- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
A tour to the foothills of the highest peak of Altai and Siberia – Mount Belukha (4509 m), included in UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the Golden Mountains of Altai.
For Altai people, Mount Belukha is the main sacred mountain, associated with many legends, myths, and traditions. For many years, it is endowed with exceptional positive energy by Altai and Russian populations. Altai people believe that the spirit Altai-Eesi lives on the top of Mount Belukha, and some believers say that the entrance to the mystical country of Belovodye is hidden here, a kind of heaven on the Earth at the foothills of Mount Belukha.
Snow-white peaks, stone gorges and glaciers, fast-moving rivers and colorful lakes – all this makes Mount Belukha one of the most beautiful and interesting places for active tourism in Altai.
The path to the destination of our trip and back will run along the elevated watersheds, allowing us to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and Mount Belukha every day.
During the trip you will carry small backpacks with the necessary stuff for a day (clothing, water, lunch). Most of your personal baggage and equipment will be carried by the horses accompanying the group.
Double accommodation in tents (single accommodation in a tent is paid extra). Optional: accommodation in a heated house in a mountain refuge Ak-Kem (days 7-8).
The route is of medium difficulty, affordable to people in good physical shape, but requires some training. You must be prepared for cross-country trekking trails up to 8 hours a day and climbing up to 1000 m. All group members participate in camp installation, set up their own tents and help with cooking.
Age restrictions: children under 10 years old are not allowed, from 10 to 18 years old – accompanied by parents.
Due to adverse weather conditions or physical condition of group members, the travel itinerary may be modified. The decision of modifying the route is made by the guide.
You will travel near the border of Russia and Kazakhstan. So it is needed to arrange special border permit. For foreign citizens the documents should be submitted not far then 30 working days before the date of arrival.
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Arrival to Gorno-Altaysk. Flight to Ust-Koksa Village. Land transfer to the starting point – Tungur villageArrival to Gorno-Altaysk or Barnaul airport. Meeting with the guide who will accompany you throughout the tour. Breakfast. Hour-long domestic flight to Ust-Koksa village. Then a two hour-long transfer by bas, and by the evening, we arrive to Tungur village, located on the Katun riverside. We will spend the night in the campsite, preparing for the tour. Overnight at a hotel. Twin shared rooms with shared shower and WC on the floor
Start dayEarly in the morning after breakfast, we meet our guide, pack our luggage in special waterproof bags and load them on horses. Then, we take Gaz-66 off-road vehicles and go through the Kuzuyak pass to the trekking starting point, at the bridge over the Ak-Kem River. We begin the first day of trekking. Today we will ascent for more than 1000 m. The trail leads through ever-changing landscapes: blooming meadows, steppe southern slopes, cedar and larch forests of the northern slopes. We set up our camp near the Tukhman stream, in a picturesque place above the upper border of the forest (2000 m), showing us a magnificent panoramic view of Mount Belukha and neighboring peaks in the evenings. Overnight in tents. Trekking 14 km
Overpass to Lake CulduiryToday our trail passes through amazing alpine meadows. A panoramic view of the Katun ridge opens from all sides. The fancy outlier cliffs occur. The overall distance is longer - 20 km, but without large altitude differences. Part of the trail passes through the territory of the Sailugem National Park, created to preserve the largest snow leopard population in Altai and the largest cross-border population of argali mountain sheep. Overnight in tents on the shore of lake Culduiry. Trekking 20 km
Tekelu valley, tour to the waterfallWe start the day with short climbing to a high-altitude plateau with excellent panoramic views. After that, we descend along the stream to the Tekelu river valley. We get down to our camp station on the riverside by lunch. After lunch, we take a walk to Tekelu waterfall, one of the largest in Altai (height 70 m). Overnight in tents, trekking 8 km.
Through the Sarybel Pass, Yarlu Valley to Ak-kem camp stationToday the trail runs through the Sarybel plateau with breathtaking views of the snow-capped peaks of the Katun Ridge. We go down the Pass to the valley of the Yarlu River, take a walk along the valley, observing its amazingly colorful slopes. We arrive at the camp station by the evening, Location - on the Ak-Kem riverside. We will spend 3 nights here. Dinner in a cafe. Overnight in tents Trekking 8 km.
Tour to Akkem glacier and the chapel of Archangel MichaelToday, after breakfast in a cafe, we depart to the grotto of Akkem glacier. The trail runs along Lake Akkem, then, along the glacial moraine, sometimes you have to climb a little on the rocks. On the way, we visit the chapel of Archangel Michael, the highest mountain chapel in Russia. Lunch at the glacier grotto and return. Dinner and overnight as previously. Trekking 20 km.
Tour to the Valley of Seven LakesToday we visit the Valley of Seven Lakes, which is fairly considered as one of the most beautiful places in Altai. Above the valley, Ak-Oyuk peak (White Mountain) with a stunning "hanging" glacier rises. The trail goes through blooming alpine meadows and leads to seven lakes of various colors - from deep blue to light turquoise. Lunch on the meadow near the lakes, return to the camp. Trekking 18 km
Kara-Tyurek Pass - the Stone house stationDay 8. Kara-Tyurek Pass - the Stone house station Today we are leaving our camp station and starting the return trip. We have to overpass the Kara-Tyurek pass. The trail begins at the lake, through the forest zone to alpine meadows, and on the saddle goes into the rocky highland desert. Separate snowfields remain all summer, a strong wind can blow, and the air temperature, as a rule, is much lower on the Pass, than on the lake (therefore, warm clothes should be in backpacks). This is our last chance to enjoy the views of the peaks of Mount Belukha and the Akkem glacier. After a short rest, we will go along the trail running along the ridge, gradually dropping the altitude. The trail leads us to the stone hut and then abruptly goes down. We go a little more and stop for the night in the forest zone. Overnight in tents Trekking 14 км
Return to TungurAfter breakfast, we continue our way soon go down to the Kucherla River. Further, the trail runs along the shore, winding away, then, approaching to the water. We make a rest at the Kuylyu grotto with petroglyphs and by lunch, come to Elan tract. Here, we are met by an off-road vehicle GAZ-66, which will take us to the starting point of our route, camping in Tungur village. Overnight in a hotel. Double rooms, amenities on the floor Trekking 17 km with ascent to the pass
Excursion to Berkh-Uimon Village. Transfer to Gorno-AltaiskIn the morning, a tour to Verkhny Uimon village, a visit to the Museum of Old Believers and the Museum of the Roerich family. In 1926, the Roerich’s Central Asian expedition passed through these lands. Flight Ust-Koksa - Gorno-Altaysk. Overnight at the Sokol estate. Farewell dinner. In case of departing from Barnaul airport, an additional 4-hour transfer is required, overnight at Altai hotel
Farewell to Altai!Early transfer to the airport. Departure to Moscow.
1) accommodayion according to the program (twin shared rates)
1) land transportation according to the program
2) domestic flight Gorno-Altaisk – Ust-Koksa – Gorno-Altaisk (includes 10 kg of cabin luggage)
3) full board meal
4) English / German speaking guide accompany
5) Horses for luggage transportation along the trekking route
6) Excursions, entrance fee to national park, border permits
7) Tick borne encephalitis insurance and accident insurance
8) Bottled water for land transportation
2) personal expenses
3) Russian sauna
4) Flight tickets or railway tickets to Novosibirsk, Barnaul or Gorno-Altaisk
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