Kyrgyzstan mountain ranges and passes. Kyrgyzstan recreation
Here you can feel like a bird soaring to the peaks.
Cool white clouds will penetrate you adding to the
mystical and unforgettable feeling of touching the heavens.
From their majestic ice citadels to their sweeping verdant valleys, the mountains are the very soul of Kyrgyzstan. Fearless mountaineers pit their skills against peaks of over 7,000 metres while, far below, day-trippers stroll in flower-strewn alpine valleys. Crystal clear lakes reflect the ever-changing sky and families set up summer yurt camps on the jailoo, high mountain pastures.
The arms of two great mountain ranges embrace over 90 per cent of the country: the Tien Shan ("Heavenly Mountains") stretch for 2,500 km from east to west, while the magnificent melee of snowbound peaks which make up the Tajik Pamir spills its dramatic, arid slopes into southern Kyrgyzstan. Over 30 per cent of the country is blanketed in permanent snow and ice.
Kyrgyzstan's mountains are a playground for climbers. Peak-baggers head for the three giants over 7,000 metres.
Straddling the Kazakh border in the east, Khan Tengri ("Prince of Spirits") is the favourite pin-up - rising to 7,010 metres, its perfect pyramid summit of marble and fluted ridges burns in the sunset with the colours of hot coal, earning itself the nickname Kan Too, "blood mountain".
Vast and bulky Jengish Choko'su, known by its Soviet name, Peak Pobeda, is Kyrgyzstan's highest mountain at 7,439 metres. In the Pamir, Kuh-i-Garmo (Peak Lenin) soars to 7,134 metres and is famous among mountaineers as the easiest "seven-thousander" in the world. Off-limits in Soviet times, nearby ranges boast scores of unclimbed peaks, many of which do not require technical skills or much experience.
The mountains encompass a huge variety of beautiful landscapes: alpine valleys of heart-stopping green plummet from glistening glaciers to noisy rivers which leap over massive boulders; wide, silent valleys are home to yaks, birds of prey and rare Marco Polo sheep; and forests of ancient walnut, fragrant juniper and elegant Tian-Shan fir cloak the slopes.
You come away with a heart full of stunning panoramas but also more than that. Maybe it's the thin clear air or the long hours of sunlight, maybe the Silk Road relics and ancient petroglyphs you stumble upon, maybe the bewitching beliefs in life-enhancing rivers; but you take away a feeling of wellbeing, as though revived by the magic and mystique of the mountains.
|Altyn Arashan valley
This is probably the most visited site by foreign travelers visiting Karakol and is reknowned for its beauty. The Altyn Arashan ("Golden Spa") valley leads up from the Ak Suu valley, just South of the village of Teplokluenchka, to a Spartan "hot spring" complex. The road is not an easy one, very steep in places, and requires special heavy duty 4WD vehicles ...
Batken is situated in the extreme southwest of the Republic, and consists of four mountainous regions, with altitudes ranging from 400 to 5,621 m.
The oblast (province) was created in 1999 after incursions by armed militants of the Islamic Movement for Uzbekistan seeking to cross Kyrgyz territory between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan ...
|Jety Orguz - "Seven Bulls"
About 25km southwest of Karakol is a lush valley with some striking red sandstone rock formations (the "Seven Bulls" from which the valley takes its name). There is a legend on the rocks' formation. A Kyrgyz Khan stole the wife of another, who sought advice from a "wise man" about how he could take his revenge ...
The road from Barskoon, which passes up the Barskoon valley, (the A364) used to be one of the routes of the Great Silk Road, passing over the Bedel Pass (4284 m) into China. It is now the main road leading to the Kumtor Gold mine ...
125 km from Bishkek, these canyons stretch for nearly 200km to the Eastern Kyrgyz Range. The canyons have romantic names such as "Grand Canyon", "Bobsleigh"and "Skyscraper". To see the Konorchak Canyons entirely would take years - but it is possible to see spectacular scenery with a few days' exploration...
There are a number of beautiful valleys in the Kungey Ala-Too Mountains (The "Sunny" Ala-Too Mountains) on the Northern side of Lake Issyk Kul. The largest and best known of these are Grigorievka and Semyenovka - some 30 kilometers from Chalpon Ata when traveling from Bishkek The area is criss-crossed by trekking routes - some of which pass over the mountains towards the city of... Almaty in Kazakhstan ...
An interesting site for a short side trip might be a visit to the little hamlet of Svetly Mys, tucked away near the shores of Lake Issyk Kul, just South of the village of Belovodsk - about 50 km from Karakol. This is reputedly the burial place of the Apostle, Saint Matthew. Having been a tax collector, he was called to be a disciple of Jesus ...
The Suusamyr valley is a high steppe plateau - 2,200 meters, which although only some 160 kilometers from Bishkek, is also one of the most remote and rarely visited regions of Kyrgyzstan. Although it is on the other side of the massive Kyrgyz Range from Bishkek and the Chui valley, it is part of the Chui administrative region ...