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Glacier Central Tuyuksu.

Glacier in mountains of Trans-Ili Alatau.

"Our dangerous road
Possibly a sad ending
But we're getting closer to God
Removing all the scale from the hearts"

Yuri Vizbor. "Worse than it was, will not."

Excursions to glaciers of Small Almaty gorge.

Central Tuyuk-Su glacier is located in the upper reaches, the central part of the Maloalmatinsky gorge, on the northern slope of the Zailiysky Alatau, in the Northern Tien Shan system, in the Medeu district of the Almaty region at an average height of 3454 meters above sea level.
Central Tuyuksu glacier is located almost symmetrically in the center of the cirque that closes the valley and stretches from south to north. This glacier is a classic valley glacier with a clearly defined feeding area and a tongue elongated along the length.
The average height of peaks and ridges bordering the firn basin of the glacier is 4120 meters above sea level. The glacier accumulation zone, located on the slopes and at the foot of Pogrebetsky Peak, has slopes of 35 - 40 degrees in the upper part and is broken by numerous cracks, usually covered with snow in winter.
The tongue of the glacier in its upper part smoothly descends to the last crossbar, where it breaks into many wide (up to 2 meters) and deep (10 - 15 meters) cracks. From a height of 3600 meters above sea level, the cracks disappear and do not meet until the very end of the glacier. At the same time, here, moraine material appears on the ice surface, the amount of which increases downwards.
At present, the end of the tongue is flattened and clogged with surface moraine. The very end of the tongue is “marked” by a border of cone-shaped “ant heaps” up to 1.5 - 2 meters high, the open tongue ends in two slightly convex lobes.
Central, valley glacier on the northern slope of the Zailiysky Alatau ridge. In the upper reaches of the Malaya Almaatinka River. The length of the open part is 3.5 kilometers, the width in the area of ​​the circus is 1.5 kilometers.
The average height of the snow line over the past 10 years is 3040 meters above sea level. The open end of the glacier descends to 3400 meters above sea level. The thickness of the glacier is 50 meters, with a maximum of up to 100 meters.
The glacier is shrinking by an average of 10 meters per year. In the Zailiysky Alatau, there is a certain tendency to increase the snow line. Over the past 100 years, it has risen by 100 meters, that is, the glaciers are constantly receding.
This pattern is also found over the years. For example, the Central Tuyuksu glacier is retreating by 12 meters per year. The glaciers of the Trans-Ili Alatau also make an offensive movement, the intensity of which depends on the amount of precipitation, the exposure of the mountain slopes to many other reasons.
Ice movement velocities were determined instrumentally in the Bolshaya and Malaya Almatinka, Talgar and Chilik basins. The central Tuyuksu glacier moves at an average speed of 2 meters per year. The glacier retreats an average of 12 meters per year.
This apparent contradiction should not be embarrassing, since simultaneously with the movement of the entire mass of ice down the trough, its tongue is intensively melting, especially in the lower part. Thus, the mass of the glacier moves downward, and the end of the tongue recedes upward.
Therefore, the final income-expenditure balance of the entire Central Tuyuksu glacier is a negative average annual value of 12.7 centimeters of ice from the entire surface of the glacier, or 11.4 centimeters in terms of water. This number expresses the vital activity of the glacier as a whole.
Geographical coordinates of Tuyuk-Su Central glacier: N43°02'24.10" E77°04'34.01"

Catalog of glaciers of the USSR. - Leningrad, 1967, v. 13, c. 2. part 2. Tuyuksu glaciers (Northern Tien Shan). L.: Gidrometeoizdat, 1984. Tien Shan glaciation. Ed. N. B. Dyurgerova. - M., 1995. Glaciation of the Zailiysky Alatau. - M.: Nauka, 1969. Palgov N. N. Greater Almaty glaciation unit in the Zailiysky Alatau ridge. Brief encyclopedia Kazakh SSR, volume 2, Nature, Alma-Ata, 1990.

Photos by
Roman Stesenko, Almaty city.