Waterfalls are not very common phenomenon in Trans-Ili Alatau Mountains. Large once can be counted on the fingers. So the meeting with each of them is more interesting and emotionally intense. I would like to offer the readers an easy one-day trip to one of the most beautiful local waterfalls that locates on the river Gorelnik.
Generally speaking, there is a constant confusion with this waterfall, or rather - waterfalls. Some people take seriously a small threshold of the brook, close to the former camp site. Others nod up at the foam stream, falling down from steep cliffs. But the real waterfall Gorelnik is unique and located about two or three hours' walk from the road to Shymbulak, at an altitude approximately 2,400 meters above sea level.
But first a few words about the Gorelnik. This left tributary of the Little Almatinka is known mainly because of tourist center "Gorelnik", which was popular in the 50th - 60th. People say that it has been created during the war as a school for mountaineering Special Forces. During the era of mass tourism it has been known in the entire Soviet Union for its "route number 66" and the right to wear the badge "Tourist of USSR". Part of the tourist center was destroyed after the famous mudslide in 1973, so officials decided to close it to get out of harm's way.
The gorge itself has some attractions: weather station "Upper Gorelnik" (also former), several small morainal lakes at the headstream and temper of the stream itself; Gorelnik is dangerous for mudslide itself. Quite severe mudflows happened here in 1944 and 1951.
So, to get to the waterfall, you need to get to Medeo by bus or by any other vehicle, then walk up famous stairs and do not forget to count footsteps. Remember that anyone can count them on the way down and just a few on the way up. Get to the road on the right and follow it until houses of forester, ignoring the bridegrooms, brides and other happy- drunk public on the ridge of the dam.
Follow the country-track leading to the forester for a few tens of meters and then turn right on the first path. The path takes us to the serpentine and steep (but not too steep) ascent through the spruce forest. Below, on the left, you can hear the roar of Gorelnik. (If you do not hear, it is either the wrong path or your ears popped on the fast ascent!)
If you chose the right path after a short period of time (up to an hour) you should see the house of the former weather station. This house is a private property, so it is better not to go inside and follow the path.
Then cross the tributary on logs and soon the stream Gorelnik itself. After the crossing, the path traverses the slope and leads to another tributary - right. Right behind it, path rises sharply up and after 10 minutes, we are next to the waterfall. Ascent is about 700 meters (if you walk from Medeo) and 500 meters if you if you count from the forester.
There are some difficulties and surprises; you need to consider that in recent years the valley was severely damaged by fire and a hurricane in 2011.Beginers need to remember two things: the descent, which will be harder than ascent, and on comfortable shoes, which often injure far more people than all rock falls and avalanches together.
However, you will forget about all difficulties when you see the waterfall, it is beautiful! And besides, it is a lovely shower, especially for brave women. A brave woman under intense jets is triple spectacular! No wonder, one the favorite method of meditation in some Eastern systems was next to waterfall. In the East, sages know where and what to look at!