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Karkaraly Mountains.

Bushwhacking in Karkaraly Mountains. 

“The miracles of earth are the laws of heaven”

Jean Paul Richter.

Experiential tourism in Kazakhstan mountains.

Video film: Karkaraly mountains. Karaganda region. Central Kazakhstan.

The Karkaraly Mountains are located in the eastern part of the Kazakh Uplands, 172 kilometers southeast of the city of Karaganda, 283 kilometers northeast of the city of Balkhash, on the territory of the Karkaralinsky district of the Karaganda region.
The highest point of the mountainous region is Komsomolsky Peak (Zhirensakal), 1403 meters above sea level, located in the southern part. The top of Zhirensakal is crowned with three huge stone "towers". At the time when the Cossacks lived in the village of Karkaralinsk, this rocky massif was called “Boar Shish”, because there were wild boars in the vicinity, which are still found here.
In 1936, the mountain received a new name Komsomolsky peak (Zhirensakal) after 100 girls and boys climbed it. The second highest peak is Shankoz, located in the northern part of the mountains at a height of 1360 meters above sea level.
The third highest is the nameless peak, located in the central part of the massif, 1323 meters above sea level, which serves as a panoramic platform and offers views of the Karakaraly Mountains. The Karkaraly Mountains represent a system of isolated low-mountain and steeply sloping massifs, consisting mainly of granites.
The mountains are located in the tectonic (Caledonian) and latitudinal landscape dry steppe zones, associated with Hercynian granite intrusions, the mountains have a different type of landscape. Raised by the latest tectonic movements hundreds of meters and exposed by intense denudation, granite intrusions have given the relief a great picturesque quality.
The Karkaraly Mountains have a noticeable landscape asymmetry: their northern slopes are steeper, richer in springs and vegetation. Located in the depths of the dry steppe of Central Kazakhstan and close to large mining sites, mountain and forest landscapes can be used as excellent places for recreation and tourism.
There are deposits of copper and polymetallic ores in the Karkaraly region. Rare metals such as molybdenum and tungsten have been found in the Tasbulak, Apanas, Shonai, Kuygenkystau, Zhapak-Karagay tracts. Especially significant are the accumulations of minerals in the tracts of Akkezen, Kyzylshoky, Naizashoky, Saryshoky.
There are many decorative and semi-precious stones in these places. Jasper of various colors is attractive. In the three caves of the Maliksai tract, one can see crystalline facets of rock crystal and topaz shining from the light. Smoky and wine-yellow topazes used to be found here.
Apparently, this refers to the extreme left cave, famous for its rich accumulation of minerals. High mountains form a true mountain oasis area among the uplands of Saryarka. Not far from Forty Lakes there are the remains of a quarry, in which a variety of gems were mined several decades ago - chrysoprase, amethyst, morion, quartz and others.
The caves left from the quarry of impressive size, in which it is still possible, with sufficient perseverance, to beat off the walls or pick up gems from the ground In the pine and birch forests growing right on the slopes of the mountains, among the steppes, there are numerous picturesque lakes (Bolshoe, Pashino and others), around which recreation areas have been created.
A kind of Lake Shaitankol (Devil's Lake), surrounded by high rocks, the Pool is a large depression in a granite frame with clear water. In the vicinity of Karkarapinsk there is a "Gorge of Caves" with numerous springs; one of the caves (“Tent”) resembles a yurt in shape.
In the Karkaraly Mountains there is a local natural landmark, an interesting natural monument - a natural tunnel 17 meters long and up to 7 meters wide. Karkaraly mountains, sharply dissected rocky ridges with ridge-shaped watersheds, intermountain basins, gorges and river valleys.
There are caves and stone sheds, shallow niches and through holes in the stones, jagged towers and solitary columnar figures. Extend from south to north. The length of the mountains from southeast to northwest is 37 kilometers, the greatest width in the southern part reaches 24 kilometers.
The discoverer of the Karkaraly oasis was the Russian writer Mikhail Prishvin, who visited here in 1909. The list of pioneers is quite extensive. Servicemen wandered past these mountains: captain I. G. Andreev (1785), ataman Telyatnikov (1796), mountain officials Mikhail Pospelov and Timofey Burnashov (1800), translator of the Siberian Corps Philip Nazarov (1813) and others.
The mine surveyor of the Altai mining district IP Shangin also traveled here. In 1816, he discovered many ancient workings for the extraction of lead and copper ores in the Kornetai and Beschoku valley. Of considerable value is the three-volume work of M. Krasovsky "Materials for the Geography and Statistics of Russia", published in 1868.
Krasovsky was the first geographer to note that the Karkaraly Mountains consist of two groups, and the highest point of granite rocks is located in the valley Kabaniy Klyuch (now Komsomolsky Peak). The attempts of the Karkaraly people to sow bread directly in the forest clearings were unsuccessful.
Early frosts were detrimental to seedlings. The rest were exterminated by locusts.
Geographical coordinates of Karkaraly Mountains: N49°23'04.00" E75°23'02.74"

Alexander Petrov.
  Advertising booklet of the Karkaraly National Park, 2003.
Gvozdetsky N.A., Golubchikov Yu.N. "Mountains", series "Nature of the World". Moscow, Thought, 1987.

Photos by
Alexander Petrov.