Route: Almaty region, Kazakhstan, Almaty city – Big Almaty gorge – Big Almaty lake – Tourist pass – Turan peak.
Season: November-January, April-June
Best period: April-June
Complexity: intermediate, doesn’t demand mountaineering skills. Duration of ascent – 3-3,5 hours depending on level of physical fit. Suits for beginners and experienced skiers and snowboarders with confident level of riding on wild terrain. It is desirable to have a good physical training; it is necessary to have a set of avalanche equipment.
Height difference: elevation gain – 900 meters, loss – 900-1500 meters, depends on quantity of snow.
Early departure from Almaty at 5.00 a.m. Transfer by car to the station of cosmic rays researching, which is situated at the altitude of 3336 m.a.s.l.. We will be moving towards mountain reminds a pyramid, which can be noticed from any district of the city. It delusively seems the highest one because of it’s close location to the city – it is Big Almaty peak. (3681 m.a.s.l.). The road to the gorge will be going through the short tunnel of anti-mudflow dam, which was built in 1977.
After passing dam view to the landslide “Stone Flower” will be opened. It appeared after one of the strongest earthquakes in 1911. The slopes of Karabas hill had fallen into the gorge and after some time formed here beautiful canyon where afterwards trees and bushes were grown. Wild apricot, walnut, apple trees and wild roses are grown here. At the foot of canyon there is the nursery “Sunkar”, where rare birds of our region as golden eagles and falcons are raised and kept.
Moving up to the gorge we will be surrounded by magnificent mountains and forests of Tian-Shan spruces. After passing sequence of steep serpentines we will get to Big Almaty lake at an altitude 2500 m.a.s.l.
Lake appeared about 2000 years ago because of the earthquake. The landslide fell from Big Almaty peak and formed essential dam, lake was appeared behind it. Nowadays pure water from the lake is used for the supply part of Almaty city with drinking water.
We will continue to move uphill and make stop at the check post. We also could see building of mountain observatory there. We will continue moving up by car and get to the start point of our route – part of the road 2,5 km not reaching “Cosmo-station”.
06.30 – arrival to the start point of the route. Preparing equipment for the route.
07.00 – start the route on ski-tour (split board or snowshoes). We will be moving to the left side from the road towards Tourist pass, which is situated between two summits – Turan peak and Tourist peak. Ascent will take about one and half hour. Elevation till the pass will be 715 metres.
08.30 – 09.00 – after getting to the pass we will have a break, eat snacks and drink tea. View to Karnizniy or Satpaev peak 4075 m. and Almaty-Alagir 4225 m. summit will be opened from here. We will continue ascent along the ridge to Turan peak. It will take no longer than one hour.
09.40 – 10.00 – reaching the top of Turan peak or as it was named in the past – peak of Institute of Nuclear Physics. Posh panoramic view will be opened for us from the peak. Summits of Small Almaty spur and Talgar peak will be well seen from the left side in the east. Soviet peak (Satpaev peak nowadays), Soviet Alpinists, Young Guard to the fore. Lake (Ozyorniy), Choibolsan, Kuderin, Leninskaya Smena, Legostaev, Science peaks to the south. Preparing equipment for descent.
The summit is located in the Big Almaty Spur to the east of Tourist Peak and north-east of Momyshuly Peak (formerly Karniznaya). Height is 3960 meters. The peak belongs to the Almaty Alagir mountain range. The former name is INP (in honor of the Institute of Nuclear Physics). Later it was renamed in honor of Turan University.
10.00 – 10.30 – beginning of descent from the peak. Line of descent will be defined on the assumption of snow conditions and quantity of snow. It will be possible to make descent from the top of the peak in narrow couloir or on wide slope from the right side of ascent’s line. Descent can be made till the road where the route has started. Driver with the car will be waiting over there.
11.00 – 11.30 – transfer back to Almaty city.
12.30 – 13.30 – lunch in local café in Almaty.
14.00 – arrival to the hotel.
*** At the client's request, the program can be extended to 2-4 days. Continuing the radial exits to the tops of the location next to the space station. Accommodation in comfortable warm guest house.
- Alpine skis/snowboard with ski-touring bindings
- Ski/snowboard boots (for skiers with system of switching to walking mode)
- Snowshoes (for snowboarders without splitboard)
- Comfortable functional clothing for riding (base layer (thermal underwear), gore-tex jacket and pants, additional layers of clothing for insulation, downy sweater or vest)
- Avalanche equipment (ABS system or avalanche safety kit: shovel, probe and transceiver)
- Freeride backpack with volume 20-30 litres with ski/snowboard fixation
- Goggles with a spare lens for bright sunlight and cloudy weather
- Thermos with tea
- Water tank or camelback
- Head torch
- Personal AID kit
- Snacks (bars, muelsi, special mount nutrition)