Katu-Yaryk Pass is one of the scariest roads in the world

Pereval Katu-Yaryk is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.203m (3,946ft) above the sea level, located in Altai Republic, in Russia. The road to the summit is extreme. 4x4 vehicles only. With 19% gradient sections, gravel loose and lack of protections, it’s one of the scariest roads in the world.

Katu-Yaryk Pass

Can you drive to Katu-Yaryk Pass?

Set high on the southern part of Siberia, the road to the summit, also known as Katy-Yaryk pass, is totally unpaved with an unstable ground and stone surface. The road is really defiant. A capable 4x4 vehicle is required. A few small rivers must be crossed in the shallow of the river. It is possible to go down the pass by any car and to ascend only by a four-wheel drive. Brakes should be fully functional. On 3,5 kilometres it is necessary to overcome 9 turns and 800 metres of height. This pass is suitable for transport with good cross-country ability. The road is very steep, hitting a 19% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. The pass is the gate to the Chulyshman valley, the warmest place in the Altai Mountains.

How long is Katu-Yaryk Pass?

The pass is 68.1km (42.31 miles) long, running south-north from Balyktyul to Koo. The road continues at the valley and leads to the southern part of Teletskoye Lake. When driving, there are several dangers – the risk of rockfall, oncoming traffic and the steepness of the turns. At the summit a breathtaking view opens at the emerald green Chulyshman, waterfalls and a zigzag of only car road to the valley. During the rainy season landslides narrow roadway with large stones. During this period the pass is closed for a few days until the repair team with a bulldozer arrives from Aktasha.

When was Katu-Yaryk Pass built?

In 1987 a director of sovkhoz Arseniy Sanaa offered to build a car road to the Chulyshman valley. Three bulldozers were building the serpentine road during two years. Completed in 1989, the new road made better the life of local people, who could get the valley earlier only on the steep path or through Teletskoye Lake. In the honor of A. Sanaa the main street in Ulagan village is named after him. In 2001 the road was widened and it became possible for two cars to pass one another at turns. In 2011 the building of a new safe road from the pass started at the place of the old horse path. Before the construction of the road there was no road descending from the Ulagan Plateau into the valley of the Chulyshman River. 
Pic: Оксана Г