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Travel to Altai, Russia: Mountains and Places of Power
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Altai: flowers


We spent two weeks in the Altai - in this stunning edge-rich nature, only slightly affected by human activity. We came here the first time and were certainly fascinated surrounding splendor nature, always felt ourselves in complete harmony with nature. By the second day here you get balance of mind, body and soul. Who was in the Altai once always come back here again. Our Altai is majestic mountain peaks, natural monuments and artifacts of the past, mountain lakes, pine forests, honey apiaries, mountain valleys and clear air of forests - they call us back, call us to stay here.

The route starts: transfer by car from Barnaul to a camp near the Denisova Cave took a half of night. In the morning we go into Denisova Cave to see an ancient archaeological site and the layering of more than 20 cultural layers of different eras. The cave is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. After lunch we moved to Ust-Kan to visit the museum of national culture in the Altai village Mendur-Sokkon. It's all about history, religion, traditions and culture of the Altai people. The next long move is to Ust-Cox - by the famous Chuysk road. The rocky cliffs of Altai are around us, afterwards they are replaced by Kan Uimon steppe in the valley. In Ust-Koks we spend the night in tents.

Altai, Place of Power

Next stop - the village Tyungur. We were a little carried on the car, and then we walked along the Kucherla river. The river is white, it breaks a lot of ridges, which were crowding in its course, forming a chain complex thresholds. In the niche of the rock cave at the river Kuylu - rock paintings, they say - more than one hundred.
We spend the night in tents again. In the morning we go on foot to Kucherla lake. The length of the lake is more than 5 km, and width is up to 900 meters. There are over forty lakes in the valley of Kucherla , mostly they are tectonically dammed origin. The largest of them is Kucherla lake. The lake is filled with ice water which has a greenish-blue color. We spend the night in the camp by the lake.

Altai. The Kucherla lake

The day begins with the transition under the pass Kara Tureck. The camp is placed on the top border of the timber. Then we go up to the mountain pass of Kara-Tureck (category 1A of, 3060 m). A great panoramic view of Mount Belukha and the set of vertices of Katun ridge is from the pass. We reach the lake Ak-kem and spend the night here.
The camp remains in the same place, and now we committed radial exits. We start with a visit to Lake Mountain Spirits (2500 meters above sea level). There are not separate paths to the lake: it is necessary to go across the moraine Akkem glacier Ak-Kem, then go across the bridge and climb up the moraine, which is not easy at all. And then you get to the lake with turquoise-green water, which shines brightly in the sun. The lake is very cold and deep. High on the slopes is a waterfall that feeds the lake. We have a picnic with a view of incredible beauty, then go back to the camp by sunset.

Altai. The White river

The next day we take another radial access - to the foot of Mount Belukha, the kingdom of ice, ice caves and the famous Ak-Kem wall. Belukha is the highest and most famous mountain of the Altai.
Another day in the camp and we're doing a new way - in the Valley of the Seven Lakes. Hanging Valley Ak Oyuk gained prominence due to the unique cascade of mountain lakes located in the hanging valley at a distance of several hundred meters of each other. Each lake has its own shade of water, and the lakes are different and not like each other. In the Valley of Seven Lakes is Jarl gorge, where the whole city is built of stone, and there are a "stone of strength."
The next day - a 20-mile descent along the white river Ak-Kem. The riwer is white because it is the limestone dissolved in the water.
Another hiking day we climb to the pass Kuzuyak (1513 m), where meets several Shaman trees, festooned with ribbons, "Dalma". From there we go down to the familiar village Tyungur. Further we go by car, moving from Tungur Ust-Cox.


We have a day of rest. After lunch, we went to the village of Upper Uymo, one of the oldest villages of the district. It was founded by Old Believers about 300 years ago. There are two museums in the village - Nicholas Roerich Museum, and Old Believers Museum.
Altai. Cows

That's all. We leave to Barnaul. On the way we visit the village Kamlak. It is believed that this is a very ancient sacred place where gathered camas (Altaic shamans) from around the Altai and held mass rite. Now there is the Gorno-Altai botanical garden there, and generally this whole area is a natural monument "Shishkular-ride" - "Clean Meadow."
Then we go to Barnaul, and then - flight home.

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