|The mountains just outside Almaty|
While easily accessible from the city, the mountains outside Almaty are also a powerful force - even for those who have lived at their feet for their entire lives. Two of my colleagues have told me stories of hikes just outside the city that turned very dangerous this summer. For one, it was a simple wrong turn off a well used trail that led to hours of bewildered meandering through the national forest before a ranger was able to point her in the right direction. For another, a decision that "made sense" given the terrain let her and her hiking partner to the proverbial "place between a rock and a hard place" (though in this case it was a cliff and a waterfall). With these cautionary tales fresh on my mind, last week and this week I went hiking with several of my colleagues.
A Well-Traveled Path
|The view of Almaty from the plateau|
|Statue of The Golden Man|
|Looking back down the trail|