Journey to the Heart of the Celestial Mountain (14D13N)

 

 

Suitable Months:

July – September

 

 

Trip Type:

This is a trekking trip Trekking

 

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Extending for thousands of kilometres across Central Asia, the Tien Shan – “The Celestial Mountain” is one of the world’s great mountain ranges.

Located on the border of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Xinjiang (China), Tien Shan is one of the most popular mountaineering centre of the world. Stretches 2800km from east to west and 350-400km north to south, Tien Shan range is actually wider and longer than the Himalaya which is 2400km in length and 250-300km in width. The Tien Shan contains more than thirty peaks close to, or over, 6000m including some of the highest in the former Soviet Union. It also contains some of the largest glaciers outside the Arctic poles.

The mountains of Tien Shan are almost as high as the Pamir, but less rugged valleys make it a much greener and richer region agriculturally. They are considered to be some of the most beautiful places in Central Asia. The region is rich in alpine lakes with the largest fresh water lake in Central Asia, Issyk-Kul – after Lake Titicaca, the world’s second highest lake. The name translates to Sacred Lake which, in spite of its high altitude (over 5000 feet above sea level), is still warm in summer.

Join us in this adventure through the unforgettable experience on the spectacular heart of the Tien Shan range and a real taste of Central Asia!

 

Itinerary 

Day 1: Arrive Bishkek – Transfer to Karakol (1,700m)Bishkek Manas International Airport

  • Drive 400km; 8 hours.
  • Arrival in Bishkek Manas International Airport early in the morning. Pick up by guide and transfer to guesthouse for short rest and breakfast.
  • Thereafter, transfer to town of Karakol.
  • Lunch will be on the way.
  • Arrival in Karakol in the evening.

Meals provided: Lunch, Dinner

Stay: Amir or Green Yard Guest House

 

Day 2: Karakol Sightseeing – At-Jailoo Base Camp (2,500m)Russian Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral

  • After breakfast, short sightseeing tour around Karakol.
  • Karakol town situated in the east of the lake area, at the foot of the most picturesque mountains of Tien Shan. This sleepy but very interesting Old Russian town was first erected by Cossacks in the middle of 19th century and became an important garrison settlement.
  • Visit Dungan mosque, a unique construction in Chinese style, but serve as a mosque. You will also see an Old Russian Orthodox Cathedral made of wood and without any nails.
  • At-Jailoo CampLunch in local cafe.
  • Transfer to At-Jailoo base camp. Drive 200km; 5-6 hours.
  • The road passes through a number of villages and continues up along the canyon Turguen Ak Suu towards Ashuu Chon Pass (3,808m). Descent to Ashuu Tor valley. Drive along Sary Jaz river to the check point Echkilitash as we are going to enter the border zone, we must leave our permits here. About 1-1.5 hours’ drive through a village and along Inylchek river, arrival in At-Jailoo camp.
  • Dinner and overnight in tents.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Stay: Tent

 

Day 3: At-Jailoo Camp – Iva Camp (2,900m)

  • Trek 18km; 5-7 hours.
  • Crossing riverTrek from At-Jailoo along Inylchek River to the beginning of Inylchek glacier.
  • After breakfast, trek with our backpacks on the road. We will take lunch boxes and leave the camp in order to be able to cross At-Jailoo river before 9am while there is still little water and the water level is low.
  • Within an hour, we will reach a place called Prijim. If the water level allows, we can walk and easily cross another stream here. Otherwise, we have to ascent and descend a steep and overgrown path which takes us another hour. It is recommended to bring along the sandals which you can wear when crossing the river and streams.
  • Arrival in Iva camp.
  • Dinner and overnight in tents.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch (packed), Dinner

Stay: Tent

 

Day 4: Iva Camp – Glina Camp (3,100m)Iva Camp to Glina Camp

  • Trek 8km; 5-6 hours.
  • After breakfast, we will take our lunch boxes and leave at about 9am.
  • You will encounter very steep ascents and descents, small rivers, mountain slope and Putevodnyi glacier, which will leave you exhausted.
  • Lunch on the glacier at about 1pm.
  • After lunch, we will ascent another steep terrain along a narrow trail. The variety of terrains and the steepness of the slope trails will add some more adrenaline in blood.
  • Putevodnyi glacierArrive in Glina Camp (means “clay” in Russian) for some tea or coffee and rest.
  • Dinner at 6pm.
  • Overnight in tents.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch (packed), Dinner

Stay: Tent

 

Day 5: Glina Camp – Merzbacher Glade (3,400m)

  • Trek 9km; 5-6 hours.
  • Merzacher GladeBreakfast at 9am.
  • After breakfast, again we trek up and down various terrains.
  • We will cross a small glacier, pass a river and have lunch on the shore of a small lake where you can enjoy a swim and rest.
  • Just another hour to get to the camp.
  • Upon arrival in Merzacher Glade, have some tea or coffee
  • Dinner at 6pm.
  • Overnight in tents. Wonderful views of Merzbacher Lake open to us from the camp.

Merzbacher glade is the last grassy place in the area located just across the unique Merzbacher Lake. There is a scientific research station on the glacier. Scientists from all over the world came working here every summer. They study glaciers movement, meteorological situation of the region and the lake Merzbacher itself.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch (packed), Dinner

Stay: Tent

 

Day 6: Day Trek to Merzbacher LakeMerzacher Lake

  • Trek 10km; 4-5 hours.
  • Breakfast at 9am.
  • After breakfast, we will take our lunch boxes and leave at 10am.
  • Cross South Inylchek glacier up to Merzbacher Lake. The glacier terrain is ice covered with rocks and stones, sand and mud.
  • Overnight in tents.

Sandwiched between the Northern and Southern branches of the glacier lies the mysterious Merzbacher Lake, which form every summer and sometimes in August, burst through the ice banks and the waters flow into the Inylchek River.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch (packed), Dinner

Stay: Tent

 

Day 7: Merzbacher Glade – Komsomolskiy Glacier (3,800m)

  • Trek 12km; 4-6 hours.
  • Komsomolskiy glacier campBreakfast at 8am.
  • After breakfast, take our lunch boxes and set off at 9am.
  • It is a long day of trek surrounded with beautiful landscapes – snow, rocks and multi-colored ice – black, white and sometimes even stripes.
  • The first part of our trek goes along the right side over terrain and right before we reach Shokalskyi glacier.
  • The trail reaches the glacier and the black moraine which flows out of Komsomolskiy glacier. We follow it up to the glacier itself. The terrain is very diverse: rivers, crevices, ascents and descents; the hike around these take much time and energy.
  • It will be our first night at the glacier. Strong wind usually starts here after 4pm.
  • Dinner at 6pm.
  • Overnight in tents.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch (packed), Dinner

Stay: Tent

 

Day 8: Komsomolskiy Glacier – Dikiy Glacier (3,900m)Dikiy glacier

  • Trek 7km; 3-5 hours.
  • Breakfast at 8am.
  • We will depart at 9am with our lunch boxes.
  • Straight from the camp, we cross Proletarsky glacier, get to the middle of Dikiy glacier moraine and walk along it up to the Dikiy glacier.
  • The first part is uneven with ascents and descents. Closer to the glacier, the trail becomes more even.
  • Break for lunch.
  • DinnerAfter lunch, in front of Proletarsky glacier, we go straight up. Dikiy camp is located behind Pesnya Abaya peak (in 30 minutes).
  • From Dikiy camp, you have beautiful view of Khan Tengri, Pobeda, Gorky, Chapaev and Trehglavaya peaks.
  • Dinner at 6pm.
  • Overnight in tents.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch (packed), Dinner

Stay: Tent

 

Day 9: Dikiy Glacier – South Inylchek Base Camp (4,100m)
Optional: Climb to Pesnya Abaya (4,900m) – 45 Euro per person

  • Trek 8km; 4-6 hours.
  • Pobeda PeakBreakfast at 8/9am. Short trek today, so we can depart at 10am.
  • After breakfast, take our lunch boxes and start our trek.
  • We will cross the whole glacier till the central moraine where the base camp is situated. The path is covered with rocks, ice, creeks, lakes and cracks.
  • Arrival at South Inylchek base camp (4,100m) around 2pm where we will have our lunch, tea or coffee.
  • Dinner at 7pm.
  • Overnight in tents.

Inylchek Base Camp is ideally situated in the heart of North Tien-Shan at the South Inylchek glacier approximately at 4,100m above the sea level. It has a picturesque view of Khan-Tengri (7,010m) and Pobeda (7,439m) peaks.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch (packed), Dinner

Stay: Tent

 

Day 10: South Inylchek Base CampSouth Inylchek base camp

  • Rest day at South Inylchek Base Camp.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Stay: Tent

 

 

Day 11: Helicopter flight to Karkara helicopter pad – Issyk Kul LakeHelicopter flight to Karkara helicopter pad

  • Drive 200km; 3 hours.
  • After breakfast, take the helicopter flight from South Inylchek Base Camp to Karkara helicopter pad.
  • In the afternoon, 3 hours’ drive to Issyk-Kul Lake.
  • Lunch on the way.
  • Arrival to hotel.
  • Overnight and dinner in hotel.

Issyk-Kul LakeIssyk-Kul is the second largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Stay: Guesthouse or similar

 

 

Day 12: Issyk- Kul – Bishkek

  • Drive 250km; 5-6 hours.
  • Burana TowerAfter breakfast, free and easy time until after lunch.
  • In the afternoon transfer to Bishkek through tight Boom Gorge where boisterous Chu River cuts its way.
  • Visit Burana Tower (old minaret) near Tokmok town. The minaret was constructed in Balasagyn town – one of the capitals of Karakhanid State in 11-12 AD. Explore ruins of that important trading point at the Great Silk Road and visit a little local museum telling about that civilization. Also watch a collection of Balbals – Turkic ancient tombs.
  • Arrival in Bishkek.
  • Overnight in guesthouse.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Stay: Asia Mountains hotel or similar

 

Day 13: Bishkek Sightseeing

  • Bishkek parkAfter breakfast, a short sightseeing tour in the city.
  • As the capital and industrial centre of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek is a city of wide avenues, handsome buildings and Soviet heritage. Snow-capped Kyrgyz Alatau mountain range permanently tower over Bishkek, providing a stunning backdrop.
  • Visit Manas Monument, the main national hero of the Kyrgyz people.
  • Visit also the State History Museum and walking tour around main Ala Too Square to watch ceremony of changing of the Guard of Honor, Independence Monument, main governmental buildings, and finish at the Old Square with Parliament House.
  • Transfer to the Victory Square to finish the city tour.
  • After excursion, you may go shopping in the largest department store in the city – ZUM and a colourful oriental bazaar.
  • Farewell dinner in restaurant.
  • Overnight in hotel.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Stay: Asia Mountains hotel or similar

 

Day 14: Departure

  • Free time till transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

Meals provided: Breakfast

 

Note: Numerous factors such as weather, road conditions, the physical ability of the participants, etc., may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on the tour. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of the trip participants’ safety, comfort and general well-being by informing the principal agent and with their approval.

 

Tour Price

Please contact us for pricing. This is a join-in tour whereby the date is fixed and you will join others in a group.)

** Prices quoted are for LAND TOUR only. Please refer to package exclusions for more details.

Highlights

  • Trek on vast wide land where you might have the land to yourself for the entire day
  • Cross freezing cold At-Jailoo river and streams
  • Walk on glaciers
  • Surround yourself with above 6000m peaks
  • Sleep under the stars
  • Adrenaline-rushing spectacular helicopter flight
  • Dip in the second largest alpine lake in the world – Issyk-Kul Lake
  • A taste of Central Asia in Karakol and Bishkek town

Package Inclusions

  • 1 night accommodation (guesthouse or similar) in Karakol town
  • 9 nights’ accommodation and full board (hot food for breakfast and dinner, lunches as snack boxes) in the permanent tent camps along the trek At Jailoo – Base Camp “South Inylchek”
  • 1 night accommodation (guesthouse or similar) in Issyk-Kul Lake
  • 2 nights’ accommodation (Asia Mountains hotel or similar) in Bishkek
  • Helicopter flight from South Inylchek Base Camp to Karkara
  • All transfers as indicated in program
  • Full-board during whole program
  • Frontier zone permit
  • Mountain guide service
  • Porter service – not more than 12 kg per person
  • All ecological and entrance fees as per indicated in program

Package Exclusions

  • International airfare (Singapore – Bishkek – Singapore) and airport tax
  • Visa fee (if applicable)
  • Travel insurance
  • Sleeping bag (estimate 40 euro for rental)
  • Personal expenses (e.g. drinks, mineral water, liquors, laundry, shopping, cigarettes, telephone calls and etc.)
  • Meals not mentioned in above itinerary
  • Beverages and meals not included in main menu
  • All arrangements for trekking as pre-planned and pre-paid. In case of not completion of the trek due to any reason whatsoever there will not be any refund for any unutilized services. Any extra expense due to the same has to be paid extra
  • Any expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like flight delay / cancellation / hike in fare, strike or any other natural calamities or any emergency evacuation expenses
  • Tips or gratuities to driver/guide
  • Optional deviations from the main itinerary

Flight Recommendations

Important Note: Please note that flight information is purely for information purposes. We do recommend our customers who signed up with us to take the same flight though.

 

Singapore to Seoul:

Asiana Airlines (OZ 754) 0145hrs – 0905hrs (6h 20m)

 

Seoul to Moscow:

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (SU 251) 1310hrs – 1715hrs (9h 05m)

 

Moscow to Bishkek:

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (SU 1882) 2255hrs – 0505hrs (4h 10m) + 1 ** reach Bishkek 22 July 2014

 

 

Bishkek to Moscow:

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (SU 1881) 1625hrs – 1855hrs (4h 30m)

 

Moscow to Seoul:

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (SU 250) 2155hrs – 1110hrs (8h 15m) + 1 **reach Seoul 05 August 2014

 

Seoul to Singapore:

Asiana Airlines (OZ 751) 1610hrs – 2130hrs (6h 20m)

 

 

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