The legendary Karagem

pass between two ridges

Karagem river; tuv. hem— river.  —  abundant, spring, feeding on the underground waters of the river.

The height of the pass according to the GPS receiver is 2837 meters.

Озеро на перевале карагемIf we are talking about mountain passes that can be overcome by car, then, of course, the Karagem pass is one of the most beautiful and difficult to access. Very tall and very steep. And steep in all respects – and the complexity of the path, and the number of thrills, and the beauty of the landscape. From Beltira, the road rises up the Taldur to the confluence of the river Djelo into it. From here begins the road to the pass. Or rather, adventures begin.

First you need to overcome a difficult ford through Djelo, which in its mouth is a fairly large river. The water level in Djelo reacts violently to any natural changes, depends on the season, time of day and weather conditions. An unimaginable ford can literally turn into an insurmountable obstacle in just a few tens of minutes, and travelers will only have to wait patiently for hours to end the flood. Right after the ford, dear starts to climb up the hill. The steepest climb ends with a platform from which a crazy view of the Taldur valley opens. Taldur is a “white”, that is, glacial, river – it originates on the glacier of Bolshaya Taldur, the largest glacier of the South Chuy Ridge. The water in it, as a rule, is turbid and really white in color, as it should be with glacial rivers.

However, the ascent from the arrows of the rivers and fords is just a detour: the road to the top overpasses the gorge, in which the river broke through the channel. Having skirted the booms, you will have to go down again to the valley of Djello, to cross several times the dry, stony course and again climb onto the watershed. Up the slope and further … To the clouds! Sharp impressions are guaranteed. The first time – the rise is endless. But it’s worth it. You do not just rise, but rise above the mountains. The absolute height is 2837 meters above sea level. Climbing the saddle, you find yourself in the middle of a huge mountain system. On the left is the top of the South Chuy Ridge, on the right is the Severo-Chui, and in front lies the mountain range of the Katunsky Range with the three-headed beluga Belukha towering above it.

Already almost at the top, under the pass, the road passes between two lakes. The pass itself, as it should be, is marked with pyramids of stones. The winds are constantly blowing here. Always. Zielonka, that is, the border of the forest, is far behind, and even dwarf birches are no longer growing here. Only the wind, endless mountains and space. This is the pass of Karagem.