Part 1 Along the Southern Ridge from Sevastopol to Saruch
The region from Sevastopol to Balaklava is an abrupt shore, sometimes 200 m high. This part is much broken up . There are no rocks useful for climbing .
To the east from Balaklava the relief suddenly changes. About 5 km from Balaklava along the seashore, a 235 m rock arises from the sea. It is a ridge of Arfen-Chair-Buroon mountain. One can reach the foot of the mountain by boat from Balaklava. It is necessary to have a stable boat because the first pitch starts just from it. Several reckless local alpinists (S. Streltcov, Sevastopol ) swam to the wall on an inflatable beach mattress with all the equipment and started their ascent from it. Climbing shoes as the most delicate thing of the equipment tied to the head for not making wet. Nowadays there are two routs here. The first was made in 1992 by S. Streltcov and A. Lyapun ( Sevastopol ) during three days. The route goes through the central part of the wall and has about 6A, A3 (“Mirage”). The second route tried to make the citizens of Kiev in 1995. They climbed about 100 m, then descended and left the ropes on the wall. We can say that the ropes have been left forever because now they are still there. Arfen-Chair-Buroon is an exotics of Crimean alpinism. It is visited very rarely.
Several kilometers to the east from Arfen-Chair-Buroon cape Aya is situated, rising from the sea. The eastern side is a very attractive wall for alpinists. There are about 10 routs, but all of them are rarely visited. The most popular route is “Gates” (left variant).
During three years a climber from Simferopol Sergey Terrorist (in passport Nadtochiy) makes a new route to the left from the “Gates”. He makes it only in summer and only in solo style. His average speed of progression to the peak was 15-20 m a year. The lines have already decayed, and this year it will be more difficult to climb. Cape Aya is situated near the sea, that's why on the third pitch it seems that you are just above the sea. On the summit there are the constructions of the military unit. Now it is left by soldiers, but in the past it added sharp emotions to alpinists. Sometimes climbers were asked to come back as they have climbed, by apseil. The discomfort of the region is a long descent. There are no descent paths nearby the nearest one is between Aya and Kush-Kaya massifs. Somebody, especially in winter, night or bad weather, go to the earth road to Goncharnoe village. From Goncharnoe one needs to go 10 km along the Yalta-Sevastopol road to the base camp under cape Aya .
From the west Kush-Kaya mountain joins cape Aya , protecting Batiliman from cold winter winds. This region is so popular among climbers that by right is considered to be a “Crimean alpinist Mecca ”. Looking in the last Russian classifier of the alpinist routs, one can doubt if there are any other mountains except Kush-Kaya. Of course, they are, but not for everybody. The routs of Kush-Kaya were described by alpinist from Sevastopol A. Sherbakov in his book “Rocks near the sea”. I'd like to add that in winter it is much warmer near Kush-Kaya than, for example, in Foros or Marcheka region. In summer it is usually very hot.
Five km to the east from Kush - Kaya there is one more remarkable region – Ilyas - Kaya . The massif is located above the Laspi rocks which overhang above the Sevastopol-Yalta road. There are two routs which are rarely visited because of the long approach and lack of water and information. In the middle of April 1999 in the central section of the Southern wall there was a collapse. As a result a big red cornice arose. Local alpinists called the wall “Crimean Pti-Dru”. And there is an idea to make a new route through the cornice. The glory of V.Babanov doesn't give a moment's peace. Another remarkable wall of this region links to the Southern wall from the west and has strict western orientation (from geographic point of view). The wall remains in the shadow almost until the evening. It is always cool there, even in the August heat. The slope is about 75-80 degree, the relief is solid. Along the system of vertical and inclined cracks some logical and beautiful routs of 4-5 grades of about 3 pitches can be made. But it is a matter of future. Now no one has climbed there.
There are about 20 routs here for climbing. There are the routs of 5C grade, many 6A-7A. In summer there is always windy here. In winter the weather is stable. Often when in Batiliman and Foros it is rain, here the weather is warm and dry. The proximity of Chelebi massif and the road Sevastopol-Yalta with regular transport allows recommending Saruch as a base camp in winter. One can stay near the beacon or at the tourist base.