Iremel - the sacred mountain of Bashkiria
Iremel is the second highest peak in the Southern Urals. The top of the Big Iremel mountain reaches 1582.3 meters above sea level. At the same time, the highest mountain in the Southern Urals - Yamantau - is only 58 meters higher. If most of the South Ural peaks are part of the mountain range systems, then the Iremel massif has an isolated position along with its foothills. It is not surprising that the Bashkirs have long considered Iremel a sacred mountain. For ordinary people, it was closed to the public. Nowadays, this peak attracts many tourists from all over the Urals and from other regions with its beauty. Several tens of thousands of people come here every year.
The name of Mount Iremel is considered to be very ancient, it does not have an unambiguous explanation. There are several versions:
from the Bashkir-Tatar "yrymly" - "bewitched";
from the Turkic "ir" - "man, hero" and the Mongolian "emeel" - "saddle", that is, "saddle of the hero".
The mountain range is located on the territory of the Republic of Bashkortostan, but on the border with the Chelyabinsk region (from the side of which it is easier to get to the mountain), therefore, two regions at once consider Iremel their attraction.
The massif is located in the belt of the highest elevations of the Southern Urals. This area is characterized by significant heights (up to 1200-1600 m), large amplitudes of heights (1100 m), as well as a large amount of precipitation (up to 800 mm per year). The eastern slope of the Big Iremel, as well as the western and northern slopes of the Small Iremel, are very steep (up to 30-40 °). The northern slope of the Big Iremel and the southwestern slope of the Small Iremel, on the contrary, are relatively gentle (10-15 °). At the highest points, rocky outliers formed, on the peaks and slopes - vast areas of stone placers - kurums. In general, the mountain range is characterized by rounded relief outlines.
The Iremel massif is composed mainly of quartzite sandstones and quartzites, which are interbedded with thin layers of carbonaceous shales. These rocks were formed in the shallow coastal zone of the sea in the Middle Proterozoic.
The massif includes two main peaks - Big and Small Iremel, connected by a long and gentle saddle.
Description of the Big Iremel mountain
The top of the Big Iremel mountain is called the Kaban (from Bashkir - haystack). The ascent to the very top takes place along the kurums. Unlike most of the Ural mountains, the stones here are small and very mobile - "alive". Therefore, care and caution are required when lifting. There have already been accidents, including those with a sad outcome. The stones are covered with bright green lichens.
Climbing up, travelers find themselves on a flat plateau, on which small rocks are found in places. At the top of one of these rocky outcrops is the highest point of Mount Iremel - 1582 m. There are many flags and ribbons.
In clear weather, stunning views over many tens of kilometers open from Iremel. The mountains and ridges of Avalyak, Bakty, Yamantau, Zigalga, Nurgush and many others are visible.
However, Iremel is often hidden by clouds, and the weather, like in any mountains, changes rapidly. Usually a strong, piercing wind blows at the top. So dress warmly even in summer. In some places, the snow on the slopes of Iremel does not melt for a long time.
From the top of Bolshoi Iremel there are spurs with rocky outcrops: to the northwest - Zherebchik (1250 m), to the southwest - Sinyak (940 m), and to the northeast - the so-called Zalavok.
To get to the top of Iremel from the Tyulyuk village, you need to gain 1 km in height. This can affect the well-being of some people, at times it can block the ears from changes in pressure.
When climbing, the altitudinal zonality is well expressed. A coniferous forest grows on the slopes and at the foot. First (in the mountain-forest belt) spruce, fir, birch grow. Next comes the subalpine belt with light forest. At an altitude of 700-1000 meters, relict spruce forests grow - descendants of spruce trees, which, according to scientists, survived the worldwide glaciation. Beautiful lichens hang from the fir trees - clear indicators of clean air. Even higher, the mountain-tundra belt begins with dwarf birches, elfin trees, northern berries are found here (for example, a lot of lingonberries). The range of altitude position of the border of small forests is 320 m (from 1105 to 1425 m), and the vertical length of the mountain-tundra belt is about 200 m. 57 plant species found in these places are listed in the Red Book, and 13 species are endemic.
Iremel attracts not only ordinary tourists, but also esotericists and mystery lovers. It is believed to be a place of power. Some even compare it in importance with the Kailash Mountains in Tibet or Belukha in Altai. And in the forests in the vicinity of Mount Iremel, there are mysterious pyramids made of stones. There are more than a dozen of them. When and why they were folded is a mystery.
In 2002-03, an expedition headed by F.N. Petrova. As a result, it was concluded that Big Iremel is a traditional Bashkir cult center (including today).
F.N. Petrov in the book "Traditional worldview of the peoples of the steppe Eurasia" (Chelyabinsk, 2006) wrote:
“On the slopes of the mountain there are traditional places of worship of the Bashkir clans. Local informants informed us about the rituals carried out by representatives of the Bashkir clans in these places, as a rule - in the area of especially prominent stone exits - the so-called "family stones". So, in 2001, a group of Bashkirs arranged a gratitude ritual at the "birth stones" in connection with the successful admission of a young man from this clan to the institute. The Bashkirs carefully hide the exact locations of the family stones from the Russians, fearing possible desecration. "
Many famous travelers, scientists and writers have visited Iremel. During their expeditions to the Urals and Russia, scientists-travelers P.I. Rychkov and I.I. Lepekhin.
In 1888, the outstanding Ural writer D.N. Mamin-Sibiryak, who described her in the essay "A Trip to Mount Iremel":
“From a distance, the mountain looked very impressive. It consisted from top to bottom of one continuous placer - a whole verst of stones poured in disorder. I saw such a bare stone mountain in the Urals for the first time ... Iremel was breaking up into several peaks, connected by wide, swampy saddles. "
Mount Small Iremel
While crowds of tourists always go to Big Iremel, few people visit Small Iremel. Unlike the almost flat plateau of Big Iremel, there are whole rocky bastions on the Small. And from here you can admire the Great Iremel in all its glory.
Small Iremel stretches for about 5 km. It has five approximately equivalent peaks with heights from 1340 to 1450 m. The maximum height of Maly Iremel Mountain is 1449.4 m, which is 133 m lower than its neighbor. In the western part of the Small Iremel, a continuous battlement with a length of more than 600 m was formed.
Big and Small Iremel are connected by a saddle about 3 km long. The area of the Iremel mountain range is relatively small: 12 km long and 8 km wide. The famous Bashkir river Belaya (Agidel) starts nearby.
Description of Iremel in the "Guide to the Urals" by V. Vesnovsky in 1904:
“Iremel is one of the highest and most beautiful peaks of the Urals. For a long time it was considered the highest point of the Southern Urals ... Walking up the mountain presents no difficulties and lovers of mountain excursions will give a lot of pleasure ... Not reaching ½ mile to the top, there is a forest hut on the way where you can leave your horses. Immediately from here a steep ascent to the top begins, and one has to walk along huge stones ... In the deep hollows and hollows of the mountain, snow sometimes persists throughout the summer. The main rock of the mountain is white or light, sometimes pinkish and grayish quartzite.
Iremel is a Bashkir word and in translation means "holy". The Bashkir guide always considers it his duty to remind the tourist not to take vodka with him, sing songs there and not commit atrocities at all, otherwise he risks incurring the wrath of Allah on himself. The completely bare summit of Iremeli is a rather flat rocky plateau. Only on one side at the top rises a whole wall of sharp angular gray quartzites (shikhans). The central mountain, the most elevated, is surrounded by several smaller mountains, called “stepchildren” of Iremeli. From the bare hill of Iremeli in those days when the heights are free from fog and smoke, a truly amazing view opens up ...
Between Bolshaya and Malaya Iremel is the so-called. "Valley of Death". It represents a desert, devoid of almost all vegetation, a lair. The Valley of Death has free access for only one northern winds, while for southern warm ones it is closed by mountains. "
Most tourists go to Iremel from the village of Tyulyuk. It arose back in the 18th century. Residents burned coal for factories. Nowadays, thanks to the large tourist flow, the village of Tyulyuk cannot be called endangered, as is a significant part of such Ural villages. Despite the unimportant road and relative remoteness from cities, the village makes a very favorable impression. There are almost no abandoned houses. There are a lot of recreation centers for tourists.
Wherever you look, there are mountains around Tyulyuk. Pleasure for tourists who go from Tyulyuk not only to Iremel, but also to Zigalga, Bakty and other mountains. Near the village - the upper reaches of the Yuryuzan River.
A fast and picturesque mountain river Tyulyuk flows through the whole village. It originates between the Yagodny and Avalyak ridges, at 900 meters above sea level. On its 26-kilometer stretch, the river loses 402 meters of height.
3 kilometers above the village, the Tyulyuk river made its way through a small but pretty gorge. This place is called the Larkin Melnitsa tract. If there is time, it is also worth taking a walk there. The road to Larkina's mill goes along the right bank of the river.
How to get to Mount Iremel?
Although Iremel is located in Bashkiria (in the Beloretsk region), it is better to get here from the Chelyabinsk region. By car, you need to go to the M5 highway from Chelyabinsk to Ufa. In the Bakala area, you need to turn to the village of Pervukha (if you are driving from the direction of Ufa, then you need to turn off the M5 to Yuryuzan), then to Meseda and follow the signs for Tyulyuk. The good road ends gradually, but you can drive any car. There is almost no public transport in Tyuluk, so it is better to go by car. The road to Iremel starts from the southeastern outskirts of Tyulyuk (in fact, it is a continuation of the main street). On the outskirts of the village, cars should be parked and then walked.
- GPS coordinates of the checkpoint of the natural park: N 54º 33.639 '; E 58º49.641 '.
- GPS coordinates of the top of Mount Iremel: N 54º 31.200´; E 58º50.552´ (for smartphones 54.52º 58.842533º).
At the checkpoint, a small fee is charged to enter the territory of the natural park. At the checkpoint, the trails diverge. The straight path (lower) is 1 kilometer shorter, but muddy and slippery, especially at the beginning. The left one is a little more authentic, but drier; from it you can also get to Maly Iremel.
It is quite possible to climb Iremel and return to Tyuluk in one day (if you go out in the morning). Approximate mileage from the Tyulyuk village to the summit is 14 km one way.