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Kyrgyzstan in Pictures

Silk Road marvels, homestays with nomadic shepherds and stunning mountain trekking - a few of the wonders you'll encounter just a few days in on an ... Read more
Kyrgyzstan in Pictures
Silk Road marvels, homestays with nomadic shepherds and stunning mountain trekking - a few of the wonders you'll encounter just a few days in on an adventure in Kyrgyzstan. Our new adventure to this fascinating part of Central Asia takes you out from the colourful city of Osh into the heart of the Turkestan Mountains, travelling through lofty granite peaks which tower up to 5500 metres - here are a few pictures which highlight what makes this journey so special. 

A full day in Osh will undoubtedly lead you to its famous bazaar, estimated to have been going for over 2000 years, since the height of Silk Road trading. Stalls are packed with powerful spices, swathes of brightly coloured fabrics and plump dried fruits. Stocking up before heading off on trek is essential. 

Here generations come together to make ala-kiyiz, a type Kyrgyz felt carpet sold in the bazaar. Traditionally linked to the life of Kyrgyzstan's nomadic shepherds, making these carpets demands unity in the community and helps foster the transmission of cultural knowledge - something which may be lost in years to come. 

During the warm part of the year the majority of locals make their livings as semi-nomadic herders; from May till September they go to the summer pastures with cattle and live in a Yurts or simple stone houses called kashara. During the trek it's likely you'll have oportunity to visit such a family of nomads, who are certain to invite you inside their yurts to try kymyz (fermented mare's milk), the traditional drink of the nomads, and kurut, which is a semi-dry cheese.


From Osh, the best way to access the Turkestan Mountains is from Uzgurush, a small village with homestays to spend the night in. Trekking out from here plunges you into wild mountain trekking - you'll swiftly reach the Buldzhuma Pass (2894m), a stunning col with views of the surrounding gorges.

Campsites are pristine slices of paradise - sleeping in the hollow of dramatic valleys next to burbling, clear, mountain streams.

The next day rockets up to 3774m with the crossing of Dzhalgychy Pass. Gorges carved by the Ak-Tash river lead to this dramatic scree covered height, where panoramas unfold of the surrounding mountains. 

 The ridge between the Dzhalgychy and Orto Chasma gorges. The land here is peppered with ancient juniper trees and abundant flowers.

After a long day on trek the evenings are full of simple pleasures such as sitting around the campfire, breathing in the cold mountain air and feasting your eyes on a sea of stars overhead.

Descending from Kara Suu pass (3790m), views unfold across to the snow-capped peaks of the Karavshin Valley and the north-western faces of the Peak Kotin (4521m) and Peak Kreshenie Rusi (4507m).

One of the most beautiful places is the Karavshin Valley, where the peak of the 1000th anniversary of the baptism of Russia (Kyrkchilta) (4507m), Asan (4230m) Usen (4378m) and Odessa Peak (4810m) are found. This area is also home to Piramidalnyi Peak (5509m), the highest point in the Turkestan Mountains. There's a local legend regarding these peaks; it is said that centuries ago an old man with twin sons, named Asan and Usen, lived in the valley. He raised his sons to up to be strong warriors, but when war broke out both sons were killed in battle. The man was driven out of his mind with sorrow at the loss of his children and flung his arms up into the air and asked Allah "Oh, Allah, Oh, Allah! Return my sons to me and take my life instead. Let it be so!". Allah heard the man's prayer, and two mighty peaks rose out of the ground facing each other, Asan (4230m) and Usen (4378m). 

Approaching Ak-Tubek gorge through a constantly changing landscape.

One of the most challenging days of trekking on this journey is the ascent to Ak-Tubek pass, a lofty height of 4390m. It's also incredibly rewarding, with unbeatable views of the surrounding peaks - as you can see, this team thought it was well worth the effort. 

Resting at Ak-Suu glacier. At 5355m Ak-Suu is probably the Turkestan Mountains most famous peak, offering the toughest climb in the entire territory of the former USSR - easy to see why, when you stand beneath the sheer face of rock looming above. 

An old mining road alongside the rushing Ak-Mechet river leads back to Uzgurush to finish the trek - a gentle descent. 

Returning to the Uzgurush homestay to finish the trek - cosy carpeted walls, a proper bed and a warm Kyrgyz welcome are the perfect way to end such an epic adventure. 

To find out more about exploring Kyrgyzstan with us, call our experts on +017687 29740 or USA/Canada Toll-free 1 888 630 4415.

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