Ushba's south summit is slightly higher than its north summit, which has an elevation of . The north summit was first climbed in 1888 by John Garford Cokklin and Ulrich Almer, while the south summit saw its first ascent in 1903 by a German-Swiss-Austrian expedition led by B. Rickmer-Rickmers.
Ushba's north summit is more accessible than the south summit: the standard route, the Northeast Ridge, ascends from the Russian side of the range to a high plateau and thence to the summit. (Hence a summit ascent on this route technically involves crossing the border.) The route is graded French AD+ or Russian 4a. Routes on the south summit, from the Georgian side, include two routes graded French ED.