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"Baikal: The Pearl among the Mountains". Siberia. Trekking.  
"Buddha in the Valley of Hundred Springs". Siberia. Sayan. Trekking or backcountry skiing.  
"Kuznetskiy Alatau: The Land of the Lakes and Flowers". Siberia. Teahouse trekking, trekking or backcountry skiing.  
"Kodar: The Siberian Alps". Siberia. Trekking.  
"Almaty to Lake Issyk-Kul". North Tien Shan, trekking.  
"To the Alakel lake". Terskey Ala Too, Central Tien Shan, trekking.  
"All the Hot Springs". Terskey Ala Too, Central Tien Shan, trekking.
"To the Icy Giants of Central Tien Shan." Trekking.  
"Fan Mountains: The Land of Blue Lakes". Pamir Alai. Trekking.  
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"Khan Tengri - The Lord of the Sky". Central Tien Shan, climbing.  
Pobeda peak climbing. Central Tien Shan.  
Marble Wall climbing. Central Tien Shan.  
Two Summits: Marble Wall and Khan Tengri North climbing. Central Tien Shan.  
Lenin peak climbing. Pamir.  
Lenin + Khan Tengri peaks climbing. Pamir and Tien Shan.  
Communism peak climbing. Pamir.  
Korjenevskoy peak climbing. Pamir.  
Two great summits: Communism and Korjenevskoy Peaks climbing. Pamir.  
Muztag Ata and Koskulak peaks climbing. Pamir.  
Lenin and Muztag Ata Peaks climbing. Pamir.  
"Fan Mountains: The Land of Blue Lakes". Pamir Alai. Climbing.  
"Big Walls of Pamir Alai". Pamir Alai, big wall climbing.  
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Tien Shan  

Tien Shan: All the Hot Springs. 11 days.

Region: Kyrghyzstan, Central Tien Shan, Terskey Ala Too range
Activity: trekking, pass hopping
Trip Category: regular
Difficulty: medium, no need of special skill (kids from 14 years old are allowed).
Season: June to September. Fixed dates tour to join: August, 4-14

Tien Shan - "The Sky Mountains" is one of the world's biggest and highest (up to 7,439 m - peak Pobeda) mountain land on the south of Central Asia where virtually all kinds of mountain outdoors are possible - from easy trekking to extremely difficult mountaineering. The entire area keeps ecological purity and untouched wild nature so far.

This route crosses the northern ridges of Terskey Ala Too ("Variegated mountains turned away from the sun") range, Central Tien Shan, through 3 passes of 1A CD. Travelers visit an amazing high-altitude Alakel lake and well-known hot springs in Jati-Ogyz, Jely-Suu and Arashan valley. Medium trekking/pass hopping.

Day 1 Arrival to Bishkek, transfer to the hotel. Rest. Afternoon cititour. The capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek is a city of wide avenues, handsome buildings and Soviet heritage. It is the permanently snow capped Kyrgyz Alatau mountain range which towers over Bishkek providing a quite stunning backdrop. Visit Manas Monument, erected to a hero of the medieval "Manas" national Kyrgyz epos. Then excursion to the State History Museum and walking tour around main Ala Too Square to watch ceremony of the Guard of Honor changing, Independence Monument, and finish at the Old Square with Government House. Transfer to the Victory Square to finish the city tour by short excursion there. After excursion tourists may go shopping in the largest department store in the city – TZUM and a colorful oriental bazaar. Dinner and overnight at hotel (950 m. a.s.l.).
Day 2

Drive Bishkek - Karakol. After breakfast we drive to Issyk Kul Lake which is considered to be the “pearl” of Tien Shan and one of the most beautiful lakes of the country. Our way goes via ruins of Burana Tower (old minaret) near Tokmok town. That minaret was built in Balasagun town, one of the capitals of Karakhanid State existed in 11-12 centuries AD. Explore ruins of that important trading point at the Great Silk Road and visit a little local museum telling a lot about that civilization. Also watch a collection of Balbals, Turkic ancient tomb monuments.

Optionally: On the area around the tower it is possible to organize horse riding games. Along with hunting dogs and birds, horses have always played an important role in the life of Kyrgyz people. They were used in every day life as true assistants in household and as thoroughbred racers. There are festivals of Horse Games (Ulak Tartysh, Kyz Kuumai, Tyiyn Enmei, etc) held throughout the year. Lunch stop en route.

In the late afternoon after three hours drive we get to Issyk Kul Lake, the second largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America. Measuring 182 km long by 58 km wide, the lake appeared as a result of volcanic activity. It is heated from below by thermal activity and never freezes even in the mid-winter. In the summer the water temperature reaches 25-28 degrees centigrade (warmer than the air) and you can swim in the lake enclosed on all sides by the snowy peaks of the Tien Shan Mountains. Extremely deep and nicely warm over the centuries the lake has been something of an oasis in this inhospitable mountain environment. With diverse flora and fauna Issyk-Kul Lake and the surrounding environments are rightly considered to be one of Central Asia most remarkable locations.

En route we also visit so called “Stone garden” or Cholpon Ata Petroglyphs site, the temple in the open air of Scythians and Hung suns civilizations dated back 9-8 centuries BC till 3-4 centuries AD. The area of those stone arts lies at the foot of Kungei Alatau Ridge with a beautiful view of the whole lake. Continue driving to Karakol town. Upon arrival accommodation in a guest house.

Dinner in a local café/local family. Overnight in GH. 430 km, 7-8 hrs, +900 m

Day 3

Karakol sightseeing drive to Djety Oguz gorge. Morning short sightseeing tour in the town – Dungan Mosque, Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Prjevalskii Memorial Complex. Lunch in a local café. Transfer to Djety Oguz gorge located in the Northern slopes of Terskey Ala Too, about 15km west from Karakol town. The length of the valley is 40 km. There is a chance to see the well-known redsand rock formations – “The Broken Heart” and “Seven Bulls”. The slopes in the gorge are covered with the world-famous Tien Shan blue spruce for about 25km along the fast mountain river. The road goes along the river (five log bridges to cross). This is the most narrow part of the way. Later it opens into so called “Flower Meadow” (Kok Jaiyk). The upper part of Djety Oguz valley is blocked by a long Djety Oguz wall with a fabulous Oguz Bashi peak (5165m) in the central part of it. There is famous hot spa resort here. Dinner and overnight in “Djety Oguz” tent camp at 2600 m. 45 km, 1-1,5 hrs, +900 m.

Day 4 Hike up to Telety pass. The path along the river bank in a very narrow wooded gorge Bay Tor leads us to the alpine meadows. Here, on a flower carpet, in the mountains the air is sweet and clear, the views are amazing, one forgets all his troubles and gets closer to the nature. It is not a difficult trek, about 6-7 km along West Telety river. Dinner and overnight in “Telety” tent camp at 3050 m. 16 km, 6-8 hrs, +450 m.
Day 5 Hike through Telety pass (1A CD, 3800 m), descent to Karakol river gorge. Climb up the pass is not very difficult, the trail mainly goes along a narrow gorge with a gentle ascend. There are only two a bit steep slopes, which require some efforts. From the top of the pass at 3800 m asl we enjoy the views of the surroundings. Descent is rather simple, along a wide slope covered with talus, across alpine meadows with various herbs and flowers, along East Telety river. Later we hike through the wood along a trail covered with roots. Dinner and overnight in “Karakol” tent camp at 2500 m. 18 km, 6-8 hrs, +750/-1300 m
Day 6 Day of rest. Radial trip to Karakol peak (5181 m). Radial hike upstream Uyun Tor river to the foot of Karakol peak. We have a chance to see Tien Shan blue spruce forest, underwood (dog rose, honeysuckle, black barberries, mountain ash, black current, etc.) There are mushrooms in the forest. Starting from May there are flowers blooming on the meadows – snowdrops, tulips, primerose, white anemone, Alpine aster, edelweiss (really big ones), etc. We reach the point with a view at the highest peak of Terskei Ala Too – Karakol peak. There is the chance to visit sauna! Dinner and overnight in “Karakol” tent camp at 2500 m. 16 km, 6-8 hrs, +700/-700 m
Day 7 Hike up to "Priyut Sirota" ("Orphan asilum") and Alakel lake. After descent along the gorge for about 3 km, we cross the river over a bridge and the trail leads us into a forest. Rather long ascent finishes at a steep slope covered with grass, the trail turns into a serpentine, passes by a river overflow, and arrive to an unusual place which is called “Priyut Sirota” ("Orphan Asilum") mountain hut. It is a log hut. There is a table, benches, fireplace inside. We can find a number of sculptures of animals and idols carved in wood around the hut. It looks like a fairy tale place. It is a nice place to sit down, rest, have a snack. Later the trail goes up higher, leaving the forest behind we hike along the river and reach a beautiful waterfall, flowing down from Ala Kol Lake. Dinner and overnight in “Ala Kol” tent camp at 3600 m. 9 km, 6-8 hrs, +1100 m
Day 8 Cross Alakel pass (1A CD, 3700 m). Descent to Arashan hot springs. Moraine Lake of Ala Kol stretches from east to west for 2.8 km, its width is 500 m, and depth 70 m. Ala Kol means Colorful Lake in Kyrgyz language. Depending on the light the water might change its color. It can be emerald green, turquoise with white clouds reflected, light green or dark grey, or even black. During the ascent we enjoy wonderful views of the lake. Arriving closer to the lake we see the main range of Terskei Ala Too with a number of peaks – Aksu, Djigit, Karakol, Oguz Bashi, etc. From the lake edge it will take us another hour and half to the pass.

Descent from the pass along a talus slope, and later across a wide valley of Keldike with picturesque landscapes, herds of cattle and flocks of sheep grazing. Later the trail brings us into a forest again and descends into Arashan valley. Upon arrival to the tent camp you may use an opportunity to relax in the hot springs. There are thermal baths (up to +50C) in the valley. Dinner and overnight in “Altyn Arashan” tent camp at 2600 m. " Altyn Arashan" resort was founded in 1963, famous for its hot mineral springs. The resort represents several wooden huts located on a big treeless meadow on the right bank of Arashan river. The Northern slopes of the left river bank are covered with fir trees. It gives an unforgettable picture – dark green trees with snowcapped mountains “Aksu wall” (5022 m) in the background. 18 km, 6-8 hrs, +200/-1200 m

Day 9

Drive to Cholpon Ata. Rest in the resort on Issyk Kul Lake. Transfer to Cholpon Ata town. Descent through green fields with blooming flowers and crystal mountain springs. The final 5 km of the gorge are very narrow not more than 30 m with high rock walls. At the entrance to the gorge we pass by a village – Ak Suu (the name comes from the hot springs). Here you will take place inside the car. On arrival accommodation in a hotel on the north shore of the Issyk Kul Lake. Dinner and overnight in a hotel. 155 km, 4-5 hrs, -1000 m

Day 10 Return to Bishkek. In the morning, after breakfast, transfer to Bishkek city. Lunch en route. Upon arrival to the city accommodation in a hotel. Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in a hotel. 250 km, 3-4 hrs, -800 m
Day 11 Transfer to airport. Departure from Bishkek. 30 km 1 h.

Cost: us for an offer!

Included: Transfer Bishkek-Karakol-Bishkek, 1 night hotel accommodation in Cholpon Ata, 1 nights GH or hotel accomodation in Karakol, 2 nights hotel accommodation in Bishkek (***DBL BB), transportation to the Jely Suu (start point) and return from Arashan hot springs, all permits, meals during trekking, accommodation in permanent tent camps on trekking for 6 nights (NOTE: you don't need to pick the tents!), guide, interpreter, porter support for carry the luggage (12 kilo p/p allowance, $12 per each extra kilo). You may leave items not necessary for the trek in the cloack room in Bishkek.
Not included: Travel to and from Bishkek, visa fees, alcoholic beverages and other luxuries, personal items.

Options. Transfer to and from Bishkek from/to Almaty and Torugart Pass, hotel accommodation in Bishkek and Almaty (from * to *****), hotel or guesthouse accommodation in Karakol, additional excursions, Kyrgyz folk show, sightseeing in Almaty.

Tien Shan. Trekking. Yurt camp.
Karakol. Yurt camp.
Tien Shan. Trekking. Jati Oguz spa.
Jati Oguz - "Seven Bulls". Famous spa here.
Tien Shan. Trekking. Horses at summer pasture.
Horses on the jayloo - summer pasture.
Tien Shan. Trekking. Trekkers in the forest.
Trekkers in the fir forest.
Tien Shan. Trekking. Edelweiss.
Edelweiss - the symbol of the mountains.
Tien Shan. Trekking. Alakel lake.
Alakel lake.
Tien Shan. Trekking map. Terskey Ala Too.
Route map (468 k).



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