Chike-Taman pass

Chike-Taman Pass (Ulengem, «Straight foot») is natural monument of national importance since 1996. Height is 1,460 meters, descent length 4 km. It seems considerably higher because of its steepness. Observation deck allows to see down and upper parts of the road running up to pass.

The road is carved through the granite rocks and forms a serpentine with numerous turns and twists. Chike-Taman Pass lies through narrow north-eastern Terektinsky ridge spur between huge rocks tending vertically up, and deep cliffs on the other side.

Chuiskyi Path, the main highway of Mountain Altai passes through Chike-Taman. The rise of 7 km starts near Khabarovka Village in Ongudaisky region, descent to Kupchegen Village is 4 km.

Passing Chuke-Taman, be aware about rockfall. It often happens after heavy rains or shake of the earth's crust. In this case concrete fence and rolled mountain boulders are provided on the edges of road.

The road passed elsewhere at the beginning of the XX century. Old road used as horse-riding trail, is seen from top of the Pass. Rise of the pass consisted of 34 sharp curves. Ancient road is related to X-XII centuries. Traces of the ancient road are still saved along modern Chike-Taman pass.

Repair of Chike-Taman began in 1924-1925 and finished in 1927. The path laid by the new highway. Road to Chike-Taman was one-sided, with pockets for passing counter traffic, drivers had to signal to each other in advance of approach of oncoming cars. Tracking new road through mountain ridge was truly difficultly huge. Builders had to move more than a million tons of soil, to blow up a dozen rocks to expand road.

A new track on the Chike-Taman was opened in 1984, it is good asphalted two-lane road now. However, old road is preserved, and it is said still possible to pass. Old and new roads are connected at the top of Chike-Taman.

The northern slopes of Chike-Taman are completely covered by rhododendron. Yellow tulips bloom on the southern slopes in the early spring. Both sides of the pass are filled with rare larch forest and a variety of shrubs. Shady slopes are overgrown with moss and Badane. Also one can meet Altai honeysuckle, willow, meadowsweet. Edelweiss flowers looking like huge down stars at the top of the Chike-Taman.

Larch with numerous tired clothes on it is «shaman-tree» on saddle of Chike-Taman. Such trees can be met on passes, near sources and streams, which in the Altai Mountains can be seen in the passes, from streams and springs. Travelers have long ribbons tied in place thanks to the spirits and in memory of those who stayed at home, and who is ahead. Travelers tied ribbons in memory who stayed at home, and who is ahead, thanking to the spirits. Since May 2012, campaign «Save Altai» to clean up the pass of inscriptions left by tourists is regularly realized. The action is attended by residents of Khabarovka, Kupchegenya, Ini Villages, members of rural communities and Ongudai District Council.

Experienced travelers, a lovers of nature of the Altai Mountains believe «real» mountains start after the Chike-Taman Pass only. There are not comfortable bases with bars, no discos and organized tours. Indeed, settlements and tourist complexes are much less after passing the Chike-Taman. Traveler tracks a route himself and nothing disturbs to enjoy pure beauty of wayfarers picturesque valleys, rocks, rivers and lakes of various shapes and colors.

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