Mountain valleys are forested with spruce fir and pine interspersed with grassy meadows. Higher in the mountains pine and fir trees give way to aspen, birch and finally larch and dwarf conifers. Many varieties of deer populate these valleys and the open areas are grazed by mountain goats, sheep, and yaks. Compared to the hot plains the rainfall here is quite high.
The High Altai boasts more than 6 thousand lakes and tens of thousands of rivers. We will pass several of these beautiful lakes on our trek. It is here in the Altai, that the sources of two of Russia's great rivers are found - the Ob and the Irtysh. Barnaul itself lies on the Ob, at a point where the river leaves the mountain valleys to start on its long journey across the steppe to the Arctic Ocean. The town owes its origin to the rich mineral resources found in the region, in particular to silver.
Day 1: Arrive in Moscow. Flight Moscow - Barnaul. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Arrive to Barnaul, the capital of Altai region. Drive by the famous "Chuisky tract" - the road connecting Russia and Mongolia (14 hours). Picnic lunch on the way. Arrive at the lodge in the evening. The lodge is situated in a nice place on the shore of the river Katun opposite to the village Tyungur. Good dinner and traditional Russian sauna will help you to relax.
All communal buildings are wooden, made in traditional Russian style. The guests stay in a small hostel or in special tents for two people. There is a sports ground and a small place to rent tourist equipment. Clothes and other items which are not necessary on the trek may be left at a special check room. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Rest day in the lodge. Acclimatization walk to the neighboring mountains (6 hours). Trek briefing. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: In the morning we leave the lodge for the trek. We cross the river Kucherla and walk up to a forest with very rich flora and fauna. Then we walk over the pass Kuzuyak (1513m) covered by the forest, and descent to the river Ak-Kem (6-8 hours). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Walk up along the small river Oroktoy. The path leads through the forest rich with raspberries, red currant and mushrooms, so it is possible to stop and enjoy them. Deep Siberian taiga gradually turns into alpine meadows. Camp in a nice place on the shore of Tukhman river. A picturesque view of Mount Belukha and the neighboring summits. (6-7 hours). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: We walk by alpine meadows almost throughout the day. By the evening we descent to a small mountain lake, for a camp. These places are almost never visited by men so it is more likely to meet morals or marmots. (7-8 hours). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: After a short walk up from the lake we get to a high mountainous marsh which is full of variously shaped farewell rocks. Then we descend to the Tekelyu gorge (3-4 hours). Walk to the fascinating Tekelyu waterfalls (2 hours). Night in a camp. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: In the morning we cross the river Tekelyu and then walk over the pass. The path goes by alpine meadows and finally leads to the Yarlu gorge. We cross the Ak-Kem lake on a boat and reach the other bank where we will camp for a couple of days in the camping. Big camping tents, kitchen, sauna, and communal "ail" - local Altai building - are provided. (7-8 hours walk). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Radial walk to Ak-Kemskiy glacier. The path goes along the river and the lake Ak-Kem. We cross the river and walk up by old moraine. Best views of Mount Belukha. Return to the same camping by the Ak-Kem river.
Day 10: We cross the pass Karatyurek (3060m) which is not very easy. The descent is rather steep. Night in the forest zone near the source of the river Tekelyushka. The campsite is nicely surrounded by old cedars. Ascent to the pass - 4 hours, descent - 3 hours. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: The road traverses the slope, passing through light forests. In 3 hours we descent to the river Kucherla opposite to the Tegeyek waterfall, which is well heard long beforehand. Then we walk up by a good path to the view point. Marvelous site of Kucherla lake (2 hours). Descent to the lake. Night in the camp. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Descent along the river Kucherla. The campsite is situated near unique rocks with ancient carvings (petroglyphs) and a sacrificial altar. (7-8 hours). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: Today we come back to the first lodge where we had started the trek. There will be time to relax in Russian sauna. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 14: Drive by bus to Barnaul. Accommodation in hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 15: Flight Barnaul - Moscow. Departure from Moscow. Includes: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Russia Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking
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