped our backpacks and went to the top.

Here we no longer need to talk, but simply show. Snowy peaks, hot tea, Sun. We’ve enjoyed ourselves, now it’s your turn!

Подъемники на Домбае
Подъемники на Домбае
Тарелка на Домбае
Горы Кавказа в снегу, Домбай
Горы Кавказа в снегу, Домбай
Горы Кавказа в снегу, Домбай
Горы Кавказа в снегу, Домбай
Горы Кавказа в снегу, Домбай
Dombay mountains. Professional photographer Alexey Nikitin in Moscow
Горы Кавказа в снегу, Домбай
Dombay mountains. Professional photographer Alexey Nikitin in Moscow

Chapter 4. 

Several wonderful days in the mountains flew by quickly and unnoticed. 1,500 photos were taken with the camera, and the batteries for the drones did not have time to charge — there was so much I wanted to photograph.

But now it’s time to get ready for the return journey. Along the way, we went for a walk along the river, and then decided to stop at a helipad near the base, where aero excursions are provided.

Река Теберда
Вертолетный тур Домбай
Тур на вертолете на Домбае

Another drone was lost here, this time a FPV one. He got caught in a tree somewhere very high, fell into a waterfall and his trace disappeared. And no, the helicopter had nothing to do with it and we didn’t interfere with anyone, we agreed with everyone and everyone was in the know.

Next there were short stops with wonderful views of Elbrus. How beautifully he opened up to us.

Гора Эльбрус
Вид на Эльбрус

And we couldn’t do without a portrait photo shoot with the surviving drone, of course

Дрон и дым
Дрон и дым

By the way, my drone, which fell on Bermamyt, was found a month later. A local guide found it and, for a fee, sent it to me by parcel to Moscow. Surprisingly, the flash drive was fine, the camera gimbal was also fine, only one beam was broken. And this is after a fall from about 650 meters. I fixed it and flew on.

Вид сверху на ущелье

Only mountains can be better than mountains, we have seen this with our own eyes. Come to Dombay, Elbrus, relax your body and soul. And we will move on!

Горы Кавказа, Домбай