On horseback to the foot of Belukha
11 days/10 nights
On horseback to the foot of Belukha
Belukha is the most desirable place for adventure tourism in Altai. This is the highest point in Siberia. Belukha mountain is covered with eternal snows and it is surrounded with beautiful lakes. It’s one of the most beautiful natural places in Russia. Altaians say, that it’s a sacred site.
Belukha is located in really wild area. So, there are three ways to visit it: hiking, horse riding or a helicopter tour. We offer you a horse riding tour. It's a medium complexity tour, that allows you to see the most fascinating places of Altai.
The biggest part of the route goes through the bald area. So, you'll enjoy glaciered mountains a lot.
We will meet you at the railway station in Biysk or in Gorno Altaisk airport.
We will drive you along the Chuya highway (one of the most picturesque roads in the world, according to National Geographic).
An equestrian part of the route will start in Tiungur village.
You'll see a waterfall, situated on the Tekelu river (one of the highest waterfalls in Altai).
You'll cross the valley of the Yarlu river and enjoy the "stone city".
You'll rise to the Akkem glacier and have a rest, looking at the majestic glaciered mountains.
You'll see the Belukha mountain from different points and travel to the foot of the mountain.
Program of the tour
1st day. We meet you in Biysk at the railway station or in the Aiport of Gorno Altaisk and drive to the base camp. The camp is placed on the bank of the Katun river. You'll stay in a room in a wooden camp house. Today you've got some time to relax after the flight, prepare your stuff for the travel (touristic tent, sleeping bag, etc) and strike up an acquaintance with the other members of the group.
2nd day. At 7 o'clock we will have breakfast and drive you about 350 km along Katun river to the Tiungur village. Katun is the one of the biggest rivers in Altai and one of the three symbols of Altai (Katun river, Belukha mountain, Teletskoe lake). Altaians call this river the Mistress of Altai. Katun changes its color from milky white in spring (when the snow melts) to pure turquoise. Today we will sleep in the camp in a touristic tent.
3rd day. Breakfast will start at 8 o'clock. After that you will see your horse and get a harness. We will help to load your bag on the horse back. So, an equestrian part of the route has started! Today we will ride about 20 kilometers.
The first stop will be on the Kuzuyak pass. The road from the Kuzuyak pass goes to the Ak-kem river. Ak-kem is translated as "white water". The river starts from Akkem glacier and runs across the narrow valley, heaped up with stones. We will go to the Oroktoy stream (it is truly wild area) and rise along this stream. Then we will set camp near the Oroktoy stream.
4th day. At 8 o'clock we will have breakfast and continue our travel. Today we will spend 6 or 7 hours in the saddle. We’ll go to the Tuhman river. At first, we will ride higher through the area of wild taiga. Gradually taiga will stay behind and we’ll get to the areas of Alpine meadows. From here you can see the magnificent panorama of glaciered mountains. We will cross the streams, filled with melted water.
Hundreds of varieties of medical herbs grow along these streams.
Then we will pitch camp, have dinner and have a rest near the fire.
5th day. The breakfast today will be at 9 o'clock. The pathway goes on the ringe. We will have lunch near the picturesque lake Kuldu-Airy. After that we will pass through the steep descent past the great Skynchak precipice to the Tekelu river. Then we will have a radial trekking to the Tekelu waterfall. The camp will be set at the Tekelu river.
6th day. Today we are riding across the Sarybel pass (2300 meters) to the valley of Yarlu river. There are a lot of meadows, covered with edelweiss flowers. The rise to the Sarybel pass is very difficult for the horses. After the pass you'll cross the Sarybel plateau, that has many swamps. If the weather is good enough, you'll see Belukha. We are going towards it... The descent to the Yarlu valley is waiting for us. We will encamp there.
7th day. We are near the foot of Belukha. Today you'll have a break from horse riding and go for a walk. We will show you the «stone city» in Yarlu valley. This place is revered by Altai shamans. They feel very strong power, that goes from the Earth in this place. Here you'll see the mountain in the shape of a woman. This is The Mother of the Earth.
8th day. Today we will pass over the Karatyurek mountain crossing. The height of the pass is 3060 meters. It has the 1A category of complexity. It's pretty hard. So, we will get off a horse and walk. We will show you a very good viewing platform on Karatyurek pass for making photos of Belukha. From the other side of the pass you'll see the valley of Kucherla river. We will ride down the plateau of the stones to the valley of river Qilue. We will fix a camp on a clearing surrounded by cedars.
9th day. After breakfast we will go down to the river Kucherla. The headwaters of the river are situated on the west side of Belukha and north side of Katun crests. Turquoise color of water, steep cliffs, and harsh taiga will leave an indelible imprint in your soul. Than we will ride to Tiungur village. In the evening you'll take a steam-bath.
10th day. Today we will drive you to the base camp. In the evening we will have a celebratory dinner.
11th day. We will drive you to the Biysk railway station or to the Gorno Altaisk airport.
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* 1375 $ is approximate cost. The exact cost is 81000 rub. Bank can charge a percentage for currency conversion.