Monday, June 17, 2013

Almaty from way up here: Hiking in the Tien Shan mountains

Since the last post was all about the story, this one is all about the pictures.  There is a bit of a story too, but it will mostly be pictures.  Did I mention there will be pictures?  If you are still waiting for it to load, it might be because of all the pictures.

OK, ok, enough of that.  Springtime in Almaty brings with it a return to the outdoors.  Each weekend, I find myself drawn into the mountains of the Tien Shan Range.  Last weekend I went back to the Monestary with some friends, but that's a longer story so I'll have to tell you more about it later.  Yesterday, I hiked from just below the medeo Gondola up to Kumbel peak.  The hike was long and took us well over six hours to reach the top and another three hours to come back down.  The view from the top, though, was worth every step.  So, seeing as I have nothing more to say that pictures couldn't say better,  I'll leave you with the pictures:

Our first view of the Shymbulak Gondola as we started up.

Our first view of Almaty (there were many, many more).

...and now we can see the peaks

Nearing the top of our first leg: that bright green in the distance.

Looking back down the trail

the "saddle" - top of stage one

technology is hard when the sun is shining.

Stage two: the climb to four rock formations called "The Three Brothers"

Pause for the view, and to catch a breath.

Atop one of the Three Brothers

Almaty from way up here

The Top:

Interestingly, A bit about the Kazakh Alpine Club was in my dashboard this morning and features the same mountain that you see behind me.  Check it out Bob McKerrow - Wayfarer: In the footsteps of Anatoli Boukreev, Maxut Zhumayev sets up the Kazakh Alpine Club

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