Min altitude: 1500 meters
Max altitude: 4400 meters
Driving distance: 30 mins from Almaty
Maloalmatinskoe (Small Almaty) gorge is located near the Almaty city. One of the most beautiful and central streets of the city – Dostyk Avenue leads directly into a gorge and the way usually takes 20-40 minutes. It is extremely popular gorge among the locals and tourists, as it has the most developed infrastructure: hotels, camp sites, high-mountain ice skating rink “Medeu”, “Shymbulak” mountain resort, alp camps and, of course, transport communications: asphalt roads and funiculars. There are many weekend routes here, as well as multi day hikes and treks begin and end in the gorge on different altitudes.
The gorge is located in close proximity to the central, highest part of Zailiyskiy Alatau (Ile Alatau). This is the third highest part of Ile Alatau, after Talgar mountain knot and the group of Bogatyr knot peaks. Maximum height is at the top of Ordzhonikidze peak (4410 m.a.s.l.), located in Maloalmatinskiy (Small Almaty) spur.
Maloalmatinskiy spur branches off Berezovskiy peak in the main ridge of Ile Alatau and stretches in a northern direction, dividing Ozyornaya (Lake) and Leviy (Left) Talgar river basins for 6 km. Behind Turists pass (4039 m.a.s.l.), Maloalmatinskiy spur, branching out, forms an extensive cirque, which houses Tuyuk-su group of the glaciers, which are the sources of Malaya Almatinka (Small Almaty) river.
From the top of Pogrebetskiy peak the spur becomes eastern watershed of Maloalmatinskiy (Small Almaty) gorge. At the source of Butakovka Gorge, it branches into small (Eastern and Western) spurs. In the western direction from Pogrebetskiy peak, the watershed of Malaya Almatinka (Small Almaty) is called Kumbel. Behind Molodezhniy (Youth) pass, Kumbel spur loses height and glaciation, dividing into a series of wooded ridges in Kok Zhailyau (Green Pasture) plateau.
Malaya Almatinka (Small Almaty) and its tributaries are mudflow hazardous. The most catastrophic mudflows were observed in 1921, 1956, 1973. In October 1966, an anti-mudflow dam was built in Medeo tract by directed explosion in the river basin.
The length of Maloalmatinskoye (Small Almaty) Gorge till the point, where it goes into the plain, is about 25 km. Malaya Almatinka River has seven tributaries and gorges, the largest ones: Butakovka, Kazachka-Battery, Kimasar, Gorelnik, Sarysai-Shymbulak, small tributary of Sarkyram and Tshchyortovo (Devil’s) Gorge.
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