On Earth, there are places with the high potential of energy. The Mountains of Altai are among those unique places, with their wonderful Alpine meadows, crystal-clear rivers and brooks. The centre of attraction for pilgrims, for those who seek the meaning of their own beings, for tourists, philosophers, artists — the Mount Belukha. This is the highest summit of Siberia; it is 80 kilometres South-East from the outskirts of the Uimon Valley, to which we are inviting you.

The Palmer Camp: About the Region

The Ust-Koksa Region

The region of Ust-Koksa is located at the south-west parts of Altai Mountains. It is adjacent to the Ust-Kan, Ongudai and Kosh-Agach regions of the Altai Republic, and to Kazakhtan. The region is very close to Mongolia and China. The area of Ust-Koksa region is 12,960 square kilometres. The population amounts to 17,498 (as of January 1, 2001). Within the territory of the region, there are 42 settlements. Russians make up to about 80 per cent, local inhabitants (Altai-kijis, Teleuts, Tubalar, Kumandins and others) to about 20 per cent. In addition, here live Kazakhs, Ukranians, Germans and people of a few other nationalities; making up 89 nationalities altogether (as of 2001).

Administratively, the region is divided into 9 sub-regions. More than 150 enterprises, organizations, and 508 businessmen are registered here. In 2001, of 10,279 persons of economically active population, 6,642 persons were employed at the production or some other sphere of activities.

The region’s capital, the village of Ust-Koksa, was founded in 1807. It was founded by Russianized aliens of the Kuznetsk district. At present, Ust-Koksa is a big regional centre with the population of 3,952 (January 1, 2001). There are 3 schools, 3 kindergartens, regional hospital, polyclinic, regional public library, regional library for children, the school of art for children, the Katun Reserve office, plenty of shops, snack-bars and tea-rooms.

The Ust-Koksa region is quite far from the big industrial and commercial centres. The distance from Ust-Koksa to Gorno-Altaysk is 401 kilometres. The closest railway station and airport is in Biysk and is 510 kilometres away. Currently, the only kind of transport available here is automotive (coaches, minibuses and taxis). For the future, the airline is planned.

The Nature of the Region

All types of Alpine landscapes can be found in the region. Absolute heights above the sea level vary from 705 to 4,506 metres (the Mount of Belukha). The Katun Ridge forms a foundation of the local mountain system. The Belukha Mountain formation occupies the centre of it. There are also Terektinsky, Listvyaga and Holzun mountain ridges. In the region, 80 per cent of all Altai glaciers are located. They originate the main water way of the region and he Republic — the river Katun with its numerous tributaries. Katun and its main tributary Koksa, while flowing along the valley, divide it into the three steppes — Uimon, Abaisk and Katanda.

Thousands of the most beautiful alpine lakes make much of the especial picturesque and attractiveness. The biggest of the lakes are: Taimenye, Kucherla, Ak-Kem (Mekka, if read from the end), Lower Multa, Middle Multa, Upper Multa, Poperechnoe. They are the most popular tourist objects upon the Katun Ridge. The vegetable and animal kingdoms are rich and diverse. There are about 1,500 species of plants here, and many of them are most valuable for the medical purposes.

Due to the special geological structure of the Earth’s crust, as well as very distinctive tectonic rifts, all plants here possess high biological activity. Consequently, this appears to be the base for getting unique, biologically clean products. Local producers make different healthy foods and fodders, vegetable oils, herbal teas, creams and pills. The hugest reserves of very valuable herbs are found here; such as golden root, maral root (Rhaponticum Carthamoides Willd., or Leuzea Carthamoides Willd.), red root or tea-kopeechnik (Hedysarum Theinum), badan etc.

The region is the home for 55 species of mammals, 8 species of fishes. Birds are represented by 207 species, 22 of which have been entered into the Red Book of the Russian Federation. The most rare ones are: black stork, golden eagle, black griffon-vulture, baloban, sapsan, altay upar, grey crane. The ungulates are maral, elk, roe deer, cabarga, Sibirian wild mountain goat. The region is the home for one of the most rare species of animals on Earth — irbis, the snow leopard.

Breathe Freely!

Altai is the perfect air-resort. Our Republic in general, and our region in particular are far from big industrial centres and main rail lines, motor highways, gas-petrol mains. Our soils are not polluted with agricultural chemicals, domestic and industrial waste. There are about 20 000 mountain rivers (and small brooks) and lakes, more than 600 mountain summits of 2000 m and higher, covered with rich Altai woods, snows and glaciers. The density of population makes up to 0,6 man per 1 square kilometre. Thus, the air of these places is naturally clean. In addition, the acute diurnal changes of temperature (normally, up to 20-22 degrees) invoke some unique parameters of local air to be exceptionally healthful. You are always welcome to the kingdom of natural healthy air!

Altai Highlands, the Valley of Uimon. Photo by Gai Sever,  2004

Have a look at the pictures that we have chosen to let you see some beautiful places of our neighbourhood. For the moment, the collection includes some more than 450 pictures; the new pictures are being added regularly, so make sure you have seen them all. Indeed, there are a lot of people who first of all come here to take a perfect photo session. If you are into landscape photography, coming to the Valley is a must. Click here!

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