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Mount Belukha

 

Mount Belukha, or Belucha, forms part of the snowcapped Russian mountain series known as the Kayun Mountains. In the Russian part of the Altai Mountains, Belukha is the highest peak at 4 506 meters. There are glaciers that cover approximately 70 square kilometers, with the largest named Berel, at a height of 1 950 meters. The region in which Mount Belucha lies receives snowfall all year round. The largest river in this region, the Katyn river, runs down the Belukha slopes.

If compares Belukha with other mountains as the Pamirs, Caucasus, so this mount isn't so high as Elbrus 5633 m. Belukha is a twin-peaked mountain massif that rises along the border of Russia and Kazakhstan. There are several small glaciers on the mountain. Of the two peaks, the eastern peak (4,506 m) is higher than the western peak (4,440 m).

Since ancient times the tribes settled in Altai treated Belukha with respect and awe. First written mention of Belukha belongs to 1793; the first traveler who saw Belukha was European traveler Gebler. The first scientist who used to research Belukha thoroughly since 1835 was Russian professor V.V.Sapognikov. He tried to climb Belukha for the first time. Nevertheless it was the Tronov brothers who first climbed Belukha in 1914.

Mountain Belukha is a unique natural object, rich in contrasts of diverse natural complexes, it attracts attention of scientists, ministers and followers of different cults, nature lovers, mountain - climbers and tourists. Mountain Belukha is raising high above the neighboring watershed ranges and ties the Katun range system of spurs into one knot. Rocks, screes and moraines occupy big parts of the mountain massif. More than 60 per cent of the Katun glaciers are concentrated on the slopes and valleys of Mt. Belukha massif.

The glaciers are characterized by a high elevation of feeding reservoirs, steep glacier fields, and low position of glacier tongues.
Alpine low-grass and sub alpine high-grass meadows are met lower than a glacier line; moraines and stony spurs are dotted by lichens. Both types of meadows strike the eye was bright multicolored mountain flowers. Some parts of mountain meadows are alternating with bushy tundra where dwarf brush trees and willows grow. Bushy tundras are replaced by the belt of upper sparse woods represented by larch and Siberian pine. The upper forest line is at the elevation 2,000 - 2,200 m above the sea level depending on the slope exposition. The plant world is characterized by a great diversity of species and variability of associations. Species oil different elevation belts, many of them edible, medicinal or rare and protected can be found there. The animal world is also rich and various.

The climb to the summit features various terrain, and therefore hikers and climbers should be in a fit physical condition and must have basic climbing skills, along with mountaineering equipment that will be used during the climb. Hikers and climbers can either carry their own luggage or request horses at the base camp or discuss this option with their travel agency or guide. Vital gear and equipment, suggested by a trained guide or agency, will be needed as the weather conditions can be severe. Waterproof clothing, sleeping bags, light boots and warm jackets are just a few items that are needed to hike the terrain




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In Altai there are more than 820 glaciers covering over 600 sq km.

 
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