/ Kyrgyzstan Walking Suggestions

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Ramblin dave - on 03 Jan 2018

Myself and my partner are kicking around the idea of getting out of our Western-European rut with a walking trip to Kyrgyzstan, this year. There looks to be a lot of stuff there, so I was wondering whether anyone on here had more specific recommendations of where to go, what to do and how to organize it?

Rough specification:
* We're reasonably experienced hillwalkers, and are happy with snow, rough ground and multiple days of wildcamping.
* We haven't done any Proper Alpinisim or glacier travel or anything like that, though, and we aren't after technical climbing.
* We're not specifically after ticking summits (but wouldn't object).
* I'd like to get a bit of an atmosphere of being properly up in the Greater Ranges if possible, rather than "a bit like Europe but quieter".
* We've got a general preference for as much self-sufficiency as possible, but wouldn't rule out hiring a guide to do something really cool that's a bit beyond our skillset.
* We're thinking of going out for a couple of weeks, so I guess we'd be up for one long or a couple of short hikes.

Any suggestions?

redsonja - on 03 Jan 2018
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Hi there. We were in Kyrgyzstan last year and honestly, it's fab. The area around Karakol is great for multi day trekking. We took 1 week, and crossed 2 high passes of about 3800m and from lake issy-kul, also summited a 4000m peak. There were other folk doing similar stuff but we still felt alone and remote and just wild camped wherever we found somewhere nice. I hope you enjoy it- Kyrgyz people are lovely too and the country felt really safe and mega cheap! If you can learn a bit of Russian and also the alphabet it will help!
Ramblin dave - on 04 Jan 2018
In reply to redsonja:

Thanks, sounds great!

How did you organize it? Was it all self-planned or did you use any sort of commercial provider for anything?
alex.murray - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Hi Dave,

I recently overlanded through this region and stopped to climb / hike as much as possible. I enjoyed Kyrgyzstan and, as redsonja has already said, there is some great stuff around Karakol but I wasn't quite as blown away by it as I thought I was going to be. Tajikistan, on the other hand, which is just next door was absolutely incredible and if I were you I'd give it some consideration. Areas like the Fann Mountains and Bartang Valley have some fantastic trekking opportunities and it really feels remote (less of a tourist industry still than Kyrgyzstan). It's a bit more difficult to get around but worth it in my view.

This is a blog post we wrote about the Bartang Valley trek.

wadewilson - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Ramblin dave:

have a good trip
redsonja - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Hi. we organised it all ourselves. we flew to Bishkek with Turkish airlines, had a couple of days in Bishkek and then got a marshrukta to Karakol. It was very easy, just go to the bus station and say 'Karakol' and someone will show you where to go. From Karakol we got a taxi to jeti orguz, where we started our trek. we had a few days to spare at the end of the trip so went to Kazhakstan, as you don't need a visa any more and we had 3 days in Almaty and the mountains around there. We are going to Tajikistan this year as we have heard it's really good too, as alex.murray says.
woolsack - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I'm doing the Silk Road Mountain Race in August in Kyrgystan, I could put you in touch with a ski guide in Bishkek, he hires out Uaz 452 vans and would be able to help with logistics if you wanted. PM me if that would be of interest

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