Back to category Published: 26 june 2023 Author: Zhanna Mukhatzhanova

Oktyabrskaya Cave


The Oktyabrskaya Cave, situated on the Bogdanovich Glacier in the Ile Alatau Mountains near Almaty, is a grotto that stands at an impressive altitude of 3300 meters (10827 ft) above sea level. Boasting a length of 1390 meters (1520 yd), it is the longest and largest cave in Kazakhstan. Its height ranges from 8 to 10 meters (26-33 ft) and its width spans 1 and 3 meters (3-10 ft). However, what truly sets this cave apart is the thick, smooth ice layer that blankets its walls, creating a truly unique and captivating environment. The cave’s interior showcases bluish hues, evoking a sensation akin to being submerged underwater. This ice layer is formed by the remnants of melted water, which carve passages within the cave, leaving behind a stunning display of ice and hoarfrost.

Venturing into the Oktyabrskaya Cave is an undertaking that should not be taken lightly, as it poses certain dangers. It is strongly advised to explore the cave with the assistance of an experienced guide. The cave features five entrances situated at varying heights, which can be subject to changes due to spring and summer floods. When selecting an entrance, it is crucial to consider the specific requirements for safety equipment, ladders, and other necessary tools. Each entrance presents its own set of challenges. Some areas within the cave are extremely narrow, particularly near the lower moraines, while others entail steep descents and ascents. Moreover, this region is prone to frequent avalanches and mudflows, further emphasizing the need for caution. Notably, one of the exits from the cave leads to the Ice Wall – a magnificent natural creation that adds to the splendor of the Oktyabrskaya Cave.

How to get there?

To reach the starting point for the ascent to the Bogdanovich Glacier, one must first take the cable car from the Medeu Skating Rink to the upper station of the Shymbulak Ski Resort. From there, a well-established and frequently traversed path guides adventurers towards the glacier.

The entrances to the Oktyabrskaya Cave may shift in location due to the continuous melting of ice. Therefore, the assistance of an experienced guide is highly recommended to navigate these changes and safely explore the cave.

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