Image: Andrew Kudrin
Dawn over Katun River.
The Altai region of southern Siberia is a place of geological wonders and rare biological diversity. The name Altai comes from the Mongolian word for ‘gold’ and ‘mountains,’ an apt moniker considering the ecological value of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Gold was also the colour of the trees and grasses during photographer Andrew Kudrin’s visit in Autumn 2011, which resulted in these stunning photographs.
The Altai is the source for Siberia’s two major rivers, the Ob and the Irtysh. It lies on the boundary between north and central Asia, is divided by four countries, and encompasses terrain, from high mountain ranges down to grassy steppes. Its rugged mountains, thrust up between 500 and 300 million years ago, were shaped by eons of wind, rain, and most of all ice – five glacial periods of it.