Автор: Peter Schoen, Republik Österreich
DGPS Survey of Shkara
In June 2010 Boris Avdeev and I traveled to Svaneti, Georgia. Our goal was the south pillar route (5B) of Shkhara. We aimed at i) climbing the route, ii) collecting rock samples for Boris’ geologic PhD work, and iii) surveying the summit with a Trimble GeoExplorer XT Differential-GPS . Additionally, I wanted to ski down as much of the route as possible.
On 30 June we started climbing the route. The route difficulties are (UIAA) grade 2-3 rock and 40-50° snow, with occasional difficulties of UIAA grade 4 rock and 55˚ snow. We summited in the morning of 3 July 2010. Boris collected rock samples from the highest rock outcrop, and I collected GPS data for 49 minutes. A longer observation period was not possible due to an approaching storm. The descent via the same route and the walk back to Ushguli took two long days. I skied most snow-covered sections of the route, up to 55˚. Many sections required rappels.
Results of the survey:
575 positions were collected with the DGPS and later corrected via Zelenchukskaya (Russia) reference station, about 150 km distant from Shkhara. GeoAT in Austria made the differential correction, with Trimble Pathfinder Office software. The differential correction resulted in the following result (sub-meter accuracy):
- • elevation of Shkhara summit: 5193.2 m
- • location: 43° 00' 02,26411" north, 43°06' 44,16771 " east.
The survey shows that Shkhara is 5193 m +/-1 m high and the third-highest mountain in Europe after Elbrus (5642 m) and Dych-Tau (5204 m). It also confirms that Shkhara is the highest mountain in the Republic of Georgia. The elevation of the summit will vary with the thickness of the snow/ice cover near the summit.
Climbing Team: Peter Schön (MSc Candidate Earth Sciences) and Boris Avdeev (PhD Candidate Geology)
Data processing: Dr. Ekkehart Grillmayer, GeoAT
Financial support: Jonathan de Ferranti (BA)