from book "Unknown Urals" N Rundquist


   The Urals are the stronghold of the state, its miner
and blacksmith... From the very childhood we know
this characteristic of the land lying at the heart of
Russia, a world-famous large industrial centre whose
natural resources have served the country from time
   But we invite you, friends, to meet other Urals -
miraculous and beautiful, severe and tender, the Urals
without labour enthusiasm of metallurgists and pota-
toplanters, heroic conquest of their delicate nature,
smoky industrial landscapes and views of like towns.
Our wish is to show you the nature and only the nature
of this wonderful land: its age-old forests, limpid
springs and lakes, untouched mountain peaks, cold
glaciers, and a legion of other things which are hidden
from most towndwellers behind long kilometers, daily
problems and hustle of everyday life.
   The Ural mountains which are else called the Stone
Belt extend for 2500km from hot Kazakh steppes to
the frozen coast of the Arctic Ocean. The album is com-
posed so as to lead the reader from the south to the
north. Thus we shall tell you about the mountains in
the sequence set up by the nature itself and you will
be able to follow the changes in the Ural landscape.
   Geographers divided the Urals into five regions:
South, Middle, North, Subarctic and Arctic Urals.
   The widest part of the Urals that comprises dozens
of parallel ridges and bounded in the north and the
south by the valleys of Ufalei and Ural rivers respec-
tively is called the SOUTH URALS. Steppe and forest-
steppe landscapes are typical of the footfills in this
part of the Urals. Higher in the mountains, the hillsides
are covered with mixed forests and the highest peaks,
like islands, emerge among the green ocean of forests.
The highest mountains of the South Urals - Yaman-
tau (1640 m) and Bolshoi Iremel (1582 m) - are located
in the western row of the ridges.
   A relatively low and narrow part of the Ural
mountains is found northward of the the valley of Ufalei
river up to the latitude of Basegi. This is the MIDDLE
URALS. Their gently sloping hills are blanketed with
south taiga. The Middle Urals present the most lived-
in-part of the Urals. The major transport routes con-
necting the Europian Russia and Siberia pass here. The
legendary Chusovaya river - the only river in the
Urals that crosses the mountain chains from the east
to the west - runs its waters in the Middle Urals.
   The NORTH URALS extend strictly in the meri-
dional direction up to the latitudinal section of the
valley of Shchuger river. Telposiz ("The Nest of
Winds") is the highest mountain (1617 m). Short
dividing ridges (Poyasovy Kamen,  Khozatump,
Kvarkush, ets.) form the axial part of the mountains.
Higher mountains, including popular Konzhakovski
Kamen and Denezhkin Kamen, are found in eastern
massifs. Western foothills of the North Urals are cha-
racterized by wide rolling ridges which are called
parmy. We enter the most desolate and unsullied cor-
ners of the territory in the north.
   Northward of the latitudional section of the valley
of Shchuger river the mountains become wider again,
shooting ththeir numerous ridges. This is the highest
land of the Stone Belt - the SUBARCTIC URALS.
Here we see the Narodnaya mountain (1895 m), which
is the highest peak in the Urals, and some mountains
of the Alpine appearance - the famous beauties Sab-
lya and Manaraga. North open taiga grows in this
part of the Urals. Most of the slopes are bright with
the paints of Alpine meadows and mountain, the moun-
tains narrow sharply and for the first time deviate
from the usual northern direction, turning to the
   At the head of Khulga river, where the Subarctic
Urals and the ARCTIC URALS meet, the range is
represented by a narrow	chain of mountains which
are practically unforested, devoid of any foothill belt,
and open to all winds. Not far from here is Paier
(1472 m), the highest peak in the Arctic Urals and one
of the most severe mountains in the entire mountain
system. Across the valley of Sob river, with a thin line
of the northmost Trans-Ural railway connecing Seiga
and Labytangi, the Ural mountains, before they
blend into the coastal plain, widen again and last
groves of the Ural forest occur in warm valleys pro-
tected from biting winds. Above them, high in the
mountains lie real glaciers. And behind the moun-
tains there is tundra stretching right to the coast
of the awfully cold Kara sea, with huge ice blocks drif-
ting in water even in summer.
   We invite you to this journey. We want you feel
the beauty of the Unknown Urals. So make yourself
comfortable in a cushioned arm-chair and... Have a
good trip!

   Nikolai RUNDQUIST

   The South Urals

   The South Urals are distinguished for a unique variety
of natural landscapes: from the foothill semidesert to the
upland tundra. The South Urals mean gigantic skerries
Innzerski Zubchatki, initimable Taganai protruding from the
sea of forest like a stone island, a huge horeseshoe of
Bolshoi Iremel, lake Zyuratkul in an intermontane basin at
the northern edge of the Nurgush ridge...

   The Middle Urals

   The Middle Urals are the lowest and gentle part of the
Ural mountains. Taiga with a thick undergrown with moss and
lichen. Skerries Sem Bratiev, Azov mountain and Chusovaya
river with its cliffs are on our way...

   The North Urals

   The land of the North Urals is at the centre of the Urals
but, strange as it may seem, it is here that the most
godforsaken places lie hidden. Along with this, it offers
tourists most popular Konzhakovski Kamen and Denezhkin Kamen,
wonderfull idols of Manpypynjer, the nature museum
Torreporreiz, and Kholatchyakhl ("Mountain of the Dead")
concealing its horrible secrets, and many other things...

   The Subarctic Urals

   The Subarctic Urals are the highest part of the Ural
mountains. In addition to the highest peak of the Urals -
- mountain Narodnaya, this relatively compact territory
is the seat of genuine pearls of the Stone Belt: Sablya and
Manaraga mountains, the valley of Povsyanshor stream
with numerous waterfalls, countless lake squeezed bet-
ween steep slopes, and lovely valleys with graceful open

   The Arctic Urals

   The Arctic Urals imply Alpine peaks of Ochenyrd and
cold glaciers that make the region look like an austere
highland, stunning lakes Khaditaeganlor, Bolshoye
Shchuchye and Maloye Shchuchye, and murmuring rivers
that run in deep marble canyons in the multicoloured
tundra. Here we come to the "last" peaks of the Urals
and further there is the coast of the cold Arctic Ocean,
smell of the sea and cries of sea-gulls...