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Northern and Southern Chorrgor Passes

Route 8

At the beginning of the Khibiny development in the 1920’s geologists actively used the Southern Chorrgor - 850 m, to transfer cargos from the «Imandra» railway station to the Kukisvumchorr Valley. The name has been given by А.Е. Fersman, who endeavoured to preserve the Sámi toponymy in the rapidly developing region. «Chorrgor» means «a mountain gorge». The Northern Chorrgor - 1010 metr, is the Khibiny-highest pass. If you take the route up in the morning, having stayed the night in the Kuelporr Hotel, you may walk over both passes in one day.

Northern and Southern Chorrgor Passes

The path crosses the Kuniyok River along the foothills covered with a spruce forest. The path has some bypaths, but all of these lead up to the well-observed Northern Chorrgor Gorge, separating the Putelichorr (1111 m) and Indivichvumchorr (1179 m) mountain massifs. A vertical zoning of the vegetation change deserves attention. Small lakes occur at the edge of the forest. The talus composed of fine-debris khibinite begins higher. Remarkable samples with eudialyte, aegirine, titanite and other minerals occur here. Before the last steep climb up the gorge you may see a cone of annual mud outflows. At the very top there is always a firn basin melting in a very hot summer only. On one of the walls there is a memorial table dedicated to the tourists that died here on 11 March, 1977 during a snowstorm. Splendid are the views from the ridge to the west, of the valley of the right tributary of the Goltsovka River with waterfalls; and to the east, of the valley of the Kuniyok River, Мountains Kuelporr and Northern Rischorr Pass.

You should climb up the big-boulder talus to the plateau and hike on it southwards to the top of Мountains Iidichvumchorr (1179 m) with a geodesic pyramid on it. The route along the plateau is easy and allows enjoying landscapes (Lake Imandra in the west, mountain land in the east), texture varieties of khibinites under your feet and fauna (partridges, foxes can be met). The path starts descending from the top to the S. Chorgorr Pass with the Chasnachorr Мountains (1190 m) massif stretching behind it. The way down the plateau is rather steep. There is no well-trodden path. It is recommended to go a little bit back and get down the western slope, carefully picking the way. On the pass there is an obelisk erected in memory of a female tourist who died here on 7 November, 1973.

Going down the Southern Chorrgor Pass to the valley of the Petrelius River first traces a big-boulder talus. Major pegmatoid khibinites, schlierens of eudialyte and aegirine, dykes of melanocratic shonkinites occur in outcrops and boulders. After a mountain lake, the road becomes more flat, some turf occurs on the ground. Finally, the path goes down to the river with birch brushwood along it. Having waded the river, you appear on a dirt track. Following it, you may easily reach the «Kuelporr» Station with a farewell look back at the S. Chorrgor Pass in the last of the sun.

Pay attention. Being cautious and prudent is the key in mountain tourism. The obelisks on both passes are best as reminders of it. Believe that the dead tourists were no less skillful than you. Going down and hiking on big-boulder taluses, especially in a rainy and foggy day, is the most dangerous on this route.

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