Daytrip to big Almaty lake
Unlike Nur Sultan which lies right in the middle of the Steppe, Almaty is right next to a giant mountain range called Zailiyskiy Alatau. When walking around the city you are constantly surrounded by this beautiful sight. Within these mountains lies the big Almaty lake which actually provides most of the drinking water for the city of Almaty. For this reason, the lake is protected by guards and you are prohibited from taking a swim in the beautiful deep blue water.
I decided that with my mountain climbing experience I would be able to walk up to the lake without too many problems. And so I did. I took the bus as far as possible then made my way onto what I thought was the right path. It turned out to be a bit of a detour but it did give me a much more adventurous hike. There is actually a shortcut to the lake along a big gas pipe with a small rusty ladder next to it that at some point turned into a metal cable. When I got close to the top I saw some locals actually walking on top of the pipe and although I was a little scared I would fall off it turned out to be my best option since the higher I got the more snow I was facing on the ground. Well after an intense 6 to 7 hours of pretty much only climbing I finally reached the top! and what a rewarding sight to see. During this part of the year, the lake is still mostly frozen but the beautiful deep blue color shines trough none the less. To get all the way down again I hitchhiked and found two very kind locals that offered me some traditional horse milk and actually gave me a lift all the way back to my hostel where I could finally take a well-deserved nap.