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Altai mountain and ore 2013

  But with luck at first it didn’t work out ... So, I am in the glorious city of Barnaul - the center of the Altai Territory. Altaj, who received me, asked me not to take a lot of things, and Aeroflot helped me a lot in his request ... In short, I arrived, my luggage did not. And so - two planes to Barnaul in a row. Those. about 200 people flew to Barnaul "naked" ... As they said, Aeroflot had a program failure, the luggage did not fly anywhere. But this is all relative, since the Moscow Aeroflot telephones do not answer, Moscow does not respond to the telephone messages of the airport, the representative of the Aeroflot disappeared at the Barnaul airport. Those. I am without shoes, sleeping bag, clothes and other things with all the ensuing consequences. We sit with Altaj - we drink tea. We are still familiar with everything, but what about the Beluga Expedition foreigners who came to get to know unknown Russia better on the same board? Although, on the other hand, this is precisely its recognition. welcome to Russia.

Day one is the road.
The next day, the luggage did not arrive, so I had to pack with friends and acquaintances. After that, Altaj and I, in the company of a driver friend, on his own truck (with a scooter as a means of jumping in the back), having crossed the Ob, moved along the Chuisky tract towards the Altai Mountains. The ultimate goal is the Chagan-Uzun field, which is 50-50 km away. from the Mongolian border. Those. we have to drive - just something 700km. At such a distance, of course, interesting places should have met. And they met: the birthplace of cosmonaut German Titov and the Museum of Cosmonautics, the village of Srostki - Shukshin's birthplace, where a monument was erected to him on a hillside; the place of death of Mikhail Evdokimov, next to which they put a chapel. The birch he crashed into is tied with ribbons according to Altai custom. Already closer to the end of the road, in the Altai Mountains, on the edge of the abyss above the river, we met a monument. Kolka Snigerev from a famous song. This song has been remade many times by the people. Here is its almost complete and original text:

There is a road along the Chuisky tract,
Many drivers drive on it,
But one was a desperate driver,
His name was Kolka Snigirev.

He is a car, a three-ton AMO,
Like he loved his own sister.
Chui tract to the Mongolian border
He studied his AME.

Raya worked at the Ford,
Raya was very strict.
Smiled Kolya with a smile,
And she ran her hand over the Ford.

"Listen Kolya, I'll tell you in earnest,
Listen, Kolya, I’ll say it’s not melting,
If AMO overtakes Ford,
So Rayechka will be yours."

Once from a long trip
Our Kolya returned home,
Ford green with merry Paradise
Kolya rushed past with an arrow.

And Kolya's heart beat,
Kolya remembered the previous conversation.
He drove his car faster
And the engine sang its song.

In the turn, the cars caught up,
Kolya Rai saw the face.
Turned around and shouted "PARADISE" to her
And for a moment I forgot about the steering wheel.

And a big three ton AMO,
Suddenly, she fell off a cliff,
And in the banks of the silvery Chuy
She disappeared down the cab.

And since then along the Altai road
Ford green arrow does not fly.
Paradise rides, as if tired,
And the steering wheel trembles under the arm.


Well, as they say, we drove through ... And now, on business: we left late, we had to spend the night on the banks of the Chuya River, but by three o'clock the next day we were there.

Day two - crocodile.

The first part of the Marlezon ballet was the digging of the crocodile. Do not ask what crocozyabras are - we ourselves do not know. And nobody knows. Mineralogists are silent, paleontologists are silent. No one specifically said anything, but the Fersman Museum bought one copy last year. It will be necessary to try them, as they documented this sample in their register. There is an assumption that this is a septaria in which the cracks are filled with pink chalcedony. There is an assumption that this is something organic, in which the internal structure was replaced by pink chalcedony. Additional intrigue is brought by the words of Altaj-ya that the chalcedony is colored pink because of the radiolarians it contains. In short - a rarity and a mystery. These crocozyabrs lie in a 4-cm layer of green clay, the clay is covered with a thin layer of sandstone on top, and these layers of clay and sandstone are clamped by dense mudstone. Everything would be fine, but this layer of clay containing the crocodile in the process of earth formation reared up vertically and even with a negative angle of inclination. Therefore, in order to get to the bottom of them, they had to dig a deep gap. And because of the negative angle of inclination, the opposite layer of the gap all the time strove to fall on the head, and it had to be removed.

The thickness of the "fertile" layer is 4 cm, and the rock had to be hollowed out and taken out at least shoulder-width apart. This was not Altaj's first trip to this point known to him, and the trench had already been dug. It was very inconvenient to dig into the depths - there was nowhere to turn around. We began to make the gap longer, trying to take the crocodile as close to the surface as possible. As a result, we got about 12 crocozyabrs, a layer of clay that wedged out in both directions (i.e., the layer ended and it was possible to dig further only in depth), and a full-profile trench, from which the Chuisky tract would be perfectly shot if necessary. The Mongols will not pass! They don't need to...

                                                                   Day two - Red Hill
We drove up to it in order to check the information about the cinnabar adit located in it. As a result, we climbed to the top, went around the mountain and found several open pits 20 meters deep. The pits were tied with wooden lining. Inside one of them was a staircase. But since this ladder was about 30 years old, we didn’t have a rope with us, and the dumps turned out to be very boring, we didn’t climb there. Further searches showed that the whole mountain was pitted with adits, like molehills in my summer cottage, but there were no open adits - they were covered up. Altaj used ancient shells and corals for balls, they did not inspire me.
By evening, we moved to a new place, directly to the village of Chagan-Uzun, and stopped on the banks of the Chagan River. The goal was open adits visible to the naked eye in a mountain located on the opposite bank of the Chagan. To do this, it had to be forced. But there was neither a suitable road bridge nor a road ford nearby. planned to ford the river. We chose the widest place, hoping that in it the depth and pressure of this mountain river would be less. It was expected that the depth would be up to the thigh, in extreme cases, to the waist, because. if deeper - no longer go: it will be carried away by the pressure of the current. Everything would be fine ... Since it is necessary to ford the river, even waist-deep, even under pressure - I'm ready. But this river originates from glaciers, and according to the books, the temperature of the water in it does not rise above 10 degrees .... That's what bothered me. The expected time spent in waist-deep water is 10 minutes. But it is necessary - it means it is necessary! The feat was scheduled for 9 am. I broke a pole out of the local outskirts so that I could use it as a bed and, reassured by this, went to bed ....

                                                         Third day - Forcing, adit and burner.
Altaj was the first to go... Immediately, near the shore, he went waist-deep, he began to be carried away by the current. Ajtaj climbed back - the feat is cancelled. The place of forcing was moved to 1.5 km. further from the adits, although it is a detour, it is better to be a tired tourist than a fresh drowned man. At this point, the river splits into four channels. We started forcing, having previously taped the slates to our feet with adhesive tape. The water at first seemed not cold, but by the middle of the channel you begin to understand what it seemed. But you can warm up between the ducts. The water did not rise above the lower third of the thigh. By the end of the forcing of the third channel, all the adhesive tape on the slates was torn by the current, but the slates remained with me!
The fourth channel was the widest, but a bridge was once thrown over it. However, at present, he looked like he had been bombed. The passage along it required a certain dexterity from us - we found it, we found ourselves on the opposite bank and cheerfully moved through the valley to the adits, drying ourselves on the go. Imagine: a large, completely flat field, and three men in shorts walking proudly through it!
Soon we were at the dump of an adit of medium height. The dump did not please us, but we still found some cinnabar. There was only one thing left - to climb into the adit. It was well fortified//// with wooden supports, the entrance was free of ice. Altaj and I moved inside. Twenty meters later it became cold, the support was covered with hoarfrost... and the kingdom of the Snow Queen began... All the walls, the ceiling, were covered with ice crystals. And not just crystals, but skeletal crystals resembling burdock and the size of a human face. The radial beams were connected by shiny transparent clear ribs. Unfortunately, photographing in the adit with our equipment does not give a complete picture. In addition to large flat crystals, there were also small "flaps" that covered the logs, like plumage on birds. This beauty lasted ten meters. Then the ice ended and the walls became visible. The adit was lined with lining from above almost all the way. In some places there were minor collapses. We went through it completely, all 120 meters underground + short branches, but never met cinnabar anywhere. And only in one of the last branches I found a vein of cinnabar in calcite. Altaj took up the hammer, I took the packaging, and soon we chipped small-crystalline cinnabar images from the wall into a small bag. A couple of times I came across small cavities with small whole crystals of cinnabar. It was with this bag that we left the kingdom of the Snow Queen, like two Santa Clauses.
Reverse forcing of the river - and we are at the point. Photo frames of our forcing are staged, because it wasn't before. in fact, everything was more tense, because. for example, on my way back, when forcing, a heavy bag of Santa Claus dangled around my neck on a trouser belt ...
We ended up in the camp by 15 o'clock and moved from the element of water to the element of fire ... The next point is a nearby burner - a small coal quarry in which coal caught fire about 20 years ago, and it still smolders. A sulfuric stench hangs over the quarry, from the burning pyrite contained in the coal. The surface of the ash was warm. We threw a cobblestone into the place where the smoke came from - the cobblestone fell through along with the surface layer. There we did not come close, so as not to follow the cobblestone. Digging in the ashes, they collected gypsum hedgehogs. I got his zone crystal. Altaj found something green in one of the burnt mounds, sort of green crusts on the coal... there was a lot of this green... We didn't know what kind of mineral. Altaj did not take it, but I did. Only later, at home, after looking at it under binoculars and tasting it, the assumption was born that it was chalcanthite. but the assumption still requires diagnostics.
Closer to the smoke, where it is better not to go, sulfur was visible, but not to be taken .... But in one of the mounds that had not yet cooled down, they managed to dig it out. It crystallized on pieces of coal. The samples were very fragile. Acicular gypsum and sulfur were found in a nearby, already very hot mound. The gypsum was an unusual green-yellow color. Already at home, under the binocular, ammonia was found in the sulfur. But the trouble is, all these samples are not only fragile, but very smelly. The first words of Altaj's wife, when she came home, were: "What is it that stinks so much here?" Second: "Will it always be like this now?" Now these samples are on the balcony. They must be kept in boxes.
We packed the samples as best we could and moved on and up - closer to Mount Sukor, where we were going to visit other adits for cinnabar. Having risen somewhere to an altitude of 2100 meters above sea level, on one of the steep descents, the driver put the parking brake on the truck and went down to see if he could then drive back. It turned out that the parking lot did not hold ... And the truck moved after its owner. It's good that I, sitting next to the driver's seat, managed to press the brake pedal - the truck drove no more than 20cm. And then it would be possible to compose a new song ...)))

                                     Day four - Adit on the Sukor mountain and crocozyabrs again.
We got up early to go up in the chill. Start at an altitude of 2100, finish - at 2800. Exceeding 700 meters. The total length of the route is approximately 5 km. Estimated climb time 2.5 hours. Altaj went up on a scooter (sometimes a scooter rode Altaj), I - on foot. The scooter is faster. Altaj was waiting for me at the rerouting points. At one of the sections, the paths were divided, the vehicles could not pass there. Then the routes converged again. We climbed from the zone of alpine semi-deserts to the zone of alpine meadows. There are flowers under my feet, snowfields above and below, the thought in my head - what the hell am I running into the mountains again? Nevertheless, trainings like going to the fifth floor without an elevator turned out to be insufficient, the last section was not easy for me, but I practically met the estimated time. We were lucky with the weather. There was no sun. "If there was sun, we would have died altogether," Altaj said. I really like the photo of my windbreaker soaked with sweat against the background of the ice castle at the entrance to the adit ...
We started digging dumps. They turned out to be rich... I collected pieces of rock with cinnabar for balls and polishes, Altaj - for paint.

They climbed into the closet. I will say right away - the adit of the past day is resting compared to this one. The entrance to the adit was blocked almost to the top by an ice castle. The ice was broken from above and through a 30 cm gap. pushed deep. I push the backpack in front - otherwise I won’t get through. Behind the ice castle, everything is filled with ice with a downward slope, the distance to the ceiling increases. We slide on the ice, going around the ice stalagmites sticking out from below. After 5 meters - they arrived: a wall of snow and frost. Altaj hits her with a hammer and breaks through the hole, as if into a kennel.

We crawl inside and stand at full height. In front of us is an adit one and a half human height, going deep into the depths. There is no support, but the vaults are strong. We are surrounded by gray wild stone covered with dust. We go deeper after the curving tunnel of the adit. Very reminiscent of the Indiana Jones movies. We are cooler: at least he had a revolver! Soon the kingdom of the Snow Queen already familiar to us begins. We pass it. Move on. Dark. Dry. Coldly. Around hangs a gray stone. The gallery is kind of endless. There are no signs of cinnabar. It's strange, such rich dumps... And yet we found it, veins in two places, but it doesn't make sense to gouge - in the dumps of the same and no risk. We go further, the kingdom of the Snow Queen begins again. And it goes on and on... Moreover, the walls are already covered not only with skeletal crystals, but also with normal hexagonal ice crystals. I photograph them. I will write that they are from my collection. Can I keep copies of my collection in the adit on Mount Sukor?!

We still reached the end of the adit. 650 meters underground, not counting the side roads! With a sense of accomplishment, we return from it to the surface. There is light ahead. Oh you, we came out of the mine!
Going down with a full backpack, oddly enough, is much more pleasant than going up with an empty one... On the descent, Altaj and I never crossed paths and met already in the camp. The descent took only an hour. The scooter at the top did not want to start for 20 minutes - there was not enough oxygen. Yes, and I regularly had a heavy head from his absence.
However, there was still half a day left. Not a minute of downtime! Again we went to dig krokozyabr. The technology has already been worked out: Altaj has a bag for removing debris, a hammer and a knife, I have a crowbar. "We're cutting steps, not a step back!"
The gap was quickly widened and deepened. (And in order to release 5 square decimeters of the useful layer, it is necessary to break and remove half a cubic meter of rock). We were rewarded with 10 krokozyabr.

                                                                              Day five - return to Barnaul.
                                         Day six - rest after returning to Barnaul. Getting the long-awaited luggage at the airport!

Day seven - a trip to the Rudny Altai.
Rudny Altai is a cross between the steppe and mountain Altai: fields, hills, fancifully weathered granite remnants and rocky outcrops. Very beautiful and decorative, but when we went there, it was raining and the photos would not have turned out. Our goal is the Murzinskoye gold deposit, which is next to the village. Akimovka. Only 300 km from Barnaul. We arrived there in the evening, pitched a tent on the edge of the miners' artel settlement and immediately became the center of attention. At first the tent was surrounded by children, then a herd of cows was driven through us. The children met the cows and took them home. But in the middle of the night, a man came up with the question, "What are you doing here, huh? We never had tourists." In the morning we woke up from the cries of a kite sitting in the branches above us.

Day eight - Murzinskoye gold deposit.
Altaj found aunts known to him from the mine administration, presented them with stone souvenirs, and soon we were drinking tea with the new chief geologist of the deposit. No one else asked us "What are you doing here?", and then we walked around the quarry completely freely. You won't believe gold is mined at the Murzinsky gold deposit. Mining is carried out in an open way. The gold content is 2-2.5 g per ton. Rock with a content of 0.5 g per ton goes to dumps. The chief geologist, originally from Kazakhstan, was surprised: in Kazakhstan, gold is being mined at a gold content of 0.3 g. per ton... The annual production of the quarry is more than 300 kg. gold per year. Once upon a time there were mines of Akinfiy Demidov, the son of Demidov of Peter the Great. This Akinfiy Demidov founded Barnaul. In addition to gold, the rock has a high copper content (5-10%), but no one is interested in copper - everything goes to dumps ... But we were very interested in copper (Gold, of course, too, but we sacredly honor the Criminal Code!). Copper minerals are found at the deposit: malachite, turquoise, chrysocolla, chalcocite, cuprite - all are not in a crystalline form. So we went looking for them. And, of course, the first thing you found, what would you think? No, not gold! No provocation, please. We didn't find any gold. Found Quartz. The sides of the quarry are in many places dissected by veins of Quartz. Following one of them, I found successively three bulges with gaps, in which we collected small druses of quartz, sometimes turning into crystal. Fragments of Psilomelan lay everywhere. Got him too. Then I found his vein with voids. I nailed a non-weathered Psilomelan from there, threw the previous one away.
Let's move on. On the way, I sowed a chisel somewhere (((. We reached the old part of the quarry. We stopped over the so-called "Well". This is the place where the excavator once fell through. When it was pulled out, it turned out that it fell into the old Demidov mines. We go down into the well. Old underground passages lead to two sides of it. I climb into one of them. It’s a pity that we didn’t take a lantern. But it quickly turns out that the passage is a dead end. I climb into the second passage, and Altaj starts knocking out something green from the ceiling of this passage "The second move quickly narrows, I crawl on my stomach, but in the end I block all the lighting with myself. The light of the mobile phone does not help. I return back and sit under the arches of the Demidov mine, watching Altaj extract the pieces of incomprehensible green he had beaten off ... Then it turned out that this argillite evenly impregnated with copper minerals. Very unusual. The largest piece is from 1.5 bricks. You can make balls ... It starts to rain heavily and for a long time. Thanks to Demidov for the roof! We sit / dig under the canopy of his mines, wait. and one of the peals of thunder from the ceiling on Altaj-a begins to crumble ... Yes, and everything green is knocked out. He stops hammering and moves towards me. Here the rain is over. We get out, I split the cobblestone noticed at the beginning from the bottom of the "well", there is a lot of green inside - I will go to Moscow.
Then they went down to the quarry several tiers lower. There was a recent explosion. We find a root outcrop of epidote rock, broken by explosions - there is generally a lot of it in the quarry. It has bright veins of chrysocolla. But they are few - only in one place. We knock and break. A bright Lepidocrocite is found, which, together with Chrysocolla, gives the breed a very decorative look. We knock out this zone - it's a pity it is very narrow. However, we have already been walking around the quarry for almost 12 hours ... It's time to go to the base. On the way, there are streaks of Rhodochrosite, but they are absolutely vile. For lovers of manganese, I will bring manganese dendrites according to Argillite.

                                                   Day 9 - again in the same place and return to Barnaul.
Blocky brown calcite is found in oversized epidote rocks. In a backpack! Then in the same blocks we find nests of crystal with crystals of brown Calcite. Rather, these are scalenohedral crystals of Calcite, in a calcite brown shirt. We are trying to knock them out of the dense rock. It doesn't always work out. I climb oversized to the top of the scree and for good reason - I find a couple of crystal druses with brown calcite. I'll probably keep one for my collection. I go down and go forward, examining oversized items. And I find a nest! This is such a nest! Here with such crystals! And all this is framed by a blocky Calcite in a brown shirt of the second generation. The overall size is about the size of a dessert plate. Neither I nor Altaj have seen anything like this here. Just how to take it... Everything sits in a solid even block. I knock with a sledgehammer. Altaj connects - everything is useless. I decide to sacrifice calcite in order to take at least a nest of crystals. It was possible to donate, but not to take. Eh! But the photo remained in its original form. True, the camera, having swallowed dust, died a long time ago, and I don’t know if the photos from Rudny Altai made on a mobile phone will be of good quality. But in any case, this untaken sample is a good end to the trip. We return to the base, a car from Barnaul comes for us. And we are going to the city, making a detour and dropping in on business in Rubtsovsk. On the way we pass the well-known deposits of Karbolikha, Stepnoye and Poteryaevskoye.
Ahead - a trip on a steam locomotive through half of Russia, probably, there will be something to see, but this is already off topic .... Thank you to everyone who read it - you have successfully passed the test of patience! ))
PS: a light green-colored mineral dug up in the burner, announced in the report as gypsum, turned out to be vivianite according to the results. He gasped for air and turned blue.
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