Trekking in Tien Shan
A land of ragged mountains, fertile and virtually unknown valleys, plains burned by the sun, hot springs and sacred lakes swarming with fish, native land of conquerors, who have left capitals covered by the sand of the Gobi, the sacred land of the Heavenly Mountains: this is Tien Shan.
Where is Tien Shan? Spurs of the western ridges of Tien Shan come down to the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent. Eastern ridges reach the western fringes of Gobi desert. In the south, Tien Shan is separated from Kunlun mountains by Taklamakan desert. Western Tien Shan is connected with Pamir mountains by Pami-Alay with fertile Fergana valley as the natural boundary between them. To the east from Issyk Kul is the highest and most inaccessible part of Tien Shan, Khan Tengri massif. The greatest glacier of Tien Shan, South Inylchek is located here along with many 6000+ peaks of which the highest is Khan Tengri at 6995 meters and Peak Pobeda at 7439 meters.
For ages people have passed at the foot of these mountains, seen the breathtaking snow-capped giants but were unable to get closer. As a result human imagination has inhabited this place with mysterious spirits and called the mountains accordingly. Thus, the mountain system was called Tien Shan which can be translated as Heavenly Mountains and Khan Tengri as Lord of Spirits.
It is here that we go for a trek... low emerald-green grass under our feet,
boundless blue sky above our head, the imposing beauty of Khan Tengri
above the clouds, shining like a ruby against the sapphire of the sky. Starting
in Bishkek, we go up into the wild and almost uninhabited At Djailoo Valley,
cross high mountain passes and trek in picturesque valleys with slopes
covered by coniferous forests. Along the way we meet friendly locals grazing
their sheep, virtually cut from the rest of the world. We visit their yurts and
share their meals. On this trek we explore the pearl of Northern Tien Shan,
Merzbacher Lake, changing its color few times a day and enjoy the
magnificent scenery of Issyk Kul, a place of energy and enigma. We reach the
base camp of Khan Tengri and take a thrilling helicopter flight to Karkara.