The Mountains Are Calling

Which peaks are worth conquering in winter and how to avoid freezing while doing so?

International Mountain Day is celebrated on December 11th. For the occasion, we selected the best destinations for winter hikes not only in the valleys.

Visit the Protected Areas Of the Southern Urals

Taganay National Park

If you have enough time at your disposal, visit the Southern Urals. For example, Taganay National Park. This specially protected natural area, located in the west of Chelyabinsk, near the city of Zlatoust, covers an area of 57 hectares. Its relief is varied by nine mountain ranges.

In the west lie the Nazimsky and Dolgiy Mys ridges. The Taganay mountain range includes the Bolshoi Taganay ridge, 26 km long, its main peaks being the Otklikny ridge (1155 m) and Mount Kruglitsa (1177 m). In the central part of the park there are the Middle Taganay and Maly Taganay ridges. The Ural ridge stretches along the eastern border. The steepness of the slopes of most mountain ranges is: at the top – 25-35°, in the middle part – 15-25°, at the foot – 10-15°, in the valleys the angle of inclination does not exceed 5°.

There are excursions around the mountains. Visitors to the park can choose the best tour for themselves, based on the length and time of the route: the shortest is 1 km per hour, the longest is 60 km in 3-4 days. During the excursion, tourists also have the opportunity to meet various animals, for example, birds that remained in Taganay for the winter: waxwing, tap dancer, hawk owl, hazel grouse, black grouse, wood grouse, tit, woodpecker, goldfinch. Winter migrations bring inhabitants of the tundra and northern taiga to the national park, for example, the snowy owl, snow bunting, bullfinch, spruce crossbill and nutcracker.

Discovering breathtaking mountain trails to hike can be a thrilling adventure, and after a day of outdoor exploration, you can continue the excitement by trying your luck in the world of online casino gaming, with options like playing sic bo online to add an extra dimension to your evening.

Zyuratkul National Park

Zyuratkul, whose total area exceeds 88 hectares, is located in the highest mountainous areas of the Southern Urals. On the northwestern side, the park is limited by the Zyuratkul and Suka mountain ranges. In the southeastern part lie the Urenga, Yagodnaya and Moskal ridges. The Nurgush mountain range runs through the central part of the park; its peak (1406 m) is considered the highest point in the Chelyabinsk region. In general, the mountain ranges of the park are directed from southwest to northeast. In the upper parts of the ridges there is no tree vegetation; mountain tundras with rocky ledges and screes predominate here, as well as, more rarely, alpine meadows.

Leisure activities in Zyuratkul are varied: the organizers conduct master classes, lead excursions along mountain routes of varying lengths and complexity, and provide transport services (snowmobiles, ATVs, UAZs, etc.). Visitors have access to guest houses, rental of tents, gazebos, and barbecues.

At Zyuratkul Park there is a deer farm “Bear Joy”, where red deer brought from Altai are kept, as well as hares, wild boars and Vietnamese pigs. To get to the farm, you need to pass the entrance to the national park and cover 2 km of trail. Information stands will indicate the way to the farm; entrance is paid, but inexpensive.

Enjoy the Beauty Of the Altai Mountains

We can safely recommend Altai as a destination for winter travel to the mountains. This is a region that is actively developing from a tourist point of view, in which everyone will find something to their liking: the ski slopes of Manzherok and Teletskoye, the steep cliffs of the Chemal Gorge with frozen waterfalls, the snow-white peaks of Belukha, horseback riding to the Devil’s Finger. The area is very rich in active recreation facilities.

The cable cars of the Manzherok resort will take you to a height of up to 1200 m for a comfortable descent along jumps and equipped trails. There is leisure for children: tubing, games in the children’s center.

They also organize excursions around Altai. For example, horseback riding, starting at the Teletsky resort, includes a visit to the observation deck of Mount Tilan-Tuu, and by snowmobile you can get to the Abakan and Sumultinsky ridges.