Cycle touring Kazakh Altai

All about Kazakhstan. Experts: Julia, walkingalmaty
Simben
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:40 pm

Cycle touring Kazakh Altai

Postby Simben » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:51 pm

My main question here is what is the best season to be cycle touring in Kazakh Altai?
In early 2020 I will be arriving in Uzbekistan from the Caucasus, travelling east and planning to spend around 2 months (it may require longer) touring the Pamir and Tien Shan regions beginning early June.
Is it practical to go to Altai as early as March?
I'm thinking to get a train from Almaty to Oskemen and then cycle a route all the way back to Almaty in time for summer season in the Pamirs.

Thanks, Simon
0 x

Julia
Kazakhstan expert
Kazakhstan expert
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:36 pm
x 21
x 125

Re: Cycle touring Kazakh Altai

Postby Julia » Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:40 pm

Where exactly in Altai?
It's a big area. The weather can vary depending on the altitude and region.

Generally the best season is July-August.
March is cold. Temperatures are usually around 0 C and below.
Summer is warm during the day, can be cold at nights.
It often rains in the summer. Good raincoat is necessary.
2 x

Timlemaitre
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 1:50 pm
x 7

Re: Cycle touring Kazakh Altai

Postby Timlemaitre » Fri May 17, 2019 2:04 pm

Hi,

My girlfriend and I left France to join Indonesia by bike a few weeks ago. We are currently in lithuania and we plan to take the train to novossibirsk, and after cycle to China.
We also want to cycle Altaï, but if you except caravanistan wonderful website, there is not a lot of informations.
Here is our plan : border crossing on shemonaykha, then go to oskemen, zyrianovsk, makarkol lake via austrian road, and then zaissan. I put a picture of the itinirerary.
My main question is about austrian road. It seems to be very difficult with loaded bikes. Is there another itinirerary to makarkol lake ? Does the austrian road worth it ?
We have 3 weeks, so we won't be in a hurry.

Thanks for your answers !
Tim
Attachments
Screenshot_20190517-164827.png
Screenshot_20190517-164827.png (196.92 KiB) Viewed 491 times
0 x

Julia
Kazakhstan expert
Kazakhstan expert
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:36 pm
x 21
x 125

Re: Cycle touring Kazakh Altai

Postby Julia » Fri May 17, 2019 6:17 pm

Hi.
Austrian road is the only way to get to Markakol lake.
Difficulty depends on how heavy loads you carry, types of bikes. Also depends on the weather conditions very much.
From difficult to not accessible.
It's a road for mountain biking with certain degree of risk.
Worth it?
If you look for biking adventure than yes. If you want picturesque surroundings than can find other places, as nice as the road but more accessible.
1 x

Timlemaitre
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 1:50 pm
x 7

Re: Cycle touring Kazakh Altai

Postby Timlemaitre » Fri May 17, 2019 7:03 pm

Ok great, that is what I thought about austrian road. It's difficult to anticipate, especially for the weather, so we will see in one month.

"If you want picturesque surroundings than can find other places, as nice as the road but more accessible."

Could you give me an example not far ? Almaty area ? Tian shan?

Thanks !
0 x

Julia
Kazakhstan expert
Kazakhstan expert
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:36 pm
x 21
x 125

Re: Cycle touring Kazakh Altai

Postby Julia » Fri May 17, 2019 8:00 pm

Timlemaitre wrote:
Could you give me an example not far ? Almaty area ? Tian shan?

Thanks !


Should those places be accessible by bikes only or hiking works too?
If you pass by Almaty and plan to stop in the city for a couple of days you can do one day easy hikes in the nearest mountains. Those are Tian Shan mountains, yes.
Picturesque views are: Furmanovka mountain, Butakovsky or Chukur waterfalls, Kok Zhailau plateau, for instance.

Best views are easier to access by hiking. As biking in the mountains is generally difficult and risky here.
1 x

Timlemaitre
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 1:50 pm
x 7

Re: Cycle touring Kazakh Altai

Postby Timlemaitre » Sat May 18, 2019 4:34 am

Thanks for the advice. Mixing biking and hiking must be a great Idea ;)
0 x

User avatar
steven
Admin
Admin
Posts: 3657
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:32 pm
x 3005
x 399

Re: Cycle touring Kazakh Altai

Postby steven » Mon May 20, 2019 2:38 pm

I have written about this and interviewed some cycle tourists doing this route.

See https://caravanistan.com/transport/cycl ... aty-region for a link to the almaty route. An article about this route will appear in Adventure Cyclist Magazine near the end of the year if you are interested. It's a great route - that's not me saying it, that's by an experienced bikepacker who is planning to write the article.

For Altai, see my interview with Ed Shoote: https://caravanistan.com/transport/cycling/altai/
0 x
If you like Caravanistan: we have opened a tip jar! We love you back! :D

Timlemaitre
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 1:50 pm
x 7

Re: Cycle touring Kazakh Altai

Postby Timlemaitre » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:05 pm

Hi,

Finally, we didn't take the austrian road. There was still snow (end of june). So we cycled from shemonaikha to jeminay, we really enjoyed it. Kazakh people are nice. Don't hesitate if you have some questions about my route or everything else.
2 x


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Kazakhstan”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest