Geographic Location

Фото The Altai is a system of strongly fractured mountain ridges which form water-parting of the rivers Ob, Irtysh, Yenisei and the rivers of the endorheic area of Central Asia. The mountain ridges go 2000 km from the West-Siberian Plain in the North-West to Gobi Desert in the South-East. The Altai Mountain country (AMC) is divided into Altai itself, Gobi Altai and Mongolian Altai.
The highest ridges of the Altai: Katun, North-Chyuysky and South-Chyuysky gain an altitude of 3000-4000 m (the highest peak M.Belukha 4506 m). The highest ridges have modern glaciers. The largest centre of Altai glaciation lies in the south of the Altai – the mountain-mass Tabyn-Bogdo-Ola with the area of about 160 km2 – its northern part is on the Russian territory. In the North Chyuysky Ridge one can find significant valley type glaciers such as Bolshoi Maashei, 6,5 km long, and the Left Aktru and Right Aktru, 6,5 and 5 km long. This area is considered to be one of the mountain climbing centers in the Altai. The largest glaciers are located on the Central Katun Ridge: the Sapozhnikov’s glacier (10,5 км), the Bolshoi Berelsky glacier (10,4 км), Brothers Tronovs' glacier (10,3 км). M. Belukha is very rich in glaciers and they supply the great Altai River Katun and its tributaries with water. At present the Altai has 1500 glaciers with a total area of 910 square km. Lower ridges and mass-mountains with poorly fractured peaks with a height of 1500-2500 m are also typical for the Altai. They are divided by hollows which have the names of the steppes: Chyuyskaya steppe, Kuraiskaya steppe etc.

ФотоIn the mountain Altai there are lots of caves, many of which have huge paleontological and archeological importance. The caves are extraordinary beautiful and diverse. They boggle the imagination by their underground decoration, diversity of mineral deposits of different types (stalactites, stalagmites and stalagnate columns), calcite flowers and excellent underground galleries. Each cave is inimitable and unique.
The deepest Siberian cave is also in the Altai. It is Ecologicheskaya mine (Kyok-Tash) 345 m deep. The cave is like a gothic castle with high-ceiling halls and enormous sinters. The Altai cave is obscure minery from dark-green marble. The main beauty of the Tutkushenskaya cave is its underground lakes which occasionally disappear and appear again. The Muzeynaya cave (Museum cave) has a whole greenhouse with clay flowers. The Denisov cave is the most interesting from the archeological point of view. It contains cultural layers relating to all technological eras in the mankind history. For this reason scientists called it ‘the encyclopedia of the earliest and ancient history of Northern Asia ‘.

tourist camp