Altyn Kungey trail

Altyn Kungey trail

Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Season: May – September
Route: Tamga village  – Tamga valley  – Chegedek valley – Altyn Kungey plateau  – Tamga Bel pass – Bugumuyz valley – Bazarbai Bulak valley – Tamga village
Level of difficulty: program is suitable for active people with good health, able to acclimatize on 3500m above the sea level and make hiking passages for 5-7 hours a day. 

Trekking to the foothills of Terskey Ala Too to Tamga and Tosor valleys. 
Climb up the Tamga gorge. Stop at the stone with Buddhist mantra “OM MANI PADME HUM” (“The Universe grants prosperity and abundance to me, who accepts it with an open heart”). Continue ascent to the Chegedek gorge, there we get into the forest zone and further to Altyn Kungay plateau, where will be the first stop for overnight. 
Next day, a radial hike up to the tundra zone to the stunning alpine lake. It is also possible to climb even higher to the Tamga Pass (3889m). Further, the route follows through the upper part of the plateau and descent along an interesting and winding road through a deep forest to the Bugumuyuz valley. Stop in the area of spruce forest and low meadows covered with dense grass and many flowers. Beginning of the fourth day's journey down grassy ravines and ridges, through large slopes, going down to the valleys and canyons of Bazarbai Bulak. These are all Uzunkir mountains - the small ridge located 5-10 km from Issyk-Kul Lake. The reward will be a stunning view of Lake Issyk Kul.
We hope you enjoy this easy trekking full of contrasts!



Day 1.
Tamga village – Tamga valley – Tamga Tash rocks – Chegedek valley – Altyn Kungey plateau

Start the trip from Tamga village. Drive by car along Tamga valley. Road lies among fruit orchards First stop at one of the Tamga Tash rock, which is an ancient historical monument with Buddhist inscriptions engraved by Tibetian monks in X-XI cc. Continue driving along semi-desert terrain of lower part Tamga valley and soon come to forest zone. Start of hiking. You will enjoy the way in the shade of Tien-Shan firs, birches, rowans, many other trees and berry-bushes.  Ascent along Chegedek stream and reach the beginning of Altyn Kungey plateu. Here you pass last forest “islands” and step into alpine meadows area. Footstep of the plateau is located at 2900m and gradually rises to 3200-3400m.Overnight in tents. 
Altitudes (above sea level): Tamga 1685m, Start point 2400m, finish/overnight point 3200m.
Ascent: 800m.  Descent: 0m. Elevation: +800 m.
Distance and travel time: 10-12km, 5-6 hours.

Day 2.
Radial hike to upper reaches of Ter (Tamga) valley, visiting glacier lake and Tamga pass (optional)

This day you can make a radial hike to area of glaciers. One of the highlight of the day is a glacier lake surrounded by steep ice-rocky walls of Terskey range and been underset by end moraine of the glacier. So this day would allow you to see another climate area distinctive from previous two days. Poor, fragile but amazing nature of the high altitude area will bring a lot of diversity to this trekking route. Additional but optional possibility of the day would be ascent to Tamga pass. Its rocky steep trail is not easy task, but as soon as you reach the top of the pass, you get an award by “extra-class view” to Kerege Tash valley surrounded by many other snowy peaks and covered by many mountain lakes. This place is called “syrt” in Kyrgyz language which represent rare land and nature form which is often compared to tundra, because of permafrost. Return back to camp on Altyn-Kungey plateu.  Overnight in tents.
Altitudes (above sea level): Start point 3200m, Lake 3700, Tamga pass – 3889m
Ascent: 500-700m.  Descent: 500-700m. Elevation: 0 m.
Distance and travel time: 5-7 km one direction, 6-8 hours by foot.

Day 3.
Altyn Kungey – Tamga Bel pass – Bugumuyz valley

This day trail follows traversing the upper part of the plateau and descent by interesting and winding road through the deep forest down to Bugumuyuz valley. Again like the first day you will stay camping in the area of fir forest and low meadows covered by deep grass and many flowers.  Overnight in tents.
Altitudes (above sea level): Tamga Bel pass 3250m, camp in Bugumuyuz 2700m.
Ascent: 350-400m.  Descent: 650-700m. Elevation:  -500 m.
Distance and travel time: 13-15 km, 6-8 hours.

Day 4. 
Bugumuyuz valley – nameless pass – Bazarbai Bulak valley – Tamga village

This day also offer interesting way among diverse forest, bushes and variable terrain. You walk on grassy gullies and ridges first, traverse big slopes, descent along valleys and canyons of Bazarbai Bulak. This is all Uzunkyr mountains – a micro mountain range located in 5-10 km from Issyk-Kul Lake. Such close neighborhood allows to have a good panorama of the lakeshore with all little details. Compare to more remote high mountains, climate in Uzunkyr range is more mild and vegetation might differ from previous days. Semidesert area during final approach to the lake make a great contrast compare to the last days. And finally you reach Issyk-Kul Lake with deep blue water and hot sandy beaches. Return to Tamga by car. We hope you like this not difficult trekking route, full of contrasts! 
Altitudes (above sea level): nameless pass 2878m, Tamga 1685m. 
Ascent:  200m.  Descent: 800-1000m. Elevation:  -1000 m.
Distance and travel time: 8-10 km, 4-5 hours

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;
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.