Asian Patagonia

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Asian Patagonia

Duration: 13 days, 12 nights
Season: July – August
Route: Bishkek city – Osh city – Batken city –  Uzgurush village – beginning of the trek – Buljuma pass – Ak Tash valley –  Djargylchy valley – Turo pass – Kara Suu pass – Kosh Moinok – Orto Chashma valley – Ak Tubek pass – Aksu valley – pass Uryam pass – Uzgurush village – end of the trek – Batken city – Osh city – Bishkek city.

The trekking route goes along the remote paths of the Turkestan ridge in the Pamir-Alay ridge in the valleys of Ak Suu, Orto Chashma, Karavshin. The area is popular for climbers. It reminds South American Patagonia with rock walls 1-1.5 km height. Due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the area there are not many sportsmen and tourists. Lack of infrastructure and only nomad settlements are on the way. In summer, July-August, you can stay in fixed tent camps during the trek. Other time of the year the weather is severe here. Each gorge and pass opens up new species, unlike the previous ones. During the trekking we climb several passes. The highest of them is Ak Tubek 4930m. Crossing coniferous forest area, from moraine to glacier under Ak Tyubek and Ak Su Peaks. On the way here are clear water river crossings, alpine meadows, herds of yaks, several nomad’s settlements, glaciers, peaks without a hint of civilization. At the bottom, closer to the village of Uzgurush, there is the intersection of a walnut-fruit forest, where you can try wild apples, honeysuckle. The village is full of apricot orchards.

 

Day 1.
Airport “Manas” (Bishkek city) – flight to Osh city (700 km) 

Arrival in airport “Manas” (early morning arrival). Meeting with guide in airport. Flight to Osh city altogether. Accommodation in a Hotel, having rest. Evening city tour around Osh in the oldest city of Kyrgyzstan with 3000 years’ history. Sightseeing tour.
Dinner in a local cafe. 
Overnight in a Hotel. 
Altitudes (above sea level):  Manas airport 650m, Osh city 963m.
Distance and travel time:  40 min flight from Bishkek to Osh. 
Day 2.
Osh city – Uzgurush village (360 km) 

Start moving towards the South to Uzgurush village. Stop for lunch in Batken. Passing by Tortkul reservoir. Get over “killed pass”. Aksu Peak could be seen from this point if the weather is ok. Arrive to the beginning of the trek to Uzgurush village. Life here is tranquil. Here people are engaged in agriculture, cattle breeding. They are growing tobacco. Village surrounded with walnut-fruit forests. In the guest house instead of shower there is Russian sauna (“banya”).
Dinner and overnight in a guest house. 
Altitudes (above sea level): Osh city 963m, Batken city 1036m, “killed” pass 1811m, Uzgurush 1700m.
Distances and travel time: 360km, 7 h driving, 8h with stops.
Day 3.
Uzgurush village –  Ak Tash camp (15 km)

Start of the trek. On the way pass by pistachio, apricot, almond trees close to the village. Crossing walnut-fruit forest full of walnuts, apples, honeysuckles. Get over Buljuma pass traversing long down along Buljuma river. Going a bit down through the narrow “Rock gates” to Ak Tash valley. 
Dinner and overnight in a tent camp. 
Altitudes (above sea level): Buljuma pass 2894m, Uzgurush 1700m. 
Distances and travel time:  6-8 h walking, 15 km.
Day 4.
Ak Tash base camp - Djalgychy valley (11km)

Crossing Ak Tash river, walking a bit along the river. Hike up to the Djalgychy pass. From here opens panoramic view to Turkestan ridge. In case of good weather, it’s possible to see Piramidalniy Peak covered with glacier. 
Dinner, overnight in tent camp.
Altitudes (above sea level):  Djargylchy pass 3774 m, 3100 camp.
Distances and travel time: 5 -6 h, 7-8 with stops.
Day 5.
Djalgychy – Orto Chashma (7 km) 

Traverse up the glass slope to the ridge dividing Djalgychy and Kashka Suu valleys. From the pass opens view to the Orto Chashma valley and Turo pass. On the way meeting nomad’s settlements. Crossing juniper and dog-roses bushes in Kashka Suu valley. Passing river Orto Chashma by the wooden bridge. Rest time.
Dinner and overnight in tent camp.
Altitudes (above sea level):  Turo pass 4525m, camp 2800m.
Distances and travel time:  3-4 hours walking.
Day 6.   
Orto Chashma camp – Radial hike to Kara Suu pass (10 km one direction) 

Start moving from the same side of the valley down to the next gorge. On the way passing several streams. Get over Kosh Moinok pass then reach higher Kara Suu pass. It consists of two parts. From the pass opens cool view to tremendous walls:  Kotina, 1000th anniversary of the baptism of Russia, Odessa. Also view to Karavshin valley from the back. Having lunch, returning back to Orto Chashma camp. Optionally it’s possible to go to the portative sauna.
Dinner and overnight in tent camp.
Altitudes (above sea level): camp 2800m, Kosh Moinok pass 3260m, Kara Suu pass 3760m.
Distances and travel time:  10 km, 6-7 h hiking.
Day 7.
Orto Chashma valley – Aktubek camp (7 km) 

Start early in the morning. On the way passing juniper bushes, traverse big river on horses. Hike up towards Ak Tubek pass. 
Dinner and overnight in the tent camp. 
Altitudes (above sea level):  Camp 3300m. 
Distances and travel time:  3-4 h walking.
Day 8.
Aktubek camp –  Aktubek pass – Ak Suu valley (10 km) 

Hike up Ak Tubek pass. It will be the highest point of the trek 4390 m. From there opens view to Peaks: Iskander (5120m), Petrogradec (5165m), Admiralteec (5090m), Aksu (5355m), Block (5229m), Ak Tubek (5125m). Descend down to the Ak Su valley. 
Dinner and overnight in tent camp.
Altitudes (above sea level):  Aktubek pass 4390m, camp 2800m.
Distances and travel time:  5-6 h, 7 with stops. 
Day 9.
Radial hike to the foot of Aksu Peak (7 km one direction) 

Crossing juniper forest. Hiking up moraine to the glacier at the foot of Aksu Peak, passing several streams. Note: need to start not later than 9.30 a.m. to pass one stream before it become strong and full of “live stones”. Descending back a bit different road, but it’s hard to ascent it. Lunch and having rest. Returning to the camp. 
Dinner and overnight in tents.
Altitudes (above sea level):  camp 2800m.
Distances and travel time: 7 h with having rest.
Day 10.
Aksu valley -  Uzgurush village (16 km) 

Go down the valley passing by two nomad’s settlements. Further go along Ak Mechet river. Pass junipers. Reach Ak Suu and Kara Suu rivers confluence.
Cross several bridges. Walk down along the narrow gorge surrounding by picturesque rock walls, along Lyailyak river. End of the trek.
Dinner and overnight in a guest house in Uzgurush village. 
Altitudes (above sea level):   Uzgurush 1450m, camp 2800m.
Distances and travel time: 5-6 h by foot, 7 with stops.
Day 11.
Uzgurush village – Osh city (360 km) 

Drive towards Osh city. Lunch in local cafe in Batken city. It’s possible to stop at the Batken market to buy local dry fruits, Batken pistachios, almond. On the way can stop for fresh cheap fruits. Continue driving to Osh. Accommodation in a Hotel. Having rest. Evening light walking along the city.
Dinner in a local café.
Overnight in a Hotel. 
Altitudes (above sea level):  Uzgurush 1700m, Batken 1036m, Osh city 963m.
Distances and travel time: 360km, 7 h driving, 8h with stops.
Day 12.
Osh city – Bishkek city 

Flight to Bishkek in the morning after breakfast. Driving from airport Manas to the Hotel. Having rest. Excursion around the city.
Evening farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
Overnight in a Hotel.
Altitudes (above sea level): Bishkek 700-800m, Osh city 963m.
Distance and travel time: 40 min flight to Osh city
Day 13.
Bishkek - Airport 

Early breakfast. Driving to the airport. Flight home.
Altitudes (above sea level): Bishkek 700-800m, Manas airport 650m
Distances and travel time:  30-40 min.

 

Recommended clothing and equipment:
Sunscreen (at least 20SPF);
Lip balm;
Sunglasses with UV protection;
At least a 25 Liter backpack for personal items;
Sleeping bag;
Sleeping mat;
Telescopic trekking sticks poles (optional);
Head lamp & batteries; 
T-Shirts, long-sleeved T-shirt, shorts;
Trekking pants;
Underwear;
Fleece jacket or pullover; 
Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional);
Down vest and/or jacket (optional);
Waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex);
Waterproof pants (Gore-Tex);
Thin gloves for trekking and overnight;    
Sun hat or scarf;
Warm fleece hat or light balaclava; 
Trekking/Hiking boots; 
Footwear for around camp.