/ Kyrgyzstan and the Tian Shan
Just started planning a trip to go trekking/easy mountaineering in Kyrgyzstan. Looking at ideally heading East out of Bishkek for the Tian Shan and I was wondering if anyone had much experience of travelling and logistics to get about in Kyrgyzstan and/or good parts of the Tian Shan/other regions in Northern or Eastern Kyrgyzstan for mountaineering and trekking?
It partially depends on how remote you want to be / how much you are bothered by doing the same thing as others. Karakol in the East is probably the most popular trekking destination and there is also some easy mountaineering in the area. As a result you won't be the only there. However, as information about remoter areas can be difficult to come by this doesn't have to be a bad thing. There are several agencies in Karakol who can help with organising transport to the start of your trek.
Ala Archa (just south of Bishkek) is used by many to acclimatise before heading to bigger peaks and is easily accessible. There are various peaks there of various difficulties.
Apparently there is good trekking near the Kazakh border as well, but didn't do this myself.
My main piece of advice would be to get all the maps you might need in Bishkek. We traveled 5hrs from Bishkek to another small town with a tourist office where we were told the only maps for that area were available in Bishkek.
Also, depending on what you want to do (especially if it is mountaineering in remote areas) be prepared to either get a company in Bishkek to arrange all the logistics for you or be prepared for all the issues related to traveling in a non-Western country (language, culture, unexpected events, etc.).
That's super. Thanks
i'll 2nd itmc. Valdimir is spot on!
You might find this report interesting
I guess the first question is - are you heading to remote/unexplored areas to climb new routes or are you happy going to more popular areas?
The Alpine Club has lots on the area - did a seminar on former CIS climbing last month,
Drop them a line.
I have a few books - where you based ?
Thanks for advice, had looked at itmc a bit and will check out that trip report.
More remote for at least some of the trip would be ideal JdotP, I spoke to Robert Taylor a couple of weeks ago and had been meaning to drop you a line (was internet-less for most of the Christmas break) regarding this - he said you planned most of the Torugart-Too trip?
Thanks John, will do. I'm in Edinburgh at the moment.
Best place to get maps is not necessarily Bishkek but Stanford's in London. The Soviet maps you can pick up out there are lacking to say the least and even the larger scale AAC maps are better to deal with if they cover the area you're going to.
There's still a number of unclimbed peaks in the western Kokshaal-Too in the general area of Kyzyl Asker. They will require a bit of walking to get to but there are enough to keep you busy for many seasons. If you're going for something unclimbed and have a decent plan there's a good chance you could secure some sponsorship from places and some help from the MEF.
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