Aktru glacier

The biggest part of Aktru glaciers is located in Aktru canyon at height 2150 meters.

Alpine Aktru basin topography formed by weathering and water-glacial erosion acting on uneven tectonic uplift of individual blocks of the array. Therefore, rised high mountain ridges (the highest peaks reach 4000 m) adjoin deep landforms, numerous potholes, niches and different kinds of grooves. Such relief assisted to the accumulation of snow and formation of ice of glacial era, which advanced twice in Altai. Glaciers occupy about 16 square kilometers.

There are 5 glaciers in Aktru basin: Small Aktru, Large Aktru, Waterfall Glacier, Kyzyl-Tash, Kyrkyrek.

Ice stream of Small Aktru is snowless, falling to height 2235 meters. Streams flowing beneath the glacier combine together forming small Aktru river. In the bottom edge of glacier created gaps are temporary ice caves, providing a rare opportunity to see inside a glacier. Inconspicuous hole in the bottom leads to the hall with a dazzling blue vaults under the dirty, sand-strewn surface of the glacier. Ice stream feeding Aktru runs in the middle of the cave, reflecting the blue jet vaults. The light on the irregularities of the walls and thickness of the ice above create a completely fantastic scene, it seems as a cave emits a blue glow.

On the north side of Kara-Tash Mountain at the altitude of 3600 m a small glacier (about 1 sq km area) is overhung. The short side of the top of a spur divides it into two sleeves, similar with legs, so the glacier has the informal name «Tronov pants». Its thickness is about 170 m, which correspond to the time span of 700-800 years according to researchers. It was selected by researchers of international Russian-Japanese-American team for monitoring environmental changes. Deep fissures cut surface of the glacier. It is active in developing its glacier bed, so walking on is safety in early spring only, rockfalls are often in summer.

Waterfall Glacier Name «waterfall Glacier» connected with the small stream flowing from the ice stream forming lovely waterfall below. It is located in the upper reaches of peak «Dome of three lakes» (3556 m). Waterfall Glacier is relatively safe for passage and free-ride, since almost has no cracks and fractures. The area of glacier Waterfall is about 0.77 km². Large Glacier Aktru.

Large Aktru area is about 11.3 m² with length of more than 8 km. It refers to glacier of valley type. Glacier Large Aktru is divided into two asymmetrical sleeves (left and right Aktru) which combined in a single channel at the bottom. Thickness of the ice reaches 350 meters. Beautiful blue Lake with surprisingly deep turquoise water color is located on the glacier Large Aktru in moraine pocket at an altitude of 2840 meter. Flow of Aktru River formed by ice streams running between «Muttom foreheads» originates here. The highest peak of the area, Aktru-Bash (4075 meters) is also here.

Aktru climbing camp, the oldest in Altai Mountains operated in Aktru River Valley since 1938. It is a tourist base opened the whole year round, everyone can stop and even try itself in climbing training. Climbing camp is divided into two parts. One of it is located on the left bank of the river, together with the base of Tomsk State University. You can put your tent or use stationary; there is a bath and a couple of accommodation houses. Aktru valley was the main scientific laboratory of the famous scientist and glaciologist Tronov M.V whose hut was saved nearby.

Second part of camp has two-storied accommodations and a bath. The sight of the climbing camp is small lake «Sachki». Here start the route to Small Aktru (4075 m) of 2A, 3A, 4A categories of difficulty, and path to the Dome of the Three Lakes (3645 m) also starts here.

This place is well-known for its harsh winter, temperature once droped to negative 62 C. Summer is unbearable hot. But these places attract many people cause of extraordinary beauty around.

Amazing blue sky, sharply contrasting with the gloomy harsh cliffs and huge stone moraines; stratum of white snow; streams, cascading, murmuring on snow of the glacier bed and disappearing in its bottomless pit with a completely charming sound; ice walls as high as a multi-storied building and ice bridges under which milk water of Aktru River rapidly brings his white water; a beautiful waterfall, which was born relatively recently and which, for some reason, rarely mentioned. Splendor and diversity of nature will not leave you indifferent.