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The Geology West Altai reserve.

Travel on West Altai Reserve.

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn”

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Trip to the West Altai reserve.

The reserve is located on sites of ridges Kazakhstan parts of the Western Altai: Lineysky, Koksinsky, Ivanovskiy and Ulbinsky in sources of the mountain rivers White and Black Uba, Big and Small Turgusun, Barsuk.
Basic elements of a relief are ridges with relic ancient denudation form surfaces, river valleys, valley decreases, slopes, various exhibited over the countries of light which form peculiar features of climate which lead to emergence and development of certain types of a vegetable cover and soils.
The modern relief of Altai was created as a result of impact on the land surface of tectonic and denudation form forces. The most part of forms of a relief can be belongs to one of three groups to tectonic, glacial and water erosive.
The territory of the West Altai national park on the natural climatic conditions reflects all peculiar features of the southern Siberian taiga. The main ridges (Ivanovskiy, Ubinsky) do not reach big heights and have a relief of erosive character.
They are entirely covered with the wood. Mountain vegetation is poorly expressed. Tectonic forms define the largest lines of modern orography of Altai. Difficult geological history the sources consigns to the remote past when in the Precambrian and the lower Paleozoic as a result of Salair and Caledonian tectonic movements the foundation for the folded highland which is finally issued during a Hercynian period of revolution was for the first time laid.
Glacial forms of a relief have no universal value for all territory of Altai, in a number of areas define specifics of a structure of a surface. A water erosion the forms of a relief are had universal distribution, are most widely developed in the field of middle mountains.
Great interest is attracted by the knot made by the ridges Holzun, Ivanovsky, Lineysky, occupying the highest elevation marks (Scherbakov, etc., 1991). The area, now under protection as the Western Altai State Nature Reserve, is well hidden in the most west part of Altai mountain range in the far east of Kazakhstan.
It is best known for its spectacular buttes, logan stones and rock towns made of strangely shaped granite boulders many up to 35 meter tall. Not surprisingly, local people call the reserve: ‘Rocky fairytale‘. These extraordinary rocks attracted people for long time and were worshipped in the past, especially by Budhists.
There are plenty of religious artefacts found in their vicinity. Many rocks were even given own names such as Meeting of the Elders, Watching Man, Knights, Dolphin, Lizard, Greeting Sun and so on. This unique landscape surrounding the Skazka peak (Fairytale peak in English, 2,179 m a.s.l.) covers staggering 1,600 ha, but it is only small proportion of the whole reserve. 
Hence, it is just to say that the reserve has more than the unusual rocks worth exploring. Altai is one of the few remaining places in the world where one can still discover undisturbed nature with spectacular landscape vistas.
Many valleys contain pristine mountain lakes and streams flanked by lush green natural forests and at higher elevations alpine meadows and rugged peaks. The most famous lakes are a group of so called Beloubinskye lake, of which Kedrovoe (Siberian pine Lake) is considered the most beautiful of them.
All this mountain paradise harbours not less fascinating and diverse wildlife replete with endemic and relict (old-age) species of plants and animals. A specific mention deserves Gulbishche – the largest high mountain in Western Altai (6 km long and 2 km wide).
The area attracts a lot of large mammals – roe deer, Deer and allies (Cervidae) and European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Sightings of brown bear are also common. Visitors with a photo camera will rarely go home without spectacular images of local wildlife.
Most of the reserve is strictly protected and is off-limits to visitors to keep its nature undisturbed. However, there are several opportunities to explore its vicinity (buffer zone) or take one of several guided tours within the reserve on offer by the Administration of the Western Altai Nature Reserve.
Each visitor has to pay entrance fees and to be accompanied by a ranger at all times who provides detailed information about the reserve and takes care of visitor safety and comforts.

Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.Sights of West Altai Nature Reserve.

Authority:
"West Altai Nature Reserve". Bastanogova L. Ishkov E. Reserves of Central Asia and Kazakhstan. Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2006. Under the general edition of Roman Yashchenko. The international union of conservation of IUCN - The World Conservation Union. Physiographic features (across Kerteshev, Vagapov, Yashchenko, 2001). Reserves of the USSR. Reserves of Central Asia and Kazakhstan. Moscow "Thought", 1990.

Photos
Alexander Petrov.