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Blue Lakes Valley and Pyrrhotite Gorge

Route 1

The route starts from the Solnechanaya Street edge houses at the Kirovsk town entry, right up by the church. A good path goes through mixed forest and a steep slope of Мountains Aykuayvenchorr to the beginning of the valley. Its cliffs have been best-loved by rock-climbers. The route may also be started from any of Kirovsk hotels. Their staff and any citizen will tell you where the start of the tourist path downtown is. In almost vertical rock at the very beginning of the route you can see the 1950’s shaft in alkaline pegmatites.

Blue Lakes Valley and Pyrrhotite Gorge

At the bottom of the slope you can easily find a unique geological specimen of aegirine «bombs» of different size (from 10 cm to m) composed of radial aegirine. There is commonly milk-white analcite in the centre, sometimes occurring as remarkable tetragontrioctahedral crystals. It is a good specimen for any mineralogical collection. There are traditional fireplaces at the beginning of the valley. Then the path goes along a chain of lakes, which blue waters are due to the alkaline basement rocks. In the central part of the valley the path turns right sharply to the biggest of the lakes.

After some rest by the lake you should come back to the path, turn and climb up the steep slope to the plateau going southeastwards to the Pyrrhotite Gorge, which was given its name by Acad. Alexander Fersman. After crossing the road to a mine of JSC «Apatite» (Мountains Rasvumchorr ), the path goes along the Aikuaivenjok River. On the first left tribute there is a waterfall that becomes all the more full-flowing in spring. In outcrops and in the river bed all along the route you may come across picturesque aegirines, eudialytes and other Khibiny minerals. The Pyrrhotite Gorge is identified by reddish dumps at the left slope that show the location of two shafts. In the 1930’s technological sampling of pyrrhotite took place here, but the mining never started. The problem of sulphur production found another solution. After some rest on the bank of the river, you may go back to Kirovsk or down the same path to the road and pick up a car there to Apatity or Kirovsk.

Pay attention. You can hardly find any firewood in the Khibiny. Considering life-support and nature protection, you should take gas-jets for heating and cooking. Water in natural basins is high-alkaline here due to the composition of the basement rocks. It is potable, except that in the territories close to the operating mines of JSC «Apatit». Mushrooms and berries picked in respective seasons are fit for human consumption.

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