- It takes a half day for our heavy truck to reach the trailhead. The vehicle just moves on, recklessly on bad roads. But in the high valley where the nomads have their camp, we stop, unload and begin a week-long ascent. We cross the tree-line, trek further and deeper into the valley, climb passes and glaciers, and eventually the ridge to reach the last high camp. It is bitter cold and sunny and the ice wall of several pitches waits for us.
- We have a good team. Alexander is our mountain guide, Pjotr cooks and Sascha works as a porter. He’s Kyrgyz, but the other two are ethnic Russians. Communication is important and easy as everybody knows English. I add a few phrases of basic Russian and Alexander remembers some german vocabulary from grammar school. As soon as we reach some heights, the horizon starts to open up, and only now I begin to understand, that this country is truly a sea of white islands. My mountaineer heart accelerates now, effortlessly.
- Kyrgyzstan is a country in Central Asia. Like Tajikistan, his southern neighbor, Kyrgyzstan is very mountainous: 95% of its surface are mountains, reaching 7.400 m altitude.
- The most-known mountain range is Tien Shan in the east and southeast of the country. China and Kasachstan have borders there. In the southwest, there is the Pamir range.
- Due to its geographical position, continental climate dominates: a hot and dry summer, and a very cold and dry winter. The vegetation is mostly bush.
Kyrgyzstan: Activities & actual conditions
- The Tien Shan and the Pamir offer endless possibilities for back country skier and ski mountaineers. The best season is spring, the winters are very cold.
- The biggest challenge is logistics and bases. Helicopter support is feasible, however for bigger groups. For single tourers or very small groups: skidoo or offroad vehicles.
- The mountains of Tien Shan are serious terrain. The high altitude, paired with very cold and harsh weather, are the main obstacles. Glaciers dominate the landscape, the approach to the base camps takes a lot of time or needs helicopters to get there.
- A long approach and extra permits are necessary for the Pamir range.
- Both regions are tectonically active which can trigger avalanche or rock falls suddenly.
- The best trekking is maybe in the lower mountains of the Tien Shan and south of Lake Yssykköl, mostly in combination with horses or other pack animals.
- Several days treks can be done also in every small side valley, up to and along glaciers.
Tour idea – Tarkyr Tor Trek
- Where: Karakol National Park
- Itinerary: Bishkek – Karakol – Altyn-Arashan – Karakol – Bishkek
- Activity: Trekking
- also included: Rafting and visiting historic sites
- Season: April to November
- Length: 8 days / 7 nights
- additional: Helicopter flights and boat excursions can be arranged
- Day 1: Arrival & meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Transfer to Karakol (400km) along the south coast of Lake Issyk-Kul. During the transfer visit of the Burana Towers and picknick at the lake. Accomodation in Yurt Camp “Turkestan” in Karakol.
- Day 2: We drive in our expedition vehicle into the pitoresque valley of Terskey Ala – Too. We reach an abonded alpinist camp at 2.450 m altitude from where we start our hike through the forests of the Kurgaktor gorge. Our camp is close to a small lake (“Orphan Shelter”).
- Day 3: Today’s trek goes along a river further toward Lake Ala-Kul. On the pass we have a georgous view over the landscape. We camp at this place for the night.
- Day 4: We have a long day befor us – a steady climb on a glacier to the Takyr-Tor pass (4.040m). The descent follows a narrow valley. Our camp sits right beside some warm springs.
- Day 5: We hike further along the river and reach our camp after another long day in front of the hot springs of Altyn Arashan.
- Day 6: We pass the beautiful valley of Ak Suu and wait for our expedition vehicle to pick us up and drive back to Karakol. We stay at the Yurt camp “Turkestan” for the night.
- Day 7: Transfer along Lake nIssyk Kul back to Bishkek. We visit the “Skazka” canyon and have lunch. Accomodation in our guesthouse in Bishkek.
- Day 8: Transfer to the airport
- Base for the calculation: 2 persons
- Costs per person: 1.240 Euro
- All meals and transport is included
- Camping gear (tents, sleeping mats, cooking stove and gear) included
- Team: Guide, Interpreter, Cook, Porters
- The prices depend from the booked services and can be arranged individually.
- This tour and the price is given as an orientation to you.
- This tour idea is just one of many possibilities. You don’t need a vehicle, but horses? Only a guide? Or just some equipment for rent? We can organize everything…
- Send us your request and we can answer your questions immediately.
Want to trek, climb or ski in Kyrgyzstan?
Then drop us a line and we can consult you about your possibilities in this fascinating country in Central Asia!
Kyrgyzstan Travel Information
- Country domain: .kg
- Country phone code: +996
- Emergency: 103