Season: November-January, April-June
Best period: April-June
Complexity: intermediate, doesn’t demand mountaineering skills. Duration of ascent – 2,5-3 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 shape; it is necessary to have a set of avalanche equipment.
Height difference: elevation – 618 m., dropping – 618 m-1454 m. depends on quantity of snow.
Route: Almaty region, Kazakhstan, Almaty city – Big Almaty gorge – Big Almaty lake – Zhosaly Kezen pass – Tourist peak.
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
Departure from Almaty about 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 boarder post. We also could see building of mountain observatory there. Next stop will be in the end of the road when we get to last destination – station of cosmic rays researching, which is also known as “Cosmo-station”.
06.30 – arrival on “Cosmo-station”. Preparation of equipment. Instructions from the guide.
07.00 – start of the route. We will follow asphalt automobile road in first short part of the way. Then we will turn to the left and move uphill along the old draglift. After passing steep part we will move to the left towards “Tourist” pass. Over there it will be possible to make short break. After that two more steep parts will be overcome and we will reach the top of Tourist peak with self-titled nameplate.
10.00 – 10.40 – reaching top of Tourist peak. Stunning panoramic view will be opened on gorges of Trans-Ili-Alatau – Prohodnoe (Passing) and Ozyornoe (Lake) and related glaciers – Satpaev peak, B. Momyshuly peak, Turan peak and the others. Rest, tea, snack, photo, preparations for making descent on skis.
The peak is located in the Big Almaty Spur, south of the Big Almaty Peak, Zhosalykezen Pass and west of Turan Peak. The top is simple and accessible from all sides. In winter, a small ski drag lift operates on its slopes from the side of Zhosalykezen pass.
11.00 – 11.15 – descent on skis from Tourist to “Cosmo-station”.
11.30 – 12.00 – descent from “Cosmo-station” to Big Almaty lake on skis (depends on quantity of snow on the slopes).
12.30 – transfer to the city.
14.00-15.00 - lucn in local cafe in Almaty.
15.00 - transfer 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)
- 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 extra untifog lens
- Thermos with tea
- Water tank or camelback
- Head torch
- Personal AID kit
- Snacks (bars, muelsi, special mount nutrition)