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Heart of Altai
Heart of Altai

Climbing Belukha

Heart of Altai
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
16 y.o.
Group size
from 6 to 12 person
Duration
13 days

Accommodation during the trip

10 nights
2 nights

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
23 May 2021
  • 23 May 2021
  • 20 June 2021
  • 4 July 2021
  • 18 July 2021
  • 1 August 2021
  • 15 August 2021
  • 29 August 2021
  • 12 September 2021
End date:
4 June 2021
900 EUR

The sparkling ice of Belukha Mountain in the background of bright blue skies tempts travelers like a rare jewel. To conquer its height of 4509 meters is quite an achievement even for an experienced climber. Overcoming the difficulties amidst the snows covering the mountain from base to peak, you will change the way you perceive yourself and your lifestyle.

Heart of Altai
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
from 16 y.o.
Group size
from 6 to 12 person
Duration
13 days

Accommodation during the trip

10 nights
2 nights

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
23 May 2021
  • 23 May 2021
  • 20 June 2021
  • 4 July 2021
  • 18 July 2021
  • 1 August 2021
  • 15 August 2021
  • 29 August 2021
  • 12 September 2021
End date:
4 June 2021
900 EUR

Experiences you'll have

Climbing Belukha Mountain

Belukha is, at 4509 meters, one of Russia's highest peaks. The streams of mighty Katun, Altai's river #1, flow from there. The foot area is abundant in scenic rivers, lakes, and plants. Belukha is  considered to be a sacred mountain peak for many indigenous peoples of the Altai.  According to Buddhist legends, the legendary kingdom of Shambhala is located here. And the Altai Old Believers are convinced that in the area of Belukha Mount there is a secret entrance to the Belovodye "land of happiness".

Despite the fact that Belukha is lower than Elbrus, the ascent to this peak is more difficult.

 

If you have no previous climbing experience and you are choosing between these two peaks, we recommend starting with Elbrus.

Before climbing the peak, you will go trekking over this amazing place. Hiking to the foot of Belukha in the first days will give you an opportunity to see the picturesque Lake Akkem, as well as to get acclimatized for a successful ascent. The schedule includes a training day for you to learn how to climb snow-and-ice slopes.

Border permit is required for this tour. Personal data should be submitted minimum 30 days before the date of arrival

Itinerary

The journey begins in Novosibirsk or Gorno-Altaisk, where you need to travel to by your own. We are ready to help with the purchase of tickets, if necessary, leave a comment in the application.

 

Note: the program in the mountains can be changed due to weather conditions. Decision about changing the itinerary is made by guide.

Day 1 Arrival to Tyungur

After meeting at the airport of Novosibirsk and Gorno-Altaisk, you will be transferred to Gorny Altai, to the village of Tyungur. The road will pass through mountain passes and will take from 6 to 14 hours. Meals on the way will be arranged at cafes (extra charge).

 

The route length is 850 km from Novosibirsk (12-14 hours), 460 km from Gorno-Altaisk (6-7 hours).

Day 2 Preparing for a hike

In the morning you will arrive in the village of Tyungur, stay at the campsite on the base and have breakfast. After that you will start preparing for the active part of the route: pick up equipment and help to collect and load things on pack horses.

 

Then you will receive a safety briefing and a lecture "Dangers in the mountains" from a mountaineering instructor. After that, you will have free time. If desired, and for an additional fee, you can book an excursion to the museum of Old Believers in the Uymon Valley. Or go to the Tolono place: here, on the high bank of the Katun River, a whole complex of stone warriors of the Pazyryk culture of the VI-II centuries BC has been preserved. This tour can be combined with a 3-hour rafting on the Katun river.

 

In the evening after dinner you will discuss the upcoming program with the guide and, if desired, go to the sauna (additional charge).

Day 3 Off road transfer to "Tri Berezy" camp

Today after breakfast you will take a ride on Gaz-66 cross-country vehicles through the Kuzuyak mountain pass (1513 m) to the "Tri Berezy" (Rus.for "Three Birches") camp. From here, after lunch, you will start a trekking route along the forest trail to Lake Akkem.

 

During the route you will carry backpacks with personal equipment and food for 1.5 days. Pack horses will be used to transport group climbing equipment to the Belukha foothills. In the evening you will stop for the night in tents on the bank of a mountain stream.

 

The length of the route is from 9 to 18 km on GAZ-66, 7-15 km on foot.

Day 4 Route to the base camp near Lake Akkem

Today you will go to the base camp, located at the foot of Belukha in the vicinity of Lake Akkem. The trail runs along the riverbed of the same name, along the way you will enjoy picturesque views of the Tekelu Waterfall and the main peak of the Altai.

 

The base camp is located in the forest, 1.5 km below Lake Ak-Kem. The advantages of this location are that there is always firewood and there are no cold gusty winds from the glaciers. All this will allow you to recover better after the climbing. At the camp you will have a safety briefing before leaving the forest area for the glacier area. In the evening after dinner, if you wish, you can visit the sauna (paid additionally on site). You will spend a night in tents.

 

The length of the route is from 7 to 15 km on foot

 

Day 5 Akkem Glacier

Today you will hike through the Akkem glacier. You will cross the flow of the Ak-Kem River on a shaky bridge at the beginning of the lake, visit the chapel, and then go out to the glacier grotto and continue trekking along it to the foot of the Belukha. On the way you will see the huge icefall of the Akkem glacier. It can be seen for tens of kilometers at the foot of Belukha. Huge ice blocks and cracks are striking in their scale.

 

On the route you will need to clearly follow the guide's instructions, and in this case, you will be able to pass the glacier without climbing equipment. For the night, you will stop at the famous "Tomskye Stoyanki" camp (at 3000 m high). 

 

The length of the route is 17 km on foot.

Day 6 Recreation and training sessions on the glacier

This day you will spend preparing for the ascent and training sessions on the glacier. You will learn how to use ice axe and to move in crampons. Try different scending and descending rope technique, self-arresting and alpine group moving technique.

 

If weather conditions are good, you will acclimatize and make it to under the Delaunay pass at a height of 3400 m. In the evening, prepare your equipment for the ascent, have dinner and relax.

Day 7 Delaunay pass

Early in the morning you will set off  to the Delaunay Pass. First, you will have to overcome a rather difficult part of the snow-ice slope with a steepness of 35-45 degrees and a length of about 320 m. The ascent to the pass will take place on the railing ropes fixed by the guides with special safety equipment. This will ensure safety for the participants of the ascent.

 

Then you will pass through the Mensu Glacier and climb the Bolshoe Berelskoe Sedlo (Rus. for "Great Berel Saddle") pass. Here you will set up a camp, have dinner and spend the night in tents.

 

The length of the route is 6 km on foot.

Day 8 Climbing Belukha

Today you will climb the eastern peak of Belukha Mount (4507 m high). You will start moving from the camp at night, and you will meet the dawn at the top (under favorable conditions).

 

You will climb the Belukhinsky Pass on a rope fixed by guides (120 m), and then continue ascending along the ridge to the top. At an altitude of 4507 meters, you will see a breathtaking panorama of the snow-capped peaks of the Altai Mountains, wrapped in clouds. You will go down to the base camp on the same way. The round-trip route will take 7-8 hours.

 

The length of the route is 8 km on foot.

Day 9 Reserve day

This is a reserve day in case of bad weather or if additional acclimatization is necessary for the expedition participants.

 

If the ascent took place on the previous day, you will return to the base camp at Lake Akkem a day earlier and make a radial hikes to the Yarlu Valley or the Valley of the Seven Lakes.

Day 10 Descent to the base camp

On this day you will start the descent along the same route: first through the Bolshoe Barelskoe Sedlo Pass to the "Tomskye Stoyanki" camp. Then through the Delaunay Pass to the base camp near Lake Akkem (8-9 hours on the way). In the evening, you will have dinner, relax and, if you wish, you can go to the sauna (paid additionally on the spot).

 

The length of the route is 20 km on foot.

Day 11 Return trip to the Tekelu Waterfall

On these days you will be able to return from Akkem Lake to the Tekelu Waterfall and the "Tri Berezy" camp. The route will pass along the picturesque Akkem trail. The name of the Ak-Kem River means "white water"in the Turkic language. Indeed, the water in the river has a milky white hue. The river originates from the Akkem glacier and carries in its waters small pieces of stones from the slopes of Belukha.

 

From the "Tri Berezy" camp you travel to the base in the village of Tyungur by all-terrain vehicles Gaz-66. Here you can stay in a campsite or in guest house (for an additional fee, advance booking is required). In the evening you will visit the bathhouse and rest at the base. You can have dinner in the cafe (extra charge).

 

The length of the route is from 9-18 km on Gaz-66, 15 to 20 km on foot.

Day 12 Transfer to Gorno-Altaysk and Novosibirsk

In the morning after breakfast, a minibus transfer to Gorno-Altaysk and Novosibirsk will be arranged. You will arrive in Gorno-Altaysk on the same day and stay in a hotel (extra charge). The approximate time of arrival in Novosibirsk is in the morning of the next day. We recommend buying tickets from Novosibirsk with departure after 6 pm.

 

The length of the route is 460 km to Gorno-Altaisk, 850 km to Novosibirsk.

Day 13 Departure

On this day, you will go to the airport for your flight home.

Heart of Altai
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
16 y.o.
Group size
from 6 to 12 person
Duration
13 days

Accommodation during the trip

10 nights
2 nights

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
23 May 2021
  • 23 May 2021
  • 20 June 2021
  • 4 July 2021
  • 18 July 2021
  • 1 August 2021
  • 15 August 2021
  • 29 August 2021
  • 12 September 2021
End date:
4 June 2021
900 EUR

Accommodation during the trip

On days 1 and 11 you will spend the night in tents at the "Green House" base in the village of Tyungur. On the territory there is a cafe and a sauna (for an additional fee). If desired, and for an additional fee, you can choose to stay in a guest house or summer houses (advance booking is required).


In Lake Akkem area, you will stay in tents at the base camp (days 4-5, 9-11). It is located in the forest, 1.5 km below the lake. The forest protects against the cold, gusty winds from the glaciers, so the group recovers better after the climbing. Also, if you wish, these days you can stay in the mountain shelter "Ak-Kem", located at an altitude of 1950 meters in the forest zone of the Ak-Kem gorge, on the bank of the river (for an additional fee). Here you can rent bed linen, mattress, blanket, pillow.

 

During the hikinf and ascents of Belukha (days 3-4, 5-8) you will spend the night in standard two -, three-or four-person climbing tents.

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Common questions

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Who will be my guide +

During the entire program, you will be accompanied by an experienced guide, as well as a mountaineering instructor. Before going on the route, he will conduct a safety briefing and a lecture on "Dangers in the mountains", and before the start of the ascent — training sessions on the glacier.


Before entering the route, the group is provided with a first aid kit, radio communication and GPS-navigators, as well as a satellite phone with 100% coverage for emergencies.

Can I participate +

To take part in this tour, you must be physically fit, have some climbing and mountain hike experience. This is a 3A route. The length of the hiking day routes is from 6 to 20 km. Maximum altitude variation may amount to 1000 meters in a single day.

 

Pack horses are used to transport group equipment and food to the base camp in the Akkem Lake area. For the first two days of the active part of the route, you will carry only personal climbing equipment and food for 1.5 days (6-15 kg) in backpacks. The rest of the days, in addition to personal belongings, you will also have to carry food, personal and public equipment in backpacks (tents and ropes distributed by the guide among the participants, taking into account individual characteristics, the weight of the backpack is 15-25 kg). If desired, and for an additional fee, you can use the services of a porter or rent a horse to transport your personal belongings.

Meals +

The program price includes three meals a day on the active part of the route. In addition, you will need to pay for meals at the cafe during the transfers (days 1 and 12) and during your stay at the base in the village of Tyungug (days 2 and 11).

 

On the tracking part of the route (on days 3-5 and 10-12), the food will be prepared by the cook on a fire, primus or gas burner.

 

On the ascent at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, it is impossible to prepare standard hiking meals due to the peculiarities of the highlands. Therefore, the food is prepared by tourists themselves: each tent is provided with a burner, gas, dishes and a set of products. Also, each participant on the ascent will be given standard freeze-dried products of light weight, which do not require cooking.

What to bring with me +

Clothing and shoes for Belukha climbing:

  • a set of footwear to choose from: mountaineering boots with welts, sneakers/rubber leggins boots or shoes for heavy trekking without welts, flip flops, slippers/sandals, insulated shoe covers (for climbing)
  • wind and waterproof jacket and trousers of the membrane
  • down jacket
  • sweater fleece
  • warm socks and thin (preferably made of synthetic fabrics)
  • a set of thermal underwear (1-2 PCs)
  • t-shirt and light pants (for the forest)
  • mittens with a small heater (1 pair)
  • fleece gloves (1 pair)
  • cap (Polartec/Windblock)
  • panama hat or bandana (1-2 pcs)


Personal equipment for Belukha climbing:

  • documents (passport, medical policy in sealed packaging)
  • backpack 70 l (if you want you can take your own or you will be provided on the spot)
  • waterproof cover for backpack
  • tourist mat (if you want you can take your own or you will be provided on the spot)
  • sleeping bag with temperature extreme -15°C (if you want you can take your own or you will be provided on the spot)
  • sunglasses in a case with 100% UF protection
  • sunscreen with SPF 30 at least 
  • LED headlamp
  • personal hygiene items
  • travel towel
  • a set of light personal tableware (mug, bowl, spoon, knife)
  • thermos (0.5-1 l)
  • trekking poles
  • individual first aid kit (bandages broad; bandage; patch rolled solid; ascorbic acid with glucose (2-3 standard); cough lozenges; anesthetic drug in tablets; activated carbon; antipyretic; personal medicines)
  • dense bags for packing things (30-120 l, 1-2 rolls)


The cost of equipment rental services when climbing Belukha (the price is indicated for the entire tour period):

  • mountaineering boots with welts — from 3500 to 4500 rubles
  • heavy trekking boots without welts — from 2000 rubles
  • gaiters from snow — 1000 rubles
  • insulated shoe covers—1500 rubles
  • mittens with insulation—1500 rubles
  • sunglasses in a case — 1200 rubles
  • LED headlamp — 550 rubles
  • a set of light personal tableware (mug, plate, spoon) — 500 rubles
  • trekking poles  — 1600 rubles


The list of things that you would like to rent, you can specify in the application form — it will be sent to you by the manager when booking the tour.

What climbing gear is provided +

Common hiking equipment and alpine gear :

  • climbing tents (two-, three - and four-person)
  • climbing ropes
  • group safety equipment
  • nylon runners
  • satellite phone for emergency, GPS navigation
  • ice screws
  • quickdraws
  • shovel
  • axe and saw for firewood in the forest area
  • campfire cooking equipment and gas stove
  • kitchen gear
  • rain awning
  • a group first-aid kit
  • expeditionary bags for loading things on horses

 

 

Personal hiking equipment and alpine gear:

  • backpack (from 70 L for women and from 80 liters for men)
  • sleeping bag
  • tourist mat
  • safety system
  • helmet
  • ice axe
  • universal cats
  • trigger device
  • zhumar
  • carbines, 4 PCs
  • self-insurance
Insurance +

The price includes medical insurance in the amount of 15 000 USD for the climbing part of the route. The insurance provides for rescue operations using a helicopter if necessary.

 

If desired, and for an additional fee, you can apply for extended insurance for all days of the trip.

What transport is used on the route +

Transfer from Novosibirsk and Gorno-Altaisk to the village of Tyungur and back will be organized by tourist minibuses Mercedes Sprinter, Peugeot Boxer, Mitsubishi Delica, Hyundai Grand Starex (H-1) or similar. Buses are equipped with trailers for transporting equipment and backpacks.

 

The transfer from the village of Tyungur to the "Tri Berezy" camp.and back will be carried out on Gaz-66 cross-country vehicles.

Tick-borne encephalitis vaccination +

We highly recommend to get a tick-borne encephalitis vaccination, especially for May-June arrivals. In Russia vaccination is done in 2 parts. The first vaccine is made 45 days before arrival to Russia. The second vaccine — 7-14 days before arrival to the Altai region.

 

The vaccination process might differ in your country. For details, please contact your doctor. If you are not willing to go through vaccination process, please, be assured that your medical insurance covers tick-borne encephalitists.

Required data for border permit +

To participate in tour it is necessary to submit the following information not later than 35 days before start of the tour:

  • copy of passport
  • full name of employing Company and job position
  • address of current residence
  • city of birth (with country indicated)
  • phone number

 

The issue of border permit is included in the tour.

What about the weather +

You can perceive and sense all of the seasons in just two days. It can snow or hail here in July. Belukha is snow-covered round the year. If it rains in the valley, then it snows on Belukha. The ascent route contains a lot of snow-and-ice slopes up to 45 degrees. Please, select your clothing carefully.

Booking

Heart of Altai

Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
from 16 y.o.
Group size
from 6 to 12 person
Duration
13 days

Accommodation during the trip

10 nights
2 nights

Languages

EN
guide
900 EUR
What's included in the price:
  • accommodation in camping tents en route (up to 2-4 persons)

  • three meals a day on the active part of the route

  • transfer from Novosibirsk or Gorno-Altaisk to Tyungur village and back;  off road transfer to Kuzujak Pass

  • mountain guides and instructors' services

  • rental of common and personal apline gear and travel equipment

  • common gear and food horse carrying to the base camp on Akkem Lake

  • medical insurance with helicopter evacuation to the climbing part of the route

  •  bathhouse (sauna) (1 time) in the village of Tyungur on day 12

  • all necessary permits

Extra charge:
  • airfare to Novosibirsk or Gorno-Altaysk

  • meals while transfer and staying in Tyungur village

  • hotel accommodation at the base in the village of Tyungur and in the mountain shelter on Akkem Lake (advance booking is required)

  • extra bathhouse visits at the base camp on Lake Akkem

  • extended insurance 

  • personal belongings carrier services (+35 EURO / day in the forest area; +45 EURO/day above the forest area, up to 14 kg in weight and up to 30 liters in volume)

  • rental of a horse to transport your cargo to the base camp (50 kg max per horse, +17 EURO per day)

  • helicopter transfer from the base in Tyungur to the base camp in the Akkem Lake area (+920 EURO  per flight); to the Tomskye Stoyanki camp (+1000 EURO per flight)

     

     

  • rent of additional personal equipment and gear (see the details in "Common questions" section)

  • satellite phone for private calls (4 $ per minute), border pass and migration registration for non-Russian citizents

In the price:
Included Extra charge
  • accommodation in camping tents en route (up to 2-4 persons)

  • three meals a day on the active part of the route

  • transfer from Novosibirsk or Gorno-Altaisk to Tyungur village and back;  off road transfer to Kuzujak Pass

  • mountain guides and instructors' services

  • rental of common and personal apline gear and travel equipment

  • common gear and food horse carrying to the base camp on Akkem Lake

  • medical insurance with helicopter evacuation to the climbing part of the route

  •  bathhouse (sauna) (1 time) in the village of Tyungur on day 12

  • all necessary permits

  • airfare to Novosibirsk or Gorno-Altaysk

  • meals while transfer and staying in Tyungur village

  • hotel accommodation at the base in the village of Tyungur and in the mountain shelter on Akkem Lake (advance booking is required)

  • extra bathhouse visits at the base camp on Lake Akkem

  • extended insurance 

  • personal belongings carrier services (+35 EURO / day in the forest area; +45 EURO/day above the forest area, up to 14 kg in weight and up to 30 liters in volume)

  • rental of a horse to transport your cargo to the base camp (50 kg max per horse, +17 EURO per day)

  • helicopter transfer from the base in Tyungur to the base camp in the Akkem Lake area (+920 EURO  per flight); to the Tomskye Stoyanki camp (+1000 EURO per flight)

     

     

  • rent of additional personal equipment and gear (see the details in "Common questions" section)

  • satellite phone for private calls (4 $ per minute), border pass and migration registration for non-Russian citizents

23 May 2021, Sun — 4 Jun 2021, Fri
900 EUR
20 Jun 2021, Sun — 2 Jul 2021, Fri
900 EUR
4 Jul 2021, Sun — 16 Jul 2021, Fri
900 EUR
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