Gold of Autumn
In September Gorny Altai rolls in Gold of autumn with flowers still blossoming here and there, even Labrador tea starts blooming again. High dark blue sky and deep turquoise of the Katun River, emerald transparency of the Chulyshman, bright larches and red aspens, ripe cedar cones and many other things are in the program of our route.
So, now in the proper order:
Day 1. 8:00 – transfer from Novosibirsk to Altai – 680 km. For the night we will make a camp behind the Chike-Taman pass.
Day 2. We will continue our way along Chuya highway and we will see the place where two great rivers of Altai – the Chuya and the Katun merge, we will stop at the petrographic complex Kalbyk-Tash and we will turn away from М-52 in Aktash. From there we are going to explore the high-mountainous area of Ulagansky district – high-mountainous lakes, Ulagansky pass with delightful views to the snowcaps of North Chuya and Kurai ridges, the Pazyryk valley, where the barrows were found which gave the name to the whole historical culture (5-2 centuries B.C.), thick forest and the place of Power at the canyon top … Along the zigzag of the Katu-Yaryk pass we will go down in the kingdom of Wind – the valley of the Chulyshman river. There we will camp for three nights, make fire and cook supper.
Day 3. After breakfast we will cross the Chulyshman river to get to its right bank and get off to a “warm-up” tracking to Stone Mushrooms with a magnificent view to the river valley. Our trip will take 4-5 hours. In the evening – a walk in the valley, a tasty supper and sound sleep.
Day 4. Today, we will spend the whole day visiting the biggest cascade waterfalls of Siberia – Uchar. We will get to the falls by a mountain trail crossed by a number of streams and small rivers, this rather difficult trip takes about 3-4 hours one way, but you will once forget about your weariness when you get to one of the most beautiful and powerful falls of Altai!!! Then lunch, time for bathing, photos, relaxation and way back. The award for our feat is Russian sauna!
Day 5. After breakfast we’ll pack the tents and head for Chuya highway. Today we will cross two mountain passes – Ulagansky and Chike-Taman and stay the night in near Onguday.
Days 6 and 7. In Ust-Sema we will turn again from М-52 to Chemal highway towards Elekmonar, from where we will go off the road to the next active part of our route – to the Clouds Factory – Karakolsky lakes. We will climb 6 km from the bottom camp to the top on foot. We will put up tents, have supper and get ready for the next day.
Karakolsky lakes are a chain of seven lakes framed by mountain circus of the Iolgo ridge. At the circus top there is a Valley of Spirits. Lakes basins are located on the steps of a huge tarn ladder with levels changing from the top (2,100 m above sea-level) to the bottom - about 300 meters.
Day 8. A walk along a fantastic footpath along Karakolsky lakes to small falls at the bottom of the mountain circus.
Day 9. A climb to the top of the mountain circus - 2,300 m high. A walk through Alpine meadow and a visit to the Valley of Spirits. In the evening – Russian sauna.
Day 10. We’ll get back to Chemal district.
Day 11. Transfer to Novosibirsk.