Heart of the Tien Shan Trek
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Almaty at breakfast. KE Land Only package services begin with breakfast. Drive to Karkara Mountain Base via the Charyn River Canyon. Fixed camp.
Day 2: Today, we proceed to a camp in the upper reaches of the Kokzhar Valley, both on foot and using the support vehicle to assist with river crossings. We can, hopefully, meet nomadic herders at a grazing area en route and stop to take tea with the shepherds and their families. After lunch, we will drive to our camp at 3000 metres in the upper Kokzhar Valley.
Day 3: Ascending a tributary stream, we will cross the Tyuz Pass (3556m) and descend into the headwaters of the Tyouk Kokpak stream. After a 7-hour day, we will camp close to the forest edge.
Day 4: Trek through the Kokpak Gorge, then over an unnamed 3000 metre pass into the Ulken Kokpak Gorge. After around 6 hours of walking, we set up another riverside camp at around 2450 metres.
Day 5: Following a stream to its source, we climb to cross the Buzynbai Pass (3100m) and descend to Karakol Lake. After 6 hours walking, we set up camp near to the lake.
Day 6: After a leisurely breakfast and a late start, we trek via another high pass (3600m) with extensive views of the peaks of the Central Tien Shan. Then, descend to camp at Lake Akkol.
Day 7: We trek up to the North Ashutor Pass at 3800 metres and descend into the Ashutor Valley. Our camp is in a grazing area where we should see shepherds and their flocks. (7 hrs).
Day 8: Climbing to the top of the Ashutor Valley, we cross the Ashutor Pass (3900m) on the border between Kazakhstan and Kirghizstan. Dropping into the Sary Dhzaz Valley, we camp near the river.
Day 9: A short helicopter flight takes us to the South Inylchek Glacier with superb mountain views en route. Our camp is at 4000 metres and the afternoon is free to enjoy the views.
Day 10: The South Inylchek Basecamp.is a fixed camp with ameneties including a sauna. Today, we will hike towards a wall of mountains - the Kokshaal Tau - which culminates in the 7439 metre Peak Pobeda. Then return to the South Inylchek Basecamp.
Day 11: This is our final day of trekking and arguably the climax to the whole trip, as we make the return hike, amongst magnificent scenery, to the foot of Khan Tengri. We return to spend a final night at basecamp.
Day 12: Today we take another dramatic flight by helicopter (40 minutes) back to the Karkara Mountain Base. More fantastic mountain views as we fly over the range. Overnight at the fixed camp.
Day 13: After breakfast we will board a comfortable bus for the long drive back to Almaty. After checking in to the group hotel, we will rest and freshen up, before enjoying a celebratory evening meal.
Day 14: An early morning start, as we take the group transfer to Almaty Airport, where KE Land Only package services end.
This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.