Kyrgyzstan – Tien Shan Ala-Kul Volcanic Lake Trek

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162
  • Duration:11 Days
  • Grading: 2B
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The Tien Shan, Chinese for “Celestial Mountains”, is a Central Asian mountain range spreading across several countries like China, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, but mostly found in Kyrgyzstan. The mountain system is one of the largest in Asia, bigger than Himalaya, with 40 peaks over 6000m. It also contains some of the largest glaciers outside the Arctic poles. Relatively unexplored, the Tienshan hold glorious pockets of raw natural beauty. Her peaks roll on endlessly through the entire country topped with snow and the mountainsides are clothed in green grass, all against a bright blue backdrop.  Herds of sheep, horses, goats, cows, and yaks wander over the high mountain pastures, randomly dotting the rich landscape.

About The Trek

Trekking through the Terskei Ala Too Mountain Range is an experience full of breathtaking landscapes and the thrill of exploring remote places. On this trek, you will sleep under the starlit sky of Kyrgyzstan, relax next to a campfire at night, and uncover amazing beauty hidden away in secluded corners of the country. You will see both the Oguz Bashi (5165 m) and Karakol (5216 m) Peaks and the famous moraine-glacial lake, Ala Kul (3532 m). The trek will go over two mountain passes – Telety (3800 m) and Ala Kul (3800 m), and for the cherry on top, take a dip in natural hot springs with curative mineral water in the Altyn Arashan Valley!

The trek starts with an easy warm up walk along the riverbank of a wooded gorge to alpine meadows to the base of Telety pass where you camp for the night. On Day 2 of the trek, zig-zag your way gradually up the pass for some magnificient views and descend through meadows, cross some streams before hiking down a steep trail through a forest to arrive at your camp for 2 nights in Karakol gorge (2500m). Day 3 go for a casual hike to see Oguz Bashi peak and Karakol Peak as well as the glacier at its base. On Day 4, trek along the gorge, crossing the river and ascend to the quaint little “Sirota” hut. After lunch, trudge up the steep slope of gravel and loose rocks towards a gorgeous waterfall that is the lower edge of the Ala Kul Lake. Camp just above the lake and enjoy the sunset. Last day of the trek starts with another hard climb along the lake on a talus slope to the Ala Kul pass. Take in the best view on the trek at the top of the pass and slide down the scree on the other side. The rest of the descent is long but easy through a wide valley of wandering herds of grazing cattle, sheep & horses. End the trek with a chance to relax in the hot springs or thermal baths in the Altyn-Arashan valley.

Throughout the whole route, you will be staying in tents at permanent camp sites managed by friendly locals who will introduce you to simple local cuisines and cater to your comfort.

Trekking Seasons

The trekking season is during the summer months of July to end August when the mountain passes are clear of snow. The slopes are lush with greenery and it is the time when the Kyrgyz shepherds are out herding their sheep, cow and horses. Opportunity to catch a glimpse of their rugged nomadic life. Outside of these months, the passes may be uncrossable due to snow or the nights are too cold.

Experience Required

Good to have experience in multi-day treks & sleeping in tents though not necessary. You will be trekking at above 2500m for 5 days on a scenic and undulating mountain route crossing two mountain passes – Telety (3800 m) and Ala Kol (3800 m). Some sections of the terrain is steep and rocky.

Equipment and Gear

You can wear a a quick dry t-shirt and bermudas or long trekking pants for the trek. An outer shell is required as to protect from the weather changes. When at the camps and after sundown, a basic layer of thermal and/or fleece jacket are needed to keep warm. A down sleeping bag is needed and sleeping mat is provided.

A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.

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DAY ITINERARY MEALS
1

Arrive Bishkek.

Overnight: Bishkek hotel (800m)

-/-/D
2

Transfer to Karakol.

Overnight: Karakol hotel (1750m)

B/L/D
3

Karakol city tour. Transfer to Djety Oguz Gorge campsite with sightseeing enroute.

Overnight: Yurt in Djety Oguz Gorge campsite (2600m)

B/L/D
4-9

5D trek from Djety Oguz Gorge to Altyn-Arashan. Day 9 transfer to Cholpon Ata.

Overnight: Tents at Telety camp (3050m), Karakol camp (2500m), Ala-Kul camp (3600m), Arashan camp (2600m), Cholpon Ata hotel (1633m)

B/L/D
10

Transfer to Bishkek.

Overnight: Bishkek hotel (800m)

B/L/D
11 Depart Bishkek. B/-/-

 

DATES PRICE
4-14 Aug 2021 $2,970.00 (SGD)  / person
  • Open international group
  • Group size: 6 – 10 people
  • You can also form a private group for this trek. For enquiry, send an email to us at contact@aceadventure.com.sg
Inclusions
  • Return airport transfer in Bishkek
  • All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Boiled drinking water, coffee & tea at camps
  • Accommodation: Local 3-star hotel in Bishkek, Karakol and Cholpon Alta (twin/triple sharing); tent (twin sharing) during trek
  • Camping equipment: Sleeping tent, sleeping mat, dining tent and toilet shed.
  • Trek support: Climbing guides (1 guide to 7 trekkers) and porters (1 porter to 2 trekkers)
  • Permits and fees: Conservation and National Park fees
Exclusions
  • International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
  • Visa fee (if any)
  • Single supplement
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • All tipping
  • Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover travel agent insolvency and trekking up to 4000m)
  • Personal expenses like shopping, laundry, etc.
  • Personal travel and trekking gear – warm clothing, shoes, backpacks, etc.
  • Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (e.g. climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items, etc.)
  • Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
  • Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions

We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the climb:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)

We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local partner is one of the biggest and most established adventure operators in Kyrgyzstan.

Visa

Holders of ordinary passports issued by the following countries do not need a visa to enter Kyrgyzstan as long as their trip does not last longer than the visa-free period listed below.

Duration

Countries

Unlimited

Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Cuba, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, North Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Vietnam

90 days

Mongolia, Serbia, Ukraine

60 days

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Vatican

30 days

Malaysia

Citizens of all countries, including China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, can apply for an e-visa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the www.evisa.e-gov.kg website. Processing takes 5 working days, and the price will depend on the duration (from 30 to 90 days) and the number of entries. Payments can be made with VISA and MasterCard. 
The electronic visa is valid for arrivals and departures at Manas International Airport (Bishkek), Osh International Airport (Osh), and various land crossings with China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

For latest updates and details of visa application, please visit www.evisa.e-gov.kg.

Money

Currency exchange services are available at hotels, banks and moneychangers. Banks and moneychangers accept most major currencies like USD, EUR and GBP. Note that neither banks nor moneychangers will accept any foreign currency that is torn, marked, excessively crumpled, or defaced in any way, so be sure to carefully check any notes you intend to bring into the country for defects. Watch out also for differing small-bill (USD20 or less) and large-bill (USD50 or more) rates; the bigger bills get better rates. Check and count your cash carefully before leaving a moneychanger. Do not fall prey to petty cheats.

Outside of the major cities, banks and moneychangers are scarcer so make sure you carry enough cash.

Kyrgyzstan is still very much a cash economy. Credit cards are rarely used. ATMs are common in Bishkek, but less available in small towns.

Electricity

Kyrgyzstan’s electricity is 220V and 50HZ. The plugs used are the two narrow round pins Type C and Type F, which are commonly used in Europe.

Language

Being part of the former Soviet Union, the official language used is mainly Russian especially in the cities. As you move out into the rural areas, Kyrgyz, a Turkic language, is more commonly spoken by the nomadic Kyrgyz people. English is gaining popularity but still spoken only by those serving tourists.

Drinking Water

Tap water is said to be potable in Bishkek but safer to rely on bottled or boiled water. For the rest of the country, it is better to drink bottled water that is readily available, or boiled water at camp.

Tipping

Tipping is generally not practiced in Kyrgyzstan, except for tour/trek guides, porters and long haul drivers. Tipping in hotels is also not expected, with the bellman or porter being the exception. You should plan on tipping the hotel porter $1 per bag and perhaps a little more at a higher end hotel.

Full service restaurants typically impose a service charge and that is usually considered to be sufficient. Tipping is also not expected in taxis and drivers would usually return your change.

 
Travel Safety Advice

With evolving world situations that may occur unexpectedly due to natural disasters, pandemics/epidemics, conflicts and unrests, it is best to read up and keep tabs on news and developments at your destination country and region before the trip. Check on the country’s official website and/or your own foreign ministry website for any travel advisory or safety precautions to be taken while abroad.

As with traveling in anywhere in the world, regardless of the local crime rate, stay vigilant and take care of personal safety. Good to read up on any possible exposure in the country prior to departure.

It is a good practice to register with your respective foreign ministry if there is such a service provided to citizens, to contact you in order to make sure that you are safe and, if need be, assist you should an emergency (e.g. natural disasters, civil unrest, etc.) occur when you are overseas.

For Singaporeans, this is the link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ eRegister:
https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/eregisterportal/common/preLoginEregisterView.action.

 
Travel Insurance

It is highly recommended to purchase comprehensive travel insurance(s), upon payment of your trip, to cover adverse situations that may occur while you are overseas or even before departure. Ensure that the coverage is suitable for your destination and the activities that you are participating in. Be familiar with the terms and conditions before purchasing and travelling abroad.

 
Travel Immunization Advice 

There is no compulsory vaccine to be taken to enter Kyrgyzstan. You should, however, be up to date on routine vaccinations, especially vaccines against water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (examples: hepatitis, typhoid and tuberculosis) while traveling to any destination. You are encouraged to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition.

Recommended routine vaccinations for travellers in general:

Hepatitis A

Spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route. Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation are poor.

Hepatitis B

Spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.

Rabies

 

Spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.

Tetanus

 

Spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A primary series of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine is recommended for life. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.

Typhoid Fever

Spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.

Influenza

A vaccine specific for a given year to protect against the highly variable influenza virus.

For more information and professional advice on travel vaccinations, please consult your doctor or travel clinic.

For people residing in Singapore, you may visit The Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic (THVC) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital:

Travellers’ Health & Vaccination Clinic
Address: Level 4, Clinic 4B, Tan Tock Seng Hospital Medical Centre
Contact number: 6357 2222
Website : https://www.ttsh.com.sg/Patients-and-Visitors/Medical-Services/Travellers-Health-and-Vaccination-Clinic/Pages/default.aspx.