Alibek waterfall – one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls in Dombay, located in Karachay-Cherkessia (Russia). The height of the waterfall is more than 25 meters. The waterfall is formed by the fall of the Dzhalovchatka river from the Alibek Glacier; stones from which water falls are called “lamb foreheads.”
Alibek waterfall appeared in the XX century. Back in the 1930s there was no waterfall, and the rocky scarp was covered with the language of the Alibek glacier, which every year retreats up to a meter and a half.
Popular object of hiking. Located in the territory of Teberdinsky reserve. The closest locations: Alibek camp (about 2 km), Dombay village (about 7 km).
The path to the waterfall is not difficult, suitable for an unprepared tourist. The first part of the path is along a dirt road in the fir forest to the Alibek camp (you can drive up by car). The remaining, the most picturesque part of the route, passes along a mountain path through alpine meadows.
The path begins from the IMC “Mountain Peaks” and, passing by the hotel “Snowflake”, goes into the depths of the Alibek gorge, taking up the slope. On all sides, tall pines and firs surround the road. Knotty roots cut straight into the rocks. Coniferous aroma spills in the air.
In the forest – the kingdom of birds. Thrushes of all kinds (black predominate), various oatmeal, rakes, titmouse. While you walk under the forest canopy – the bird concert does not stop, but it’s not so easy to see the artist himself in the lush foliage. The most carefree – finches, almost not afraid of man.
From the forest the path now and then emerges into the sunny meadows, where raznotravye and raznotsvete, raging, bumblebees humming loudly. From the field there is a panorama of the surrounding peaks – to the left of the road stands the famous Belalakaya, the peak of Kap with a picturesque waterfall on the slope; to the right is the massif of the top of Semenov-Bashi, named after the famous traveler Semenov-Tien-Shan. Ahead is the closing of the Alibek gorge, the Lateral ridge with peaks Sulakhat, Dzhalovchat, Kvadratny peak.
Approximately two or three kilometers (half the distance to the alpine camp) from the start of the path, the path passes by the Dombai cemetery of climbers. Here, quietly and calmly, the snow peaks around stand in eternal guard.
6 km from the village – Alibek camp. It was founded in 1936, at that time there were no buildings even on Dombai glade. Height – 2000 m. Above sea level. In July-August, the camp was motley from tents; the main stream of climbers in Dombay settles right here, in tents or buildings. There is a shop and cafe, you can have lunch, buy mineral water or crackers. In the other months it is empty and almost deserted, the cafe is often closed. In winter, you can also live here – there is hot water in the buildings, food and everything, everything, but skiers prefer Dombai glade: there are small and gentle slopes in Alibek, there is no place to drive on skis or board.
Behind the alpine camp the trail follows a succession of glades. At the last – Uzun-tala (“long glade”) – there is a bench and a beautiful view of the eternal snows of the peaks of the GKH – the Main Caucasian Ridge – Herzog, Dzhalovchat, Alibek peak. Directly before you is the sparkling ice shell of the Alibek Glacier.
At the end of the glade, the path forks: a straight path to the Lake Turiyam, to the left, into the birch elfin, dives along the path to the Alibek waterfall, the final point of our route. No more than 20 minutes remained to him. Small blue signs on the tree indicate these 2 options, unfortunately, they are not too noticeable.
And finally, we first hear the rumble, and then we see through the foliage a large waterfall falling from the high “sheep foreheads” – rounded rocks, smoothed by the long-disappeared glacier. Let’s get closer. Alibek waterfall – one of the largest in Dombai and, of course, the most spectacular. A huge mass of water falls from a height of 25 meters, glistening in the sun and rumbling. Air is penetrated by water dust and noise. This sight will be remembered forever.
If the water level is low, then the river below the waterfall, you can go over the stones and continue the tour, go to the Alibek Glacier. Without accompanying people it is better not to do this – there is no path on the other side and finding a path between steep cliffs and further along the moraine will not be easy.