In Tian-Shan and Pamir mountains (Big mountain trip)
Trekking to Sary-Chelek Lake and active rest under Lenin Peak
|Country:||Kyrgyzstan, Western Tien-Shan and Pamir mountains|
|Tour duration:||15 days / 14 nights|
|Itinerary:||Osh - Aflatun settlement - Lake Sary-Chelek - Arkyt-Sai river - Osh - Lenin Peak Yurt Camp - Osh|
Guarantee Dates Of Group Tours:
|Group №1. 28.06 - 12.07.2020||Group №2. 26.07 - 09.08.2020|
In this tour we have united trekking in the most beautiful region of Tian-Shan mountains with further active rest in the mountains of Pamir in order our travellers could feel the dimension, beauty and considerable variances of these two famous systems during just one tour in Kyrgyzstan.
The first half of the trip tourists will spend on precious land of turquois lakes of Western Tian-Shan. Mountain trekking gets through the simple picturesque paths among softwood forests and deep gorges and leads to large beautiful lake Sary-Chelek, located on the altitude of 1940 m in the very heart of Sary-Chelek Biosphere reserve. The group is being accompanied by a mountain guide, escort team and pack transport.
In the second part of the tour participants will drive along a high-mountain Pamir Highway and will find themselves on the Roof of the world - in the mountains of Pamir. Considerable altitude and, accordingly, completely different nature, different landscapes, different colours and greenery are here. Well-equipped Yurt camp (3600 m), guaranteeing comfortable accommodation, distinguished hot meals from professional chefs and non-trivial acquaintanceship represent center of civilization in this severe high-mountain world. Hiking in the surroundings and ascent to Camp 1 (4400 m) with a mountain guide, acquaintance with traditions of local nomads, master-class on cooking of pilaf - this and even more is waiting for our travellers!
|Day 1.||Early arrival to Osh. Meet in the airport. Transfer from Osh to Aflatun settlement at the confluence of the Aflatun and Utur rivers. Camp 1 (1300m; 350km; approx. 6hrs).|
Osh, famous for the warmth and hospitality of its townsfolk, is the biggest city in southern Kyrgyzstan. It welcomes the visitors with streets lined by green trees, numerous open-air cozy cafes, bright boisterous bazaar and the main point of interest - Suleiman Mountain that rises in the middle of the city.
You will have the opportunity to sightsee the city on your last day of the tour, whereas today, without losing time, we head for Aftalun settlement and further to the confluence of Aflatun and Utur rivers where we set up Camp 1 (1300m).
|Day 2.||The beginning of active part of the tour. Trekking up along the Yushniy Aflatun river and then further along Uyalma river. Camp 2 (2100m; 19km; approx. 7hrs).|
Today our trekking starts and we move up along the Yushniy Aftalun river. The first day always overwhelms with new sensations, fascinating landscaped vistas. Lush multicoloured alpine vegetation contrasts the austere grandeur of mountains. A rather good earth road runs along the canyon of Yushniy Aftalun river among the picturesque spruce forests.
After lunch we continue the trekking up along the gorge to the confluence of Aflatun and Uyalma river. In the Aflatun gorge as well as Uyalma hollow the bottom and northern slopes are hosts to spruce forests, whereas the southern slopes are abundant in desert-candle. The steep slopes of the gorge are formed of limestone. The upper part of the gorge is rocky with overhanging ledges.
At the confluence of Aflatun and Uyalma rivers the wide valley is covered with grassy plots and spruce forests; further up the two gorges get narrower. The left side of Uyalma gorge is gently sloping, there are traces of landslip and mudslide, while the right slope is rather steep and is covered with spruce forests.
Trekking further upstream, we reach the place where Camp 2 (2100m) is to be set on the bank of Uyalma river.
|Day 3.||Trekking over Kuldambes pass and then descent to Lake Sary-Chelek over Ashuu pass. Camp 3 (1900m; 10km; approx. 6hrs).|
Today we cross two easy passes - Kuldambes (2750m) and Ashuu (2551m). The path first runs along the turbulent Uyalma river, then,near Kuldambes pass, it serpentines through grassy area. At the approach to the pass the slopes acquire more flattened forms. The path starts to zigzag among the alpine verdure and gradually reaches the stony section.
Easy trekking over Kuldambes pass is done at the background of various mountain scenery and picturesque landscapes. After crossing Kuldambes pass we start slow descent to Ashuu pass - the viewpoint which affords stunning views of the northern part of lake Sary-Chelek. Short trekking to the banks of the lake where we set up our Camp 3 (1900m) for the overnight.
|Day 4.||Ascent along Lake Sary-Chelek over Makmal pass. Descent to the Kyzyl-Suu river. Camp 4 at the confluence of the Kyzyl-Suu and Kurumdu rivers (2000m; 13km; approx. 6 hrs).|
Today we leave the lake banks and trek upstream the Sary-Chelek river. After 1 km the river narrows and turns north. The slopes become steeper, at times broken by grassy areas with cones of spruce trees. Everywhere from the cliffs there run streams. By the riverbed there stand lonely birth trees. The gorge narrows and it seems that the cliffs reach for each other. But the path is well within view and soon we ascend to easy Makmal pass. From here we can glance again at the grandiose water basin of lake Sary-Chelek surrounded by rocky cliffs and woody slopes where pointed tops of pyramid-like Tien-Shan spruces reach for the blue sky, and floating clouds reflect in the quiet waters of the lake.
Feast your eyes on the scenery and start the descent to Kyzyl-Suu river. Soon we reach the Kurumdu river - tributary of Kyzyl-Suu river, and set up Camp 4 (2000m) on a cozy forest clearing.
|Day 5.||Trekking downstream the Kara-Suu river to lake Karakamysh (Kara-Suu).
Camp 5 on the lake bank (1800m; 12km; approx. 3hrs).
Continue the descent along the Kara-Suu river to the banks of the scenic lake Karakamysh (Kara-Suu). To south-east there opens a splendid view of compact Min-Teke mountains, whereas on the west there rises mountain ridge separating the area from a chain of lakes (Kyle-kol, Iri-Kol, Chacha-Kol,Bokaly, etc.) neighbouring lake Sary-Chelek.
Lake Karakamysh (Kara-Suu) is fed by Kara-Suu river. About 6.5km long and 1.5-2km wide, the lake has the average depth of 90m. In summertime the water warms up to 17-19 degrees. The banks of the lake are overgrown with Tien-Shan spruce, juniper, mountain ash, barberry and other bushes. The rocky banks go deep into the water where shoals of fish are clearly visible.
We set up our Camp 5 (1800m) on the picturesque Kara-Suu bank.
|Day 6.||Trekking up to and over Kuturma pass and then descent to lake Iri-Kol. Camp 6 on the lake bank (1300m; 12km; approx. 6hrs).|
After trekking along the eastern bank of lake Kara-Suu we start an easy ascent to Kuturma pass (2446m). Here the landscape is really amazing: grey cliffs covered with clefts and dints are reflected in still green-bluish surface of the lake water. The road bends along the pinkish rocks and leads to the southern part of the lake that turns into the riverbed of the Kara-Suu river. Soon the current becomes turbulent. This can be clearly seen from the path that runs up to Kuturma pass. The ascent is relatively easy and rather rewarding: from the pass there opens the wide panorama of huge southern part of Sary-Chelek hollow with Lake Sary-Chelek itself. To the left there are the oblong contours of another lake - Iri-Kol whose banks will accommodate our camp for the night.
Descent from the pass does not take much time and soon we reach the banks of lake Iri-Kol located at the altitude of 1800-2040m. Here we set up our Camp 6 (1300m).
Lake Iri-Kol is formed by rock obstruction and is fed by springs. Bathing in its cool water brings relaxation and takes away the fatigue after day’s trekking.
|Day 7.||Trekking from lake Iri-Kol to the southern part of lake Sary-Chelek in Upaly ravine. Continue trekking round lake Kely-Kol to place where the vehicle will be waiting to pick you up (10km; approx. 2hrs). Transfer to Osh. Accommodation in the hotel (320km; approx. 6hrs).|
Our destination today is again Lake Sary-Chelek. Following the path that runs from lake Iri-Kol, we skirt lake Kely-Kol (“round lake”) that is 700m in length and 200-400m in width.
Our spectacular trekking is completed. Today we leave the enchanting mountainous area. Some are looking forward to comforts of civilization, while others regret that encounter with nature was so short.
We trekked an unforgettable route, one of many that the Tien-Shan offers.
Today we return to the city warmth of Osh with its numerous cafes and restaurants, and free Internet access. We spend overnight in a comfortable hotel.
|Day 8.||Transfer to Mountain Camp (Base Camp) on Edelweiss Meadow at Lenin Peak foot (3,600 m). Hike up to Lukovaya (Leek) Meadow (3800 m). Osh - Base Camp departure time: 09:00.
* For participants of only first part, Trekking to Sary-Chelek Lake: Transfer to the airport. Departure.
Located in South Kyrgyzstan, Osh is often referred to as ‘the southern capital’. It is the country’s second largest city. Once you arrive in Osh, you will meet kind and hospitable people and see green busy streets with a lot of cozy cafes. You will visit the exotic local bazaar, and Suleiman Mountain - the main Osh’s place of attraction and the only Kyrgyzstan’s World Heritage Site. The mountain rises in the middle of the city, which enhances its impressiveness and indicates that the Pamirs are not far already.
It will take 5-6 hours to get to Yurt Camp in a comfortable motor vehicle along Pamir Highway (M41 highway). Almost immediately beyond the city the terrain becomes hilly, as if informing us of what we are to expect further on the way. And the further we went, the more grandiose and magnificent everything around us was becoming. After you have moved over Taldyk Mountain Pass (3,600 m), you will see the stunning scene of Alay Valley with the majestic snow-capped Zaalay Range of the Pamirs towering over it. The Alay Valley is characterized by extensive green fields, marmots occasionally running across the road, grazing horses, a bottomless sky and blue mountain chains on the horizon.
Upon arrival at the Base Camp (3,600m) you will be accommodated in comfortable base tents. Tents feature with electricity, wooden flooring, mattresses, blankets, pillows and linens - blanket covers, pillowcases, sheets.
Today we are hiking to Lukovaya (Leek) Meadow 200 meters above the Mountain camp where wild leek grows. A lot of marmots live there; the meadow is pockmarked with their burrows. They are so curious that you can photograph them at a distance of about 3-4 meters. They are big and shaggy, and when finally scared, they rush back to their burrows with screeches, showing their fluffy tails - cute and funny animals.
Pamirs summer is very short but awesome. You can see amazing variegated flowers on the glades near Base Camp (3600 m).
Return to the Base Camp and a dinner in yurt (a yurt is a portable, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure traditionally used by nomads in Central Asia).
|Day 9.||Excursion to lakes across Achik-Tash River Valley. A walking trip to the yurts of the local people, acquaintance with the life and traditions of Kyrgyz nomads, sampling of koumiss.|
Lenin Peak, standing out in the surroundings, is at a distance of only 15 kilometers from the camp. It is hard to believe giant mountains like this ever exist!
Breakfast in the main yurt of the Base camp. Once you are inside, you will see traditional Kyrgyz decorations on its walls, as well as lot of photographs and feedback comments of our guests from almost all over the world. The next yurt features traditional Kyrgyz interior; it is where our guests very much like to have lunch sitting on traditional kurpacha mattresses laid on carpets.
As the camp is situated at a considerable altitude of 3,600 m, some of you may have symptoms of ‘mountain sickness’ (headache, slight dizziness). It is a natural adaptation to altitude (acclimatization), and the best way to help your organism overcome this short uncomfortable condition is, strange though it may seem, to move as much as you can.
So we go on an excursion to the nearest lakes across Achik-Tash River Valley. Lakes are here and there in the valley, each is uniquely beautiful and so promising terrific photos. You can even swim in them: the water is cold but bearable.
During the walking we visit the local people’s yurts to acquaint with the life and traditions of mountain nomads, who will no doubt treat you in their traditional beverage koumiss.
Koumiss (kumiss, kumis) has peculiar taste. Sourish and sweetish, slightly intoxicating and instantly invigorating, smacking at once of kvass, kefir and even wine, authentic koumiss has a rather specific flavour, which may cause dislike in those who drink it for the first time.
Mare’s milk is the basic ingredient of classic koumiss. A special enzyme added to the milk turns it into a delicious reinvigorating and refreshing drink. Authentic koumiss is rich in proteins, fats, vitamins (B1, B2, C and biotin, as well as pantothenic and folic acids), calcium, phosphorus and many other chemical elements and agents good for health. Microelements in koumiss help satisfy thirst and restore the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract.
Apart from itsrefreshing and nourishing function, koumiss has gained the status of an alcoholic drink, as the natural fermentation leads to 1-3 % or higher alcohol content in koumiss.
In the evening almost all the campers get together in the main yurt with a fire in it. They come from many countries so it is a perfect place to meet interesting people and listen to intriguing and useful stories and facts.
|Day 10.||Hike up Petrovskiy Peak ridge. Master class in plov cooking.|
We invite you to ascend the ridge running from Petrovskiy Peak (4,830 m). The hike will not be difficult and yield a lot of pleasure, especially if you are a lover of photography. To reach an altitude of 4,400 m would be enough; from here you can obtain a great panorama: the base camps in full view, the Alay Valley on the horizon, multicoloured slopes on the other side, the Travellers’ (Puteshestvennikov) Pass and the glacier of Lenin Peak behind it going up, like a broad white road, to the snowy caps of the peak proper.
The nature triumphs there over the man, in a confident, regal way. A vast space that cannot be tamed, one can only adapt oneself to it. And contemplate. The majesty of the local nature arouses in men a strong desire to create, to express that inconceivable feeling that arises in the depths of the human soul. Experts say that everyone can draw. Even those who think they can’t. Professional artists will bring home masterpieces, while amateurs - sketches, which, famed, will occupy their place on the wall to arouse the warmest memories in their creator’s soul. Will you try? There will be enough time for it at the Base Camp.
Upon returning to the camp from a trip you will participate in a master class in cooking authentic plov (also spelled pilaf, pilaff, pilau, pilav, polow, pulaw, pulao), which you will then enjoy. To make the popular dish under the guidance of a professional cook is a perfect chance to learn all its cooking secrets and to include it in your list of specialities.
|Day 11.||Hike up to Camp 1 (4,400 m) via Puteshestvennikov Pass.|
Join us hiking up to Camp 1 (4,400 m)slowly but surely, with breathtaking views opening before you at every turn of the trail. We shall cross Leek Meadow, saying hello to the marmots, and reach the waterfall. Its water is always brown, irrespective of rain, snow or no precipitation at all. Then we shall go up to and over Puteshestvennikov (Travelers’) Mountain Pass (4,150 m), go down to the stream and ford it; when autumn is coming, it can be crossed along stepping stones.
Then we shall hike along Lenin Glacier and ascend the moraine Yurt Camp 1 is pitched on. It will take from 5 to 7 hours to get there but it is well worth the effort. The view of Lenin Peak you will get in Camp 1 is absolutely different: you can see the peak itself and the lower part of its huge snowy slope; so close to you now, it is running up and away…
You may spend the rest of the day exploring the area around the camp and photographing. Do not be surprised if it starts snowing - it is normal at this altitude. In the yurt and tents, however, it will be warm, and you will be offered as tasty and filling food as in Yurt Camp. The atmosphere there is a bit different: the area is more elevated, the air is cooler and the colours prevailing are white, grey and blue. There you feel closer to the sky, closer to the Mountain, the snow-covered summit of Lenin Peak (7134 m), clearly visible, just in front of you.
The people you will meet in Camp 1 are mostly climbers - setting out on their ascents of the mountain or returning, and then cheered and hugged by everybody. They are very interesting people: a bit crazy about climbing and yet gregarious and fond of singing to the guitar.
|Day 12.||Optional: ascending a 4,750 m peak. For the rest of the group: free time, walking around Camp 1 (4,400 m).|
Today you have two options: some can walk up with a guide to a nearby ridge and further to a low summit 4,750 m high, from where they can obtain a wonderful view of the grandiose landscape; others can spend their time at their discretion - photographing, having light walks in the neighbourhood of the camp or just resting.
Due to its structure, the ridge leading to the 4,750-metre summit that you are to climb has no snow on its slopes, which makes its ascending quite easy. On the other hand, walking up you will have an extremely extensive snow-covered slope to your left, with long lines of mountaineers with heaviest rucksacks behind their backs going up and down it. And ahead you will have an approaching white wall, which is one of the incredibly tall sides of Lenin Peak. This giant rises so high into the sky that you cannot discern its top, however hard you lift up your head. You just see an infinitely tall, perfectly beautiful white wall, and you cannot believe it is real.
In the evening you will again be enveloped in the warmth of a yurt, eating most delicious food and enjoying the unforgettable atmosphere in a circle of like-minded people united by the contact with the wonderful and mysterious Roof of the World.
|Day 13.||Descent to Yurt Camp (3,600 m). A trip to the canyon of the Achik Tash River.|
After a breakfast in yurt you can explore the large moraine over Lenin Glacier, take pictures, visit beautiful glacial lake with extremely cold water. You may be lucky to see an avalanche rolling down a Lenin Peak side nearby, and even photograph it. (Do not worry. Camp 1 is in the safe place). Do not forget you must wear sunglasses to protect the eyes.
It is a pity we cannot stay in Yurt Camp 1 longer. As we come back to Yurt Camp, we are cheered and invited to dinner - Bon app&eaeacute;tit! You will be given our company’s certificates of achievement in reaching the 4,400-meter altitude in the Pamirs. Congratulations!
After the lunch at the yurt camp you will have an easy walk up the river. There you will find picturesque multi-coloured rocks, bizarre stone towers and a wondrous natural phenomenon consisting in the confluence of two streams, one of which carries red water and the other grey water, which do not mix!
|Day 14.||Transfer to Osh. Hotel check-in.|
Saying goodbye to the majestic mountains, you will set out on a journey back to warm Osh city. The grand Lenin Peak Mountain and its siblings will probably always be part of your most pleasant memories… On arriving in Osh, you will check in at the hotel and have a good rest before going on back home. Leisure time.
|Day 15.||Transfer to airport. Departure.|
*This tour is guaranteed and will be arranged whatever final number of persons in a group.
The cost of the tour includes:
The cost of the tour doesn’t include:
- Visa invitation and visa fee;
- International flights;
- Medical insurance.
This tour comes with the following accommodation in city:
|Osh||Sunrise Osh hotel 3*||or similar|
Participants of this program should have special clothes and equipment listed below:
|Clothes and equipment for the program "In Tian-Shan and Pamir mountains":|
|1||A moderate-sized backpack to hike with (30-40 l);|
|2||Transport trunk. Not essential, but it facilitates the transportation of the things to Base Camp and further horseback transportation to Camp 1.|
|3||Sun cream (SPF 25-40).|
|5||Trekking boots (Scarpa kailash GTX, Salomon Quest 4D GTX, The North Face Wreck Mid GTX or similar).|
|6||Hiking shoes (SALEWA MTN Trainer GTX, Garmont Dragontail MNT GTX or similar), andor sandals (Teva, Keen or similar) to travel within and between the lower camps (Base Camp and Camp 1). Besides, you need a pair of light and open footwear for Osh, which features high summer temperatures.|
|7||Downy jacket / PrimaLoft or ThermoBall synthetic insulated jackets (BASK Valdez or similar)|
|8||Assault jacket GORE-TEX (RedFox Vector GTX III or similar).|
|9||Assault trousers GORE-TEX or Bib and brace overalls GORE-TEX (RedFox Vector GTX III or similar).|
|10||Suit POLARTEC (for instance, jacket BASK Kondor V3 + trousers BASK Vinson Pro V2).|
|11||Skin tight linen thermals POLARTEC - two sets: thin thermals to wick moisture away from the skin (for instance RedFox Dry Zone) and thick ones for insulation (for instance, jacket + trousers BASK)|
|12||Thin Gloves, Fleece, Polartec, WindBloc and thick insulated gloves (for instance, RedFox Ice)|
|13||КPeaked cap or panama hat + insulated winter hat. A light sun runner cap(Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap, Outdoor Research Activeice Cap or similar) or panama hat (Outdoor Research Conzumel Sombrero, Outdoor Research Helios Sun Hat or similar) + insulated hat (Outdoor Research Windwarrior Hat, Outdoor Research Peruvian Hat or similar).|
|15||Socks-POLAR, thermal socks, like Boreal TREK Thermolite or similars + ordinary socks.|
|17||First-aid kit (personal).|
Depending on the size of a group the following means of transportation are used during the tour:
Photo of the tour:
Video of tours to Kyrgyzstan:
Сharms of Kyrgyzstan’s
In an off-road vehicle across Kyrgyzstan
Video: Travel in the mountains. Trekking to Lake Sary Chelek
(Western Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan), June 2015
Our company organised a hike (informative walking tour) to high-altitude Lake Sary Chelek for 11 representatives of different tourism agencies from Brazil, Spain, Great Britain, Chile and Russia, who, together with our united team, had a nice time of it in the country of turquoise lakes, deep gorges and picturesque mountain passes, away from the civilization, in the very heart of the Sary Chelek Nature Reserve.
The expedition participants enjoyed the beauty of primeval nature, admired the simplicity of the local people’s life, participated in various master classes and partook of oriental food prepared by our professional cooks, while our team ensured a stable functioning of the camps.
Simple but filled with fairytale landscapes and bright impressions, a mountain tour like this is the best version of a team building event! Activities in the mountains tend to reveal a person’s potential completely, while difficulties and joys that people experience together make them naturally closer!
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