Babyrgan mountain

«Babyrgan mountain has long been a "weather forecaster" for the local population - haze and clouds on its top promise bad weather for the whole district».
Geologists suppose that during the Devon period Babyrgan was a volcano. The top is a plateau with wind-polished rocks of 2 to 20 meters high. The rocks resemble animals, people's faces and towers. The legend says that there is a town inside the mountain and its citizens will only leave the mountain on the last day of the world. While now the city walls, temples and palaces spires pierce the surface.

Babyrgan has long served the local population as a "weather forecaster" - the haze and clouds on its top promise bad weather for the whole district. It is believed that there is an abnormal zone under Babyrgan, because the space between the mountain and the villages of Platovo and Maima is a real "triangle of lightning", in a thunderstorm for a minute hits a hundred or more discharges. And from the top in the vicinity of Platovo, you can see a unique geological phenomenon – the "earth ripples of a catastrophic flood" that occurred 15-25 thousand years ago.

Nature

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIO GUIDE and listen to track # 3 about Babyrgan mountain

Author:
Petr Dikarev

Photo:
Valentin Smirnov

Publication date:
March 18, 2021
When the hills and plain are gone we are heading to the Mountain Altai. On the right bank of Katun you can find the first northern peak of the Seminsky chain. It is named Babyrgan – of only 1008 meters high. If you climb up to the great monument of Vasily Shukshin on Piket mount in Srostki you will see Babyrgan from afar. Right from Dolina Svobody village on the Chuysky Trakt (highway) you might see the silhouette of the head of the sleeping warrior if you look at Babyrgan.

Would you like to hike the mountain? The climb lasts only an hour or two based on your health and shape.

The mountain is a pure joy for rock climbers – granite is fine and thick, and there are quite a lot of overhangs, vertical ascends, chimneys and crimps. However, there are more than enough accessible paths there.
Geologists suppose that during the Devon period Babyrgan was a volcano. The top is a plateau with wind-polished rocks of 2 to 20 meters high. The rocks resemble animals, people's faces and towers. The legend says that there is a town inside the mountain and its citizens will only leave the mountain on the last day of the world. While now the city walls, temples and palaces spires pierce the surface.

Here is the legend of how the mountain appeared:

Once upon a time an Altai khan (a duke) had many daughters, but only one son – Babyr. He was bothering his sisters a lot: pouring water on them, tearing up blankets. They ran out of patience once and made a plan to kill him. But the youngest sister Sinyukha felt sorry for him and secretly told him to escape. Babyr ran away in the steppe far away and stayed there, having turned into a stone because of his sisters' rage. While Sinyukha was turned into a stone too as a curse for her betrayal. Babyr is only friends with Sinyukha, once in a while sending her gifts like rain or snow. In the Altai language 'babyr' means 'flying squirrel'. It's an animal that would click its tongue loudly right before the rains and then cover the tree hollow where it lives with branches, leaves and moss. Like those squirrels, Babyrgan also serves as a weather broadcaster for the locals – fog or clouds at the top anticipate storms.
Flying squirrel image is put on Todosh tribe shamans' tambourines. The rituals of sanctification and 'revival' of the tambourines were held at the top of Babyrgan every summer and winter solstice. Groups of warriors and merchants stopped there to kneel to the tambourine and then at the arrival home held thanking rituals.

Perhaps there's a weather anomaly zone around Babyrgan, since all the terrain between the mountain and two nearby villages Platovo and Mayma is called 'lightning triangle'. It is highly recommended to get out of the area during thunderstorms.

This mountain is a monument of Altai region nature. Archeologists found two ancient settlements, two shrine systems and four sole shrines. From the top if you look in the direction of Platovo you would see a unique geological phenomenon – ripple marks of catastrophic floods of 15-25 thousand years ago. Such avid marks can only be found the in Kurai steppe.

All the fun is just beginning. Mountain Altai is ahead! Tune in for a bright experience and an easy road!

Trip is more comfortable with an audio guide. Download the most complete Audio Guide to the Altai Mountains ALTAI MOUNTAINS GUIDE, verified by researchers of the Anokhin's National Museum of the Altai Republic and listen to this story (track #3) and the rest of the tracks about nature, history and culture, archeology and activities in the Altai Mountains.
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