Overview of the route
- Length: 12 kilometers
- Duration: 8h (4,5 hours + 3,5 hours)
- Difficulty: medium
- Start and finish: Shymbulak valley station (getting there)
- Lowest point: 1.600 m
- Highest point: 3.400 m
- Best time: June – September
The valley station of the ski area of Shymbulak is the starting point of this hike. After a 2-hour ascent across the ski slope, you will reach the Talgar pass. Just follow the chair lift in case of doubt. To take a shortcut and start immediately where it gets interesting, take the chair lift up to the second station (the third lift only works in winter) and travel up to the pass from there.
After an hour starting from the chair lift, you reach the Perevalnoe pass. From here, walk up in the middle of the wide saddle between the peaks. On Talgar pass, at 3.163 m, look back to enjoy a wonderful look over Almaty, or at least its smog cover. From here, marvel at Peak Talgar (4.917 m), the highest peak of the Trans-Ili-Alatau.
From the pass, a path leads south towards the Bogdanovich glacier. Peak Tshkalov and Peak Komsomol line the border of the glacier area to the east, while Peak Shkolnik (3.590 m) and Peak Abay (4.000 m) delineate the west.
In summer, the glacier retreats far into the mountains, and hikers need to continue across the field of stone and scree, following the little stone pyramids other hikers have built.
You can continue all the way up to the edge of the glacier underneath the towering presence of Peak Pioneer and Peak Amangeldy. In summer, the slopes host waterfalls and rock falls. With luck, you might spot an ibex.
The glacier is very dangerous, and should only be navigated by experts! The way back follows the same route and ends at the valley station of Shymbulak.
Lovely pictures with the trail marked on them can be found here.