Ridder – place of extreme sports and untouched nature

ASTANA – Ridder is a city in the East Kazakhstan region with untouched nature suitable for ecological and sports tourism. Visitors can go camping, do winter sports, climb rocky peaks and visit radon lakes.

Photo credit: altaynews.kz.

Ridder is located 128 kilometres from Oskemen, the region’s administrative centre. It is situated in Kendi Altai (Ore Altai), at the foot of the Ivanov Range in the upper reaches of the Ulbi River (a tributary of the Yertis River). The city was established in 1786, when a group of geologists led by mining engineer Phillip Ridder discovered an ore deposit in the area, according to ridder.kz.

Surrounded by mountains, Ridder has a temperate continental climate and the transition between seasons is mild. The city’s altitude, at 800 metres above sea level, effects its weather conditions with an abundance of snow and drifts often reaching 2.5 metres or higher.

The snow attracts fans of winter and extreme sports such as downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, biathlon and mountaineering. Skiers and snowboarders are treated to mountain slopes of varying difficulty, including long and gentle descents, sheer cliffs, picturesque plains, open mountain ranges and gorges.

Photo credit: goldenaltay.kz.

Ridder is also home to winter off-road and expedition races supported by local authorities and active young people. The races are aimed at overcoming snow parapets, ice and other winter traps. Drivers call Ridder the Kazakh capital of auto and motor sports and people from other cities and neighbouring countries take in the shows.

For tourists interested in calmer activities, Ridder offers amazing nature and landscapes where they can enjoy hiking, camping and horseback riding. The landscape changes from birch groves to a coniferous forest with ancient pines and stately cedars. On the tops of the snow-covered ridges that form a chain of miniature archipelagos, visitors and travellers see colourful placer rocks washed by clear streams. Hiking in the mountains, they can find adits (entrances to underground mines) built during Tsarist Russia. Azure radon lakes spill into mountain ravines inhabited by graylings.

Ridder’s railway station offers regular connections with the capital, Almaty and Oskemen and the city can be accessed from Oskemen and Semei by taxi or bus.

Photo credit: ridder.kz.