12 Mountains Are Their Element

Mountains Are Their Element

Posted on October 18, 2011 by

Meteorologists and glaciologists work here at the ‘Mynzhilki’ and ‘Tuiyk Su’ centers at a hight of 3000 meters. These people study global climat changes and alpine glaciers and control dangerous mud-flow moraine lakes. They truly believe that there is nothing better than mountains!

Although the sign says 3100 meters, the actual hight of the ‘Mynzhilki’ center’s locations is 3017 meters.

You could work here just for the view! The center was founded in 1935. It is the only center which has outlived ‘Perestroika’. The data they receive here goes to the meteorology center in Almaty and after that it is sent to Kazakhstan weather bureau.

The oldest of the meteorologists of the center has been working here for 39 years.

In four month he’s going to retire but he wants to keep on working.

After some time, people begin to feel like home in the mountains and it is very difficult for them to get used to the city again.

Ten people work in the center. It is a shift work: they spend ten days in the mountains and then they have a twenty-day break in the city. Anatoly is a professional alpinist. His hobby has turned into a job. He says that people work here not for money but because mountains will never let them go.

Weather influences our life greatly. Industries, health and mood depend on it. We forecast weather for airlines, ships, construction companies and many others.

Meteorologists observe air and ground temperature, daytime, atmospheric pressure, wind speed, and precipitation ammount. After processing all this information, meteorologists are able to forecast droughts, frosts, hail or storms.

They have to work all day long and every three hours the information is sent to the meteorology center. If they find anything unusual, they send ‘emergency-telegrams’.

A thermometer and a hydrometer (it registers humidity) are situated here.

A thermograph and a barograph (it registers pressure) are situated in this box.

These are ground thermometers which register ground temperature.

This is a precipitation gage. It gathers and registers the ammount of precipitation. Inside this device there is a measuring jar with 100 points. The ammount of solid precipitation is measured after melting.

Three years ago the data was sent by telegraph with the help of dot-and-dash. Now it is made by radio transmitter.

Anatoly also observes the waterlevel in dangerous moraine lakes.

It is a tradition of this center to have black cats there.

Due to the fact that they have to work 24 hours a day, the day gets divided into three shifts and they work in pairs. When the workers have free time, they play billiard.

This bed is hand-made.

Nikolay Ivanovich recalls the time when he had to work alone. It was difficult but people get used to anything.

‘Tuiyk Su’ glaciological center is located 3400 meters above sea level.

Glaciologists study glaciers. Today the world faces a problem of shortage of water and every year glaciers become 1% smaller in volume.

Glaciers of Alatau supply the Almaty region with water. If we hypotecally suppose that they melted one day, the region would turn into a desert.

The glacier Tuiyk Sy is the only one which is still being examined after the disintegration of the USSR.

Different meters are situated in the corners of the room.


Here they also practice shift work. A new shift has arrived.

29 years ago this woman left Lithuania. When she was in the 8th grade, she saw mountains for the first time and fell in love with them. She realized she was unable to live away from them.

She’s in her element when she is in the mountains and this center is her home; Lithuania is her second home.

In 1991 when the country was close to devastation, she worked at this center almost or free. She knew that she was working for the good of next generations. She just loves mountains.

The team manager says that glaciers keep melting year by year and it is a result of global warming which could be permanent or temporary. No one knows for sure.

To climb up the glacier, glaciologists use snowshoes. They received this eqipment after an accident with one of the workers.

There is everything they need in the kitchen. They cook in turns.

They have different tastes in music.

This young man used to be a jeweller. So to say, he exchanged gold and brilliants for these priceless mountains.

It began to snow in the evening.

Despite the bad working conditions and low salaries, these people do not want to quit their job. They do love mountains.

Location: Zailiyskiy Alatau

via voxpopuli

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12 Responses to “Mountains Are Their Element”

  1. Archy Bunka says:

    Cool job.

  2. historian says:

    Their taste in music seems to be Vysotzki, as they have a poster of him.

    I think its from Brecht “the good person of sechvan” whcih Vysotzki played at taganka.

    No wonder they love him.





  3. Petio from Bulgaria says:

    Great job!

  4. Macsen says:

    Um, ya. I think this is the best ER post ever, but I’m a big fan of mountains…

  5. Hirsh says:

    Great post. Would have liked to know more about the colorful round “cottages” too. The main building is quite an oddity as far as construction goes. It is literally pieced together over the years, or so it looks.

  6. Hirsh says:

    God forbid i make an honest observation. National feelings might get hurt…

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