Sablinsky Mountain Range
This is a mountain range going in the meridianal direction in the far west of the Isledovatelsky Ridge. It consists of fourteen peak-shaped summits over 1,000 m above sea level. The tallest of them - at 1,497 m - is Sablya Glavnaya (Main Saber). The name of the summit is a metaphor. It really looks like a sharp blade when viewed from the northeast. It is especially evident when the wind is strong and there ire not many clouds -and these clouds are "cut" by the summit. The name Sablya has leen known since the time of P. Krusenstern and E. Hofman, explorers of the Pechora lands. The name appears in the Atlas of 1800. E. Hofman also gives the Nenets name of the summit - Sauk-pai - "sharp mountain" or "sharp rock". In 1908, the ethnographer B. Bezsonov recorded a Komi legend telling that the Saber had a master. He is tough, strict and unapproachable. Sometimes those brave people who venture to climb Sablya can see him rushing along the mountains in the form of a whirling column.
This summit has been popular since the first years of tourist development in the Pre-Polar Urals. A classic winter route is the following: tourists should first go from Pechora to Priuraisk village by airplane. It then takes 2-3 days to ski from Priuralsk village to the base of the Sablinsky mountain range. There is a cabin to stay in at the edge of the Yugyd-Va National Park on the west slopes of the Sablinsky mountain ange. Then there is a climb the top along the west slope. One could bear in mind that the simplest route is classified as category 2, and it requires the ability to move along snowy and icy terrain wearing crampons, the ability to take roper safety measures and precautions, and the ability for successful orienteering n the rocky macro and micro terrain.
The classic summer route begins from Aranets village. It is possible to get from the town of Pechora to the village by water. Then tourists should hike following a poorly-larked path along swamped taiga and then along an Alpine tundra area. This takes -3 days. Climbing to the top along the west slope from the edge of the Yugyd-Va national Park takes 12-14 hours if the weather is fine and the participants have good physical and technical training. One can return to Aranets along the same route.
It is located in the central (the highest) part of the Pre-Polar Urals, on the Medveznya Lapa Spur of the Issledovatelsky Ridge. It is a rocky ridge involving seven towers. For the sake of convenience of orientation each tower has its own "mountain-climbers name": 1st tower - Severnaya (North), 2nd - Glavnaya (Main), 3rd - Lopata Spade), 4th - Golova (Head), 5th - Parus (Sail), 6th - Mizinets (The Little Finger] and 7th - Yuzhny Zhandarm (Southern Gendarme).
This mountain range got its name ¡n the period of geodesic surveys in the 1930s. In mansi it means "bear paw", since it looks like a raised sharp-clawed bear paw. In Komi the name of the summit is more exact - Sizimyur-lz ("mountain with seven heads"), but this name has not caught on, and is not reflected on the geodesic maps of the Urals.
It is more convenient to start a trip to the summit from the Inta area. Tourists should first go to the Zhelannaya base, and then they should hike in summer or ski in winter to the Kar-Kar pass, then to the valley of the Manaraga river and approach the trailer at the confluence of the Manaraga and Kosyu rivers. This neglected trailer of geologists (tourists call it the "Manaraga Refuge") is the starting point for all climbs to the summits and towers of the Manaraga Ridge.
The simplest routes are those to North Manaraga (1st tower) and Main Manaraga (2nd tower). Various groups of tourists and climbers from Russia and foreign countries constantly visit these places both in summer and in winter. These routes are "brand-name" routes of the Pre-Polar Urals. Both routes were classified as objects for sport climbing in 1991 and 1992 by M. Eremkin, a mountain-climbing instructor (Syktyvkar). The first traversal of the Manaraga Ridge was also completed and classified by a group led by M. Eremkin. It went from the southwest to the north east (from the 7th tower to the 1st one) in 1991, and was included into the Classification of Routes to the Mountain Peaks of the Russian Federation.
In 2003 a united expedition of climbers from the Komi and Mari Republics "Polar Vertical" traversed Manaraga from the northeast to the southwest (from the 1st tower to the 7th one). As both traversais are the most complicated routes , which require serious training, below is a detailed description of the routes. Climbers should start from the base camp at the bank of the Kosyu river under the slopes of Manaraga. They should move upstream to the south crest of the 1st tower and traverse it along the grass slope, then along the scree crest and come to the northeast crest of the 1st tower of Manaraga .
One should climb the 1st tower - Manaraga North - following the route 1 (from the Studenchesky Pass along the demolished scree slope). From the base camp, this takes 3-5 hours. Then climbers should descend 5-7 m from the shelf under the first top to the bulkhead between the 1st and the 2nd towers, then they should move around the 2nd tower - Manaraga Main - from the valley of the Kapkanvozh river, and climb the 2nd tower of Manaraga (Main) from the Kosyu river along the wide cleft. Then they should return to the starting point of the climbing and traverse 50 m in the direction of the bulkhead between the 2nd and the 3rd towers. Then there is an oblique descent by rope to the bulkhead. From the bulkhead climbers should ascend the 3rd tower of Manaraga - Spade - along steep solid rocks. Then there is a descent by rope to the bulkhead between the 3rd and the 4th towers. It is more convenient to climb the crest of the 4th tower from the right side so that after climbing the crest of the 4th tower one can move along the crest to the gap. Then one descends 50 m by rope from the terminal point of the crest to the bulkhead. After that one climbs 20 m to the wall to the right. Then there is a traverse of 70 m and one climbs the crest of the 5th tower of Manaraga - Sail. Then one moves 50 m by rope from the crest to the bulkhead leading to the 6th tower. Then climbers should ascend the 6th tower for 60-65 m along steep rocks. After that they should climb down from the top and then descend by rope to the bulkhead between the 6th and the 7th towers (all in all 70-90 m). Then they should descend by rope to the right, along the northern wall 50-55 m from the bulkhead to the large shelf, and then move around the Gendarme, one climbs the crest. This crest links the Manaraga Ridge and the Medvezhya Lapa Spur. Climbers should descend to the rocky remnants on Medvezhya Lapa along scree rocks, and then descend to the forest zone and to the Kosyu river (to the base camp) choosing any of several convenient ways. If the weather is fine during the "white nights" in July, the route takes 16-24 hours, depending on the abilities of the group and orienteering on the route.
Mountain Horseshoe Plateau of Reindeer Herders
Tourists believe that the circus formed by nine tops over 1,500 m above sea level is the least accessible nook of the Pre-Polar Urals. In winter the way to the plateau is the most difficult, but in summer the way to this mountain horseshoe is not easy either. Those who have completed this hike have been able to see a unique plateau with a series of lakes linked by streams with many waterfalls.
Peak 1729 (Komsomol Peak)
This is the most complicated peak of the Mountain Horseshoe - Plateau of Reindeer Herders in technical terms. Tourists go to the initial point of the route from "Manaraga Refuge" along the valley of the Lomesvozh Stream, they ski in winter and walk in summer. While ascending along the valley of the Lomesvozh Stream it is easy to recognize the summit (the first peak of the mountain horseshoe on the right) due to its characteristic look: two oval summits and a gendarme in the gap between them. The ice couloir between two summits is well-defined in all seasons. It is divided into two branches by a rocky crest that looks like an hour-glass.
From the base camp at the bank of the Kosyu river climbers should move along the Lomesvozh Stream to the Plateau of Reindeer Herders (this is an old geologists path on the right bank of the Lomesvozh Stream), then they should go along the plateau to the "Polyakov camps" at the nameless lake under the eastern wall of Komsomol Peak. There are two possible routes: to the left through the Plateau of Reindeer Herders; and to the fight - after crossing the stream climbers should go along scree slopes and along the rocks limiting the plateau. In the upper part of the route there are rocky sections, large-block screes, and ram foreheads . This hike takes 8-12 hours.
There is another route along the northeastern slope. The technical part of the route begins from the "Polyakov camps". First climbers should go to the right - along the right bank of the lake and go around the eastern wall along the screes. After approaching the upper lake of the circus of the mountain horseshoe, they should start climbing along the northeastern slope. The screes become medium-block as the pre-summit crest is approached. It is convenient to ascend along the snow-fields, which at the end of summer look like long snow islands in the hollows of the slope. Then there is a monotonous stretch to the pre-summit crest, and it has no well-marked reference points. After approaching the top of the pre-summit crest, climbers should continue to tie summit along the rocks. The summit is well-marked, Climbers should descend along the same route. The route from the base camp in the valley of the Kosyu river takes no more than 3 days including the return trip to the base camp. Covering the technical section after the "Polyakov camps" takes 6-6 hours.
The route along the central couloir ot the northeastern wall. It is a combined route with long sections of steep ice. The route is designed for skilled groups of hikers and climbers. The technical part of the route begins from the "Polyakov camps". Climbers should first go to the right - along the right bank of the lake, then go up the medium-block screes along the stream, which originates in the snow field in the lower part of the couloir. Then climbers should go on the screes along the boundary of the snow field to the level of the rocky island located slightly below the "hour-glass". Then they should traverse the snow field for 300 m to the rocky island. Movement of the group should be simultaneous, and safety ropes should be used. It is not difficult for groups of skilled and rated climbers. After the rocky island, it is advisable to go along the right branch of the couloir. It is steeper, but safer. Movement along the couloir requires the ability to use crampons, and safety ropes are required on the winter ice. Even in summer the ice resembles winter ice by its crystalline texture, it is chipped-out in the form of lenses not only by climbers' ice tools, but also from the impact of crampons, and that is why it is desirable to sharp ice axes as if for the specifics of winter ice. Climbers should go along the right couloir for 150-200 m to the narrow part of the rocky crest - the "waistline of the hour-glass" - using appropriate safety precautions. Passage through the "waistline", from the right branch of the couloir to the left one is not complicated in technical terms, but it requires special attention to the icy rocky shelves and accumulated sinter ice for 150 m . Climbers should alternate when crossing this area. The key section of the route is the upper part of the left branch of the couloir - 170 m of Ice slope, with an average steepness of 65-75 degrees, and up to 90 degrees in some places. This is a hazardous section, and proper safety measures must be used. This section is technically complicated and objectively dangerous: it is the narrowest part of the couloir (it is necessary to control the upper part of the right branch of the couloir, as falling stones are a possibility). After passing the key section and approaching the bulkhead between the central gendarme and the main summit of Komsomol Peak, climber do not need ice tools. It is advisable to shorten the rope to 20 m, because the 400 m long rocky crest can be passed by a group of rated climbers simultaneous. The summit is well-defined on the crest. Climber go to the center of the summit.
It is possible to descend following the route along the southern crest, through the Novy Pass to the upper lake of the circus. And there is an alternative route of the same difficulty along the southeastern slope of Komsomol Peak. Then hikers should traverse the scree slope along the right bank of the second upper lake and return to the "Polyakov camps".
The route from the base camp in the valley of the Kosyu river, including return to the base camp, takes at least 3 days. It takes 15-18 hours to cover the technical section.
Where to apply:
Branch of the National Park “Jugyd VA” in Pechora
Tel.: (8-82142) 3-45-34
ООО «Nature and Man»
Tel: 8-912-128-75-41, 8-950-567-22-39
Республика Коми: путеводитель / [cост. С. Журавлев]. - Изд. первое. - М. : Авангард, 2004.