Ski tour in Ala Archa and Arabel

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Ski tour in Ala Archa and Arabel

Duration: 14 days, 13 nights
Season: February –  May
Route: Bishkek – Ala Archa National Park – Issyk Kul valley – Bishkek 
Level of difficulty: intensive program for intermediate and higher level experience of skiers

Suitable time for the program “Skiing in Ala Archa Natural Park and Arabel Valley” is mid-February, end of March, April. Depending on snow contditions. At Big Ala Archa glacier's conditions allow to ski even in May.
Ski areas: Big Ala Archa glacier, Ak Sai glacier. Ascent and descent along the Corona Glacier. In most cases, you can ski below the upper crack or sometimes, if the condition on the North wall allows you may ski above it (from the saddle below the rocky peaks). 
Transfer to the Issyk-Kul region. Skiing in the area of the Arabel valley.
Drive to the Arabel plateau and one-day exits to nearby peaks. Possible to arrange accommodation in Tamga guesthouse and travel to the area every day (80 km one way, an hour or an hour and a half drive), which provides better comfort, but requires more time for approaches. Camping is possible on a plateau with basic comfort.

Day 1
Airport “Manas” – Bishkek – Ala Archa National Park

Meeting in airport of Bishkek (Manas) early in the morning. Drive to Bishkek, accommodation in hotel. After some rest and breakfast, drive to Ala Archa National park (45km from Bishkek). Leave a car at former mountaineering camp “Ala Archa” and hike to abandoned mountain hut below Big Ala Archa glacier. Stay in the mountain hut. (BLD)
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Bishkek – 700 m, mountaineering camp “Ala Archa”- 2200m, mountain hut – 3400m
Distances and travel time: Airport "Manas" - Bishkek 35 km, 40 min, Bishkek – Ala Archa 45km, 1-1,5h, 18 km hike, 7-9 hours.

Days 2-3-4
Big Ala Archa glacier and surroundings

Day long skitour trips from the mountain hut.  (BLD)
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): mountain hut – 3400m, surrounding summits – up to 4200, most of skitour trips ends at 4000m.
Distances and travel time: approach ski start in km, depends on area.

Days 5
Big Ala Archa glacier – “Ala Archa” mountaineering camp 

Half day skiing. Descent back to alplager “Ala Archa”. Stay in hotel. (BLD)
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): mountain hut – 3400m, mountaineering camp “Ala Archa”- 2200m, 
During hiking approach: Elevation: -1200m. Distance: around 18km. Time on the way: around 4-5 hours.
Distances and travel time: way down 18 km, 4-5 hours down.

Day 6
“Ala-Archa” mountaineering camp – “Ratcek” hut – “Korona” refuge

Ascent to Ratcek hut in Ak Sai valley and further to mountain refuge at confluence of Korona and Ak Sai glaciers. Stay in mountain refuge or tents. (BLD)
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): mountaineering camp “Ala Archa”- 2200m, Ratcek hut – 3350m, Korona refuge – 3900m.
Distances and travel time: 10km, 6-8 hours.

Day 7
Korona glacier

Ascent and descent along Korona glacier. In most of cases it is possible to ski below upper crevasse or sometimes if condition allows on the North wall above it (from saddle below rocky summits). Stay in mountain refuge or tents. (BLD)
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Korona refuge – 3900m, upper crevasse – 4700, saddle – 4800m.
Distances and travel time: approach ski start in km, depends on route.

Day 8
Ala Archa – Bishkek 

Descent to mountaineering camp “Ala Archa” and drive to Bishkek. Accommodation in hotel. (BLD) 
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Bishkek – 700 m, mountaineering camp “Ala Archa”- 2200m, mountain hut – 3400m
Distances and travel time: 10km down, 4-5 hours, Ala Archa – Bishkek 45km, 1-1,5h.

Day 9
Bishkek – Tamga 

Take a car drive to Tamga. Optionally: on the way visiting archeological- architectural complex “Burana tower”, which is UNESCO heritage and “Skazka” sandstone formations. Accommodation in guesthouse. (BLD)
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Karakol – 1800m, Tamga - 1685m.
Distances and travel time: Bishkek – Tamga 320km, 6hours, way to Burana from the main road 13km in one direction.

Days 10-11-12
Tamga – Arabel plateau (80km by car one way, 1,5 hours driving)

Drive by car to Arabel plateau and make day long trips to surrounding summits. It is possible to arrange accommodation in Tamga village and drive into the area each day which gives better comfort but takes longer time for approaches. Or build a tent camp in skiing area which make all things vice versa. (BLD)
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Tamga - 1685m, Arabel plateau – 3750-3900m, surrounding summits – up to 4500m.
Distances and travel time: Tamga – Arabel 80km in one direction, 1-1,5h.

Day 13
Tamga – Bishkek (330km by car, 6 hours driving)

Transfer to Bishkek. Accommodation in hotel. (BLD)
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Tamga – 1685m, Bishkek – 700 m. 
Distances and travel time: Tamga – Bishkek 320km, 6 hours.

Day 14
Bishkek – Airport "Manas"

Transfer to airport and take a flight home. (B)
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Bishkek – 700 m.
Distances and travel time: Bishkek – Airport 35km, 40min by car.

 

Service includes:
1. Professional ski tour guide (in rate 1 guide 4 people);
2. Twin/Double accommodation according the program;
3. Transport for transfers during all the tour(4WD);
4. Meeting and seeing-off at the airport;
5. Full board;
6.Mineral water 1l per person per day.

Service doesn't include: 
1. Single supplement;
2. Alcohol and soft drinks;
3. Transfers, excursions over the program etc.;
4. Medical insurance.

Clothing and Equipment:
Sunscreen (at least 20SPF);
Lip balm;
Sunglasses with UV protection;
At least a 25 Liter backpack for personal items;
Head lamp spare bulbs & batteries;
Long-sleeved T-shirt;
Underwear;
Fleece jacket or pullover;
Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional);
Down vest and/or jacket; 
Waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex);
Waterproof pants (Gore-Tex);
Gloves;  
Warm fleece hat;
Ski suit;
Avalanche safety kit (minimum: beeper, shovel, probe);
Personal ski tour equipment.