Altai mountains

Trekking and climbing in Mt.Belukha region.

Altai, a vast mountain area in the heart of Asia has been subdivided on maps into Russian, Mongolian and Gobi since the 19h century. The mountains belong to four major countries — Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China. Altai stretches for over 2,000 km from North-West to South-East. As peaks reach the cold areas, the picture resembles the Far North, with eternal snow and ice. Not only the area as a whole but every highland valley presents an amazing variety of landscapes. Altai in Russia is rightfully considered the pearl of Siberia.

Situated far away from industrial centers, the Altai is an exclusively pure region in ecological respects. Its highest summit is Mount Belukha, 4506 m; from its slopes the biggest river of the area, Katun, starts. There are many legends connected with the Altai.

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Altai mountain map

In the vicinity of Lake Ak-kem you can explore two places: the Valley of the Seven Lakes and the Valley of the Yarlu River. Crossing the Kara-Tyurek pass, 3600 m, you will find yourself in the neighbouring Kucherla valley with a cave containing rock-carvings.

The Ak-kem base camp is situated on the bank of Ak–kem river at the height 1900 m over the sea level. There is a canteen, sauna and traditional Altai dwelling– ail (some kind of wooden yurta).

The Vysotnik base camp is located on the banks of the Katun River near the Tiungur village. Accommodation is in a wooden cottage, in rooms housing four people each. There are no showers, but sauna. Toilets are in a separate nearby the cottage. There is also a sports ground and small hiking equipment rental center. Clothes and items which are not necessary to you for the trek could be kept at the check room. All meals are served at the canteen at a set time.

Arrival to the Vysotnik base camp is with bus from Barnaul (750 km, 12 hours drive), or by plane from Barnaul to Ust-Koksa (45 min.) and then bus to Tiungur(60 km., 1 hour)

The region is populated by Russians and by Altaians, the ancient oriental people.

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1 Altai mountains - Trek to Belukha
2 Altai mountains - Climbing Mt.Belukha
3 Altai mountains - Flowers