Route

The route is as follows.

  • From start in Biysk, following the Chuysky trakt, to Kosh-Agach.
  • From Kosh-Agach back to the north, through Ust-Sema to the bridge that crosses the Katun river near the Biruzovaya Katun resort.
  • Over the bridge, then to the Aya village.
  • From Aya village to Altayskoye village.
  • From Altayskoye through Nizhnekamenka, Rossoshi, and Starobelokurikha to the Belokurikha-2 resort.
  • From Belokurikha-2 to finish in Biysk.

GPX tracks are available in two versions: two long tracks (one track for your way "there" and the other for "back") and series of short tracks from control to control. If you prefer the latter version, please be aware that final locations of controls may differ slightly from points where the relevant track begins or ends.

See also POIs and altitude profile at GPSies.com.

Roads and terrain

All roads on the route are asphalted, and the average quality of surface is good. Roadworks are possible; usually one lane is closed for repairs and the traffic goes through the other one. We will notify riders about coming roadworks.

The valley of Katun from Gorno-Altaysk (Горно-Алтайск—for your convenience, we provide Cyrillic names that you may see on the road signs) to Ust-Sema (Усть-Сема) is a popular resort. There are many villages and camping grounds there, and hence the traffic may be significant. The route is almost flat, as the valley is wide, and the road doesn't go far from the river.

Things change as soon as the route crosses the Katun (Катунь) river in Ust-Sema (Усть-Сема). The gradual ascent to the Seminsky (Семинский) pass begins, climbing to about 800 m on the distance of 80 km. Then the major climb to the northern slope of the pass starts, it is 9 km long with the average gradient of 7%. The elevation of the Seminsky pass is 1,717 m.

The road goes down the southern slope of the pass to the valley of river Ursul (Урсул), and then goes down the valley along the river, which together gives about 70 km of descent. After that, the road turns into the valley of river Maly Ilgumen (Малый Ильгумень), and the ascent to the Chike-Taman (Чике-Таман) mountain pass begins, followed by the pass itself. The western climb to the Chike-Taman pass is about 4 km with an average gradient of about 7%; the elevation of the pass is 1,295 m.

After the descent from Chike-Taman, the gradual ascent begins, and from time to time there are long and steep climbs and downhills with gradients of up to 10%. This kind of terrain continues until the road comes into the valley of river Chuya (Чуя) to the east of Aktash (Акташ). The route follows the valley for about 20 km, and that part is almost flat. Then the road comes into Kuray steppe; the gradual ascent begins and continues till Kosh-Agach (Кош-Агач)—the most southern point of the route has the elevation of 1,750 m.

The way back from Kosh-Agach to Ust-Sema goes through all the same places in backward order. The Chike-Taman pass is almost symmetrical, both its slopes are about 4 km with an average gradient of 7%. The Seminsky pass is less steep from the south than from the north.

Soon after Ust-Sema, the route crosses the Katun river and goes through Biruzovaya Katun resort (Бирюзовая Катунь), and then Aya (Ая) and Altayskoye (Алтайское) villages. The riders have to ascend to the Biruksinsky (Бирюксинский) pass that is gentle but quite long—about 20 km with gradients of a few percent. After descending from the pass, the road becomes almost flat and goes to the last noticeable climb to the Belokurikha-2 (Белокуриха-2) resort.

The final 80 km of the route are flat.

Controls

There will be 13 controls, not including start and finish. Hot meals and drinks will be available at all controls except "Katun" that will provide simple meal like snacks, but you will be able to have your lunch in a nearby café. Most controls will be tent camps with places for sleep. Bag drops will be at "Chuya" (385 and 711 km).

kmControlOpensCloses 
0Biysk

Recreation center "Altay", Tekhuchilische street, 14, posyolok Borovoy

Start on July 7, 2017, 9 a.m. 
137Katun

Tent camp at the bank of Katun river, N51.776125°, E85.74018°. Heading Kosh-Agach, turn right in 1 km after passing a sign pointing to Biruzovaya Katun (Бирюзовая Катунь). Heading Biysk, turn left in 1 km after passing Izvestkovy (Известковый) village.

When heading Kosh-Agach, this control will provide limited food and no beds. When heading Biysk, it will have 10-15 beds in tents for 2-3 people, and will feature hot meals.

The control will have volunteers who speak English and a bit of German.

July 7, 2017, 1:34 p.m.July 7, 2017, 6:14 p.m. 
220Sema

Tent camp at the bank of Sema river, N51,187262°, E85,59415°. Heading Kosh-Agach, turn left in 2 km after passing Kumalyr (Кумалыр) village. Heading Biysk, turn right in 7 km after passing Topuchaya (Топучая) village. There will be a sign near the road.

The control will have 25-30 beds in small tents (mats, disposable sheets, and plaids), washbasins, and a closet; there will be one mobile shower (and lots of clean water in Sema river if you are brave enough). Several 220V sockets and USB ports.

July 7, 2017, 4:20 p.m.July 7, 2017, 11:48 p.m. 
302Ursul

Control in tent camp

July 7, 2017, 7:04 p.m.July 8, 2017, 5:08 a.m. 
385Chuya

Tent camp at the bank of Chuya river, N50.407790°, E86.884970°. Heading Kosh-Agach, turn right in 26 km after you pass Inya (Иня) village (600 m after you see the 728 km sign). Heading Biysk, turn left in 6 km after you pass Iodro (Иодро) village (400 m after you see the 234 km sign).

The control will have a large tent for 15-20 people and a few small tents for 2-3 people, 35-40 beds total (mats, fleece plaids and a few sleeping bags). The canteen will be at open air, covered with awning. No shower but there is Chuya nearby.

The control will have a volunteer who speaks a bit of English.

July 7, 2017, 9:50 p.m.July 8, 2017, 10:57 a.m.Bag drop
478Kuray

Tent camp near the brigde across Tyurgun (Тюргунь) river, N50.248985°, E87.892424°. Heading Kosh-Agach, cross the bridge, ride for 100 meters more, then turn left. Heading Biysk, turn right before crossing the bridge.

The control will have 40 beds in tents for 2-3 people (mats and sleeping bags), a canteen with chairs and tables in a larger tent, and a tent closet. No hot shower but plenty of clean water in a nearby spring. Four power sockets with 220V, and five USB ports.

The control will have volunteers who speak English, German, and a bit of French.

July 8, 2017, 12:56 a.m.July 8, 2017, 5:04 p.m. 
548Kosh-Agach

Sports school at Koperativnaya street, 4

July 8, 2017, 3:16 a.m.July 8, 2017, 9:37 p.m. 
618Kuray

Tent camp near the brigde across Tyurgun (Тюргунь) river, N50.248985°, E87.892424°. Heading Kosh-Agach, cross the bridge, ride for 100 meters more, then turn left. Heading Biysk, turn right before crossing the bridge.

The control will have 40 beds in tents for 2-3 people (mats and sleeping bags), a canteen with chairs and tables in a larger tent, and a tent closet. No hot shower but plenty of clean water in a nearby spring. Four power sockets with 220V, and five USB ports.

The control will have volunteers who speak English, German, and a bit of French.

July 8, 2017, 5:36 a.m.July 9, 2017, 2:34 a.m. 
711Chuya

Tent camp at the bank of Chuya river, N50.407790°, E86.884970°. Heading Kosh-Agach, turn right in 26 km after you pass Inya (Иня) village (600 m after you see the 728 km sign). Heading Biysk, turn left in 6 km after you pass Iodro (Иодро) village (400 m after you see the 234 km sign).

The control will have a large tent for 15-20 people and a few small tents for 2-3 people, 35-40 beds total (mats, fleece plaids and a few sleeping bags). The canteen will be at open air, covered with awning. No shower but there is Chuya nearby.

The control will have a volunteer who speaks a bit of English.

July 8, 2017, 8:42 a.m.July 9, 2017, 10:42 a.m.Bag drop
794Ursul

Control in tent camp

July 8, 2017, 11:28 a.m.July 9, 2017, 5:58 p.m. 
876Sema

Tent camp at the bank of Sema river, N51,187262°, E85,59415°. Heading Kosh-Agach, turn left in 2 km after passing Kumalyr (Кумалыр) village. Heading Biysk, turn right in 7 km after passing Topuchaya (Топучая) village. There will be a sign near the road.

The control will have 25-30 beds in small tents (mats, disposable sheets, and plaids), washbasins, and a closet; there will be one mobile shower (and lots of clean water in Sema river if you are brave enough). Several 220V sockets and USB ports.

July 8, 2017, 2:12 p.m.July 10, 2017, 1:09 a.m. 
959Katun

Tent camp at the bank of Katun river, N51.776125°, E85.74018°. Heading Kosh-Agach, turn right in 1 km after passing a sign pointing to Biruzovaya Katun (Бирюзовая Катунь). Heading Biysk, turn left in 1 km after passing Izvestkovy (Известковый) village.

When heading Kosh-Agach, this control will provide limited food and no beds. When heading Biysk, it will have 10-15 beds in tents for 2-3 people, and will feature hot meals.

The control will have volunteers who speak English and a bit of German.

July 8, 2017, 4:58 p.m.July 10, 2017, 8:24 a.m. 
1030Altayskoye

"Sportivnaya" hotel near stadium at Maxim Gorky street, 22. Turn right to Maxim Gorky street (ул. Максима Горького) immediately after you cross the bridge over Kamenka (Каменка) river. In 3300 m down the street you will see the stadium at the right; the hotel is situated at the stadium's territory, in the middle of its edge that adjoins the street.

The hotel has 15 beds, shower, and many power sockets.

July 8, 2017, 7:20 p.m.July 10, 2017, 2:15 p.m. 
1100Belokurikha

Control in tent camp

July 8, 2017, 9:40 p.m.July 10, 2017, 7:30 p.m. 
1200Biysk

Recreation center "Altay", Tekhuchilische street, 14, posyolok Borovoy

July 9, 2017, 1 a.m.July 11, 2017, 3 a.m. 

On the back: Near the Chuya Steppe

Near the Chuya Steppe. Photo by Alexey Zyryanov