Katunskiy ridge and Mt.Belukha

Katun'skie Belki and  Mt.Belukha

Katun'skie Belki are named after famed Katun' River, which semi-circles these mountains from its source in the Southern glaciers of Belukha (4507 m), flowing South, then West, then North, and finally East. Timberline is near 2,000 m. The woods consist of lush South Siberian Taiga with abundant stands of Siberian Cedar, the source of all-familiar pine nuts.

Mount Belukha is the highest point of the Altay Mountains and Siberia. This very beautiful twin-peaked mountain massif (the eastern peak, 4506 m is higher than the western peak, 4400 m) is located on the border between Russia and Kazakhstan.
Belukha attracts with some inexplicable magnetism, people called it “the cradle of the future civilizations” and believe that this place is the hub of the universe. Belukha is surrounded by glaciers from all sides. It terrifies the locals with avalanches and landslides because of the frequent micro earthquakes. It is the character of many legends and myths,locals were afraid to look at it and believed that anyone who ascends its slopes would become blind. And now we have an explanation for it - the mountaineers of the time didn’t wear sunglasses!

The massif of Belukha, with its astounding North Face known as the Akkem Wall is available only for experienced trekkers but the foothills - spurs of the Katunsky Ridge may be explored by many tourists with reasonable fitness. The area is famous with fantastic sceneries. Taiga and alpine meadows, lakes and waterfalls, glaciers and snowcapped peaks always remain in memory of travelers. Valley glaciers spread North, East, and South. The most popular access route leads to Akkem Lake from Tyungur, to the North-West on the left bank of Katun' River. Alternative access from the Kazakhstani (South) side is from Yazevoye Lake.

The classic climb route from the North via Berel Saddle takes 10 days of moderate to strenuous trekking and climbing up to the top. The trekkers carry all their personal belongings plus 4-5 kg of communal equipment (tents, cooking pots, gas) and food for 4-5 days. We take a horses for luggage transportation. All tour duration: 14 days.

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 - the high energy place with "stones town" which was created by people visiting Yarlu for a meditation. Crossing the Kara-Tyurek pass, 3600 m, you will find yourself in the neighboring Kucherla valley with a cave containing rock-carvings. The region is populated by Russians and by Altaians, the old oriental people.

There are many mountain lakes with turquoise waters on the Katunsky ridge.

Important Information:

The Belukha region is situated on a boundary zone which means tourists wishing to enter this zone must have a special permit.  If you travel with us as part of a group then we will ensure a clear passage through border controls.  Admission controls (rules) affect all tourists, including Russian citizens.  Besides a permit for the boundary zone, tourists or mountain-climbers should also have a permit for the prohibited zone.  If one person does not have a permit then border control officers have the right to detain the whole group while group-instructors apply for permission to pass through.


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