Mountain Bike Mayhem
- Wilderness mountain bike holiday in the Tien Shan of Kazakhstan
- Heli-biking above the Karkara Mountain Base
- Meeting nomadic Kazakh shepherd communities
- Views of Khan Tengri from upper Kokzhar Valley
- Biking into the Charyn Canyon
A perennial mountain bike holiday favourite, with superb biking into the wilderness of Kazakhstan in Central Asia. Slightly revamped for 2013, this exceptional mountain biking adventure offers superb riding in sight of one of the world's greatest mountain ranges, the Tien Shan. Transferring from Almaty to the Turgen River Gorge, our route takes us across open grassland known as 'steppe' and into the beautiful high valleys of the Kungey Alatau range, home to nomadic Kazakh herdsmen and their livestock. Riding cross-country between riverside camps, we have the chance to take tea at the yurt encampments of these charming people, before breaking our journey at Karkara, which is our base for 2 unforgettable days of big grin 'heli-biking'. Then, after biking to the head of the Kokzhar Valley, we loop around to the north on high ridges, with splendid views of such peaks as Peak Pobeda (7439m) and the striking marble pyramid of Khan Tengri (6995m). Descending gradually, crossing rivers and passing through isolated farming villages, we reach Lake Tuzkol and from there drive back to Almaty with a stop off at the spectacular Charyn Canyon where we can do some exploring by bike or on foot. This outstanding Central Asian trip offers challenging off-road mountain biking and a genuine adventure travel experience in a remote, seldom visited and culturally fascinating area.
Is this holiday for you?
FAT TYRE ADVENTURE - This tremendous cycling adventure is on rough rural roads, tracks and trails that vary from hardpack to rocky and loose. Many of these were originally built for forest access and to connect some of the more remote villages in the area. Steep and strenuous climbs, ballistic descents, rough terrain and long days are the norm and you should be prepared for challenging off-road rides. Our off-road specific support vehicle follows us throughout the whole trip and we must stress that aside from the usual kit and food that you would carry on any day ride at home, you will not be required to carry any additional equipment - this is adventure mountain biking at its purest. There are not many bridges en-route and we have to wade across many small rivers. From the spectacularly located mountain base in the Karkara Valley we enjoy 2 days of incredible heli-biking, before biking out across the Kazakh steppe. This holiday will provide a fun challenge for regular weekend bikers with reasonable off-road skills. 8000 metres of ascent and descent over 11 days biking means that a good fitness base is essential. The support vehicle can (amazingly) follow the bikes throughout. Average 45 kilometres per day.