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Western and Eastern Petrelius Passes

Route 7

The peculiar feature of this route is a long approach along the sub-meridional Kukisvum Valley that divides the valley into the western and eastern parts. Until the 1920’s the Saami had used it for seasonal driving of reindeer herds. Nowadays, there is a dirt road for cross-country cars, such as jeeps. The road goes to the «Kuelporr» Rescue Station, where tourists are highly recommended to register. Not far from it there is a small hotel with a kitchen, which can be booked by the Internet. It is easier to take up routes of the northern part of the Khibiny from here than from Kirovsk. Anyway, the very drive along the Kukisvum Valley is amazing.

Western and Eastern Petrelius Passes

First, the road goes along the Vudyavryok River up to the Dolgoye Lake on the Kukisvumchorr Pass (470 m), then along the Kuniyok River. The severe rocks of the Poachvumchorr Ridge tower on the left all along the way. There is a good place to stop right across the Pass near Lake Krugloye. The splendid right-side view is the gorges leading to the heart of the Khibiny. The Marchenko Peak and Мountains Kuelporr are in the north. Hiking on, make sure not to pass the turn from the main road to the left, wading the Kuniyok River roughly in front of the Marchenko Peak. This dirt road first goes northwards, then rounds the Poachvumchorr Ridge and turns to the south along the Petrelius River to stop at an old drilling platform. This is the beginning of the hiking route.

The route is a circular one and can be taken up to any direction. There is a good path going to the Western Petrelius Pass - 846 m, along the northern foothills of Мountains Petrelius and the left-hand tributary of the Petrelius River. Everything here has been named after this geographer, a participant in W. Ramsay’s expeditions. En route, you may see spurs of Мountains Chasnachorr. To the right and with the Krestovy Pass ahead, one of the most challenging to pass. On passing a picturesque mountain lake, the path turns southwards and leads along a stone talus to the pass. The breathtaking view is the valley of the Malaya Belaya River and the Ramsay Gorge outlet. It is a good place to have a rest and study the memorial desks dedicated to killed tourists.

Right across the pass the road turns to the east along the southern slopes of the Petrelius Мountains Alkaline pegmatites with big aegirine crystals can be found in outcrops here. It is important to keep the height at this part of the route, otherwise you’ll have to climb up the Eastern Petrelius Pass - 883 m, on a steep talus. To save energy, this rule should be followed in case of unexpectedly bad weather. Bright eudialytes occur in talus. They are worth spending time and effort to look for in good weather. There is a good path going from the Eastern Petrelius Pass to the left, with a nice view of the valley.

Pay attention. Weather in the Khibiny area is hard to predict. The Kukisvum Valley is coated with snow avalanches that sometimes melt till the end of June. In spring, the Kukisvumchorr Pass near Lake Krugloye happens to see mudflows from the Poachvumchorr Ridge, which block the way. In June abrupt cooling and snowstorms happen. Memorials at all passes in the Khibiny remind us of tragic cases.

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