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Trekking to the Left Talgar gorge (2 days)

May 1, 2019

Trekking & Hiking | 2-day hiking route to Talgar Gorge, very popular for its picturesque landscapes, an abundance of blooming fields and dense coniferous forest. Walking part will start from Medeu high-mountain skating rink and will end at the highest point of Shymbulak ski resort with altitude 3163 meters above sea level.

Tour Route: Almaty - Medeu Sports Complex - Kimasar Gorge - Butakovskiy Pass - Left Talgar Gorge - KazPI Glade - Small Talgar Pass - Talgar Pass - Shymbulak Ski Resort - Medeu Sports Complex - Almaty (Almaty Region, Kazakhstan)

Season: May-October

Best Period: June-September

Route Complexity: Simple circular route in style of moderate trekking. Suits to any well-trained and fit person who has experience of walking in the mountains.  

Distance: 19 km. 

Duration: 2 days. 

Height Difference: absolute gain: 2300 meters. Highest point: Talgar pass 3163 m.a.s.l. Absolute loss: 850 meters. Lowest point: Kim Asar gorge 1700 m.a.s.l.

Area Description:

Left Talgar Gorge is the longest in the basin of Talgar River. It extends from south to north for 32 km. Left Talgar River takes its origin from Main Trans-Ili Alatau Range. The southern boundary of the gorge extends from Berezovskiy Peak in the west to the Peak of Soviet Kazakhstan in the east. Small Almaty Spur limits the gorge from the west, in the east border runs along the Main Range from Soviet Kazakhstan Peak to Stalskiy Peak, then along the New Spur which separates Left and Middle Talgar to Physicist Peak.
Spread widely by the circuses of Dmitriev, Constitution, Toguzak and Severtsev Glaciers, the gorge gradually narrows and after the Solar Glade begins to fall deep between steep and high slopes. The depth of the gorge in some places reaches one kilometer.
The Left Talgar River is formed after the confluence of Togyzak, Constitution and Dmitriev tributaries, flowing from the glaciers with same names.
Because of the small dissection of Small Almaty Spur, only four small rivers flow down from its eastern slopes. This is Tourists River flowing out of Tourists Glacier; extremely mudslide stream flowing from Aristov and Nursultan peaks; Komsomolka River, originating from Komsomolets Glacier, and Sauryksay River.
From the Main Range to the Left Talgar, Ulken Mynzhilki River flows from Kalesnik and Severtsev glaciers. Downstream, from New Spur flows down Nauryksai River, originating from the glaciers of South TEU and Atheist. 
Day 1. Almaty - Medeu Sports Complex - Kimasar Gorge - Enthusiasts Glade - Butakovskiy Pass - Suslusai Gorge - Left Talgar Gorge - KazPI Glade
Departure from Almaty at 09:00. Trasfer by comfortable car to the high-mountain skating rink Medeu. Preparation for the route, getting instructions from the guide. Start of the route from Medeu rink in the direction of Kimasar Gorge. You will make first stop for snacks and photo in place which local climbers call "flag". There is also a real mountain swing tied up with tree branches, which lets you soar straight into the sky.  
Further you will continue hiking along the ridge to the glade of Enthusiasts at the foothills of Furmanov Peak. After trail will traverse the slope, which belongs to Butakovskiy Gorge. Getting Butakovskiy Pass wich has altitude 2900 meters above sea level. Admire gorgeous views, take a break.  
Then long and sometimes very steep descent to Talgar Gorge. On the way you will stop near the spring to get some water. After about two hours, having passed a part of the forest, you will find yourself in a wide flowering meadow with pink buds of Ivan-tea, famous for its healing properties. You will go further and in about 20 minutes reach KazPI glade, where there are a lot of glades suitable for camping. Choose one of them and arrange the campsite. Putting up tents, gathering woods, making fire, swimming in the river. Dinner near the fire. Overnight in tents.
KazPI or Glade of Kazakh Pedagogical Institute named after Abay. There is also a meteorological station working during that period when there is a danger of mudflows in the gorge, usually it is middle of summer. Glade was named as KazPI in February 1948 by a group of ten students of Kazakh Pedagogical Institute named after Abay, who made a ski trip to the gorge under the direction of V.M. Zimin.

Distance: 12 km.

Heights difference: + 1200 meters/-850 meters.

Hiking time: ~ 8 hours.

Camp will be set up at an altitude 2150 m.a.s.l.

Day 2. KazPI Glade - Komsomol Stream - Small Talgar Pass - Talgar Pass - Shymbulak - Medeu - Almaty
Early wake up and breakfast. Packing tents and all the stuff. At 10:00 start of the route. Hiking up the gorge, crossing the river by wooden bridge. You will continue hiking through the forest and get to a small glade with wonderful view of the river and upper reaches of the gorge. Climbing steeply up the right side of the slope. Reaching Small Talgar Pass with altitude of 2800 meters above sea level. Short rest for snacks and hiking towards the cable car and the Big Talgar Pass, which will be well seen from this point. You will enjoy the fascinating views of four-thousand meters summits and glaciers on the way: Culturists, Chkalov, Abay, Til and Ayak glaciers. Then you will overcome the last part of the route and reach Talgar Pass. Descent to Shymbulak ski complex by cable car. Transfer to Medeu sports complex and return to Almaty.

Distance: 7 km.

Heights difference: + 1000 meters.

Hiking time: ~ 5 hours. 

Private Tour Price: 

380 USD per one person
210 USD per person, provided for 2 people travelling together
160 USD per person, provided for 3 people travelling together  


1. Hotel pickup/drop-off (for private tour only)
2. Professional English-speaking guide service
3. All admission and environmental fees
4. Dinner in Day 1, breakfast Day 2
5. Sleeping place in the tent
6. Ride tickets for cable car frop Talgar Pass to Shymbulak Ski Resort
7. Transfer Shymbulak - Medeu 


1. Hotel pickup/drop-off (for group tours)
2. Food not indicated in the program and/or not included in program price
3. Personal expenses and other expenses not indicated in the program
4. Accommodation in Almaty before or after the tour
5. Visa support and registration in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, if required
6. Insurance policy

Required Equipment:

Clothing that will not restrict movement: shorts, pants, leggings and t-shirt or light shirt with long sleeve
Cap or panama hat for sun and heat protection, sunglasses and sunscreen
Shoes without high heels, which can be used in hiking along varied mountain terrain: tourist trekking boots or similar, with a good sole and high lacing
Warm clothes for spending night in the mountains in tent, warm socks, warm hat or beanie, gloves
Personal dishes: fork, spoon, cup, plate
Water container or camelback, thermos with hot tea, snacks
Trekking poles, head torch
Personal AID kit
Sleeping bag, tourist mat

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