The Terksey-Alatoo range, the mighty shield of Issyk-Kul

The mighty shield of Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan


Issyk-Kul is a lake of magnificent beauty, to the south of which is the mountain gorge of the Terksey-Alatoo. The ridge towers over the horizon like a majestic wall, separating this piece of paradise from the harsh snowy mountain ranges. This wall stretches along Issyk-Kul for 340 km until it connects with its counterpart the Kungei-Alatoo gorge in the east.

Terksey-Alatoo rangeThere is a legend about the origin of these mountain ranges. Once there were two militant tribes constantly opposing each other. To end the bloodshed finally, the heavens decided to divide them and put a huge impassable lake in between. Since then, the two mountain ranges face each other, but cannot come together in a deadly duel.

The Terksey-Alatoo ridge crowns the horizon of Issyk-Kul from the south, presenting a magnificent mountain panorama. The peaks, covered with snowcaps rush upward - it is especially picturesque at sunset, when their mighty silhouettes are clearly visible. The highest point of the ridge is at around 5216 m. From the southern to the northern slopes Terksay-Alatoo is covered with various vegetation.  While motley lawns spread through the southern slope, evergreen spruce forests blanket the north one. The treasure of the ridge are unique Tien Shan spruces. Unfortunately, men activity destroyed many hectares of fir trees, but still some places of the pristine trees remain untouched and continue to delight with their majestic beauty. Here, a variety of shrub plants huddle among the Tien Shan firs: barberry, currant, briar. Pristine wilderness is inhabited by snow leopards hunting mountain teke (teke - mountain goats). A silver vole, weasel and ermine nestle in branches of Terksay-Alatoo forests.


Terksey-Alatoo range Terksey-Alatoo range Terksey-Alatoo range

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