Burkhatskiy Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.137m (7,011ft) above the sea level, located within the Katon-Karagaisky State National Nature Park, in East Kazakhstan. The pass is traversed by the Austrian Road.
The road to the summit, also known as Burkhat Pass, is terrible. It’s unpaved and can be impassable after heavy rains or snowstorms. The Austrian Road was built from 1915 to 1917 by Austro-Hungarian WW1-prisoners captured on the Eastern Front. With the help of nothing more than shovels, saws, pickaxes and cables, they created a legendary track through a remote wilderness in the far northeast of Kazakhstan, under highly unfavorable climatic conditions.
Due its unique location and the climb in elevation over thousands of feet, and passing through remote areas, it is important when driving in these conditions to be prepared. The road is famous for its beauty. It’s 50 km (5 hours) long, from Markakol Lake to Burkhat Pass. It’s a really difficult road, crossing 16 bridges and fords and never ending hairpin turns. This road can be considered as a memorial to the heroic labor of the men who at that time managed to create this monument with the help of only simple tools: shovels and picks.
More info&pics: http://silkadv.com/en/content/summer-kazakhstan