Western Sayan mountain system with a length of 650 km in the southern part of Siberia. Limited West Chapelski ridge Eastern Altai and Abakan ridge Kuznetsk Alatau. Stretches in the latitudinal direction of the strip, gradually tapering from 200 to 80 km from the headwaters of the Abakan river to the junction with the Eastern Sayan ranges in the upper reaches of the river Kizhi-Khem. The varied topography of the Western Sayan mountains are clearly associated with the altitude above sea level.
In the very top tier, above the upper border of the forest, is a typical high Alpine terrain. It is characteristic of the ridges of the centerline of West Sayan (Sayan, Borus, Aradanskiy, Ergaki-Target-Taiga). For this type of topography characterized by narrow ridges with steep slopes, sharp inaccessible peaks, deep karrs with perennial snowfields.To the South and North from the centerline of the most common is the mid-mountain terrain. The more gently sloping ridges, highly rugged river valleys, forested mountain taiga. For the Northern and southern boundaries of the Western Sayan mountains characterized by low-mountain terrain with the flat, low hills, with occasional mixed forests and large steppe areas. In the Sayan mountains meet the vast mountain plateau, ancient surface alignment, the remains of an ancient plain. River valleys, cutting plateau, bear the traces of recent glacial activity, they are often waterlogged and poorly covered by forest. The climate of the region is continental with a pronounced altitudinal zonation. The temperature drops by 1° for every 150 m of ascent. The difference in the length of the warm period of the year between the axial ridges and foothills about 40 days.
Winters are long and cold, late spring. At the end of may the average temperature rises above zero and starts melting the snow. On the main square, the snow melted just in June. The summers are short and cool. Known numerous cases of loss of a large amount of snow (30 cm) in July - early August. In September in the mountains frequent snowstorms. Since October, the average daily temperature becomes negative. In the foothills of the Western Sayan pretty dry. In the Minusinsk basin and in Tuva often snowless winter. In the mountains a lot of rain up to 1200 mm per year. The wettest months are July and August, the dry - February. Winter warmer in the mountains than in the valleys. Temperature inversions occur when cold air descends from the mountains into the basin, creating stagnant areas with higher pressure. Sometimes the difference of the temperature in the mountains and lowlands up to 20°. This is especially true for Usinsk basin, where the average January temperature is -29,2°, 1° lower than at the Podkamennaya Tunguska river, and the average July temperature is +16°. In the mountains the temperature difference within days reaches can reach 30°.