Trekking to The Heart of Tian-Shan (via At-Jailoo)

Duration of tour: 10 days 

Level of tour: Medium - Hard 

Itinerary: Karakol (by car) – At-Jailoo – Iva - Glina - Mertzbakher Glade - radial access to the Lake - Komsomolskiy - Dikiy - South Inylchek base camp (1 day walk to the foot of Khan Tengri peak).

Back way: South Inylchek BC - Karkara BC (by helicopter) – Karakol (by car)

Level of difficulty: This track is oriented for people with good health and training, because the route consists of long passages over rough terrain, sharp fluctuations in temperature and ascents to a height of 4000 meters above sea level.

Day 1. Karakol - At-Jailoo BC. 200 km, 5-6 hours, +800 m. 

Transfer to At-Jailoo base camp from Karakol.  200 km drive will take us about 6 hours. The road passes through a number of villages, and then continues up along the canyon Turguen Ak Suu towards Ashuu Chon Pass (3808m). Descent to Ashuu Tor valley. On the way we pass by Koilu and Sary Jaz rivers. Dinner and overnight in At Jailoo camp.

Day 2. At Jailoo Camp – Camp Iva (2900m a.s.l.) 18 km, 5-7 hours, +400 m. 

Trekking from At-Jailoo along Inylchek River to the beginning of Inylchek glacier. Crossing the river around 8 am, while  level of water is low. We cross its freezing cold water, but it gets more difficult the later we do it. Highly recommended to bring along the sandals that you can wear when crossing the river and streams.  

Day 3. Camp Iva – Camp Glina (3100m a.s.l.) 8 km, 5-6 hours, +200 m. 

We go up and down, up and down all the time on the glacier. Lunch on the glacier at about 1 pm. Then we ascent another steep terrace along a narrow trail. The variety of terrains and the steepness of the slope trails will add some more adrenaline in blood. The Inylchek Glacier is the largest glacier and centerpiece of the Central Tien Shan. Extending 62 km in length with a width of over 3 km, the Inylchek Glacier is the third longest glacier outside the Polar Regions. 

Day 4. Camp Glina – Merzbacher Glade (3400m a.s.l.) 9 km, 5-6 hours, +300 m. 

We trek up and down various terraces though have also about 10 km of straight path. Only once, we trek across a small glacier, passing a river and have lunch on the shore of a small lake, swim and rest. It will be an hour left to get to the Camp. Merzbacher glade is the last grassy place in the area located just across the unique Merzbacher Lake. 

On the way

 

Day 5. Merzbacher Lake. 10 km, 5-6 hours

Across South Inylchek glacier up to Mertzbacher Lake. The trekking time both ways is 5-6 hours. Sandwiched between the Northern and Southern branches of the glacier lies the mysterious Merzbacher Lake, which form every summer and then, sometime in August, burst through the ice banks and the waters flow into the Inylchek River. 

Day 6. Merzbacher Lake – Komsomolskiy Glacier 3800m a.s.l. 12 km, 4-6 h, +400 m.

It is a long day of trekking surrounded with beautiful landscapes – snow, rocks and multi-colored ice – black, white and sometimes even striped. The terrain is very diverse: rivers, crevices, ascents and descents, the hikes around those take much time and energy. It will be our first night on the glacier. 

Day 7. Komsomolskiy Glacier – Dikiy Glacier 3900m a.s.l. 7 km, 3-5 h, +100 m. 

Trekking in this part of Tien Shan is absolutely fabulous. The distinctive characteristic of the region is a great number of nameless peaks, unclimbed yet, about 5000m above sea level high. From Dikyi camp you have beautiful view of Khan Tengri, Pobeda, Gorky, Chapaev, Trehglavaya peaks. 

Day 8. Dikiy glacier – South Inylchek base camp 4100m a.s.l. 8 km, 4-6 h, +200 m. 

We cross the whole glacier till the central moraine where the base camp is situated. The path is covered with rocks, ice, creeks, lakes and cracks. But it is possible to do without any ropes and crampons. Inyclhek Base Camp is ideally situated in the heart of North Tien-Shan at the South Inylchek glacier approximately at 4000 m. above the sea level. It has a picturesque view of Khan-Tengri (7010 m) and Pobeda (7439 m) peaks. Overnight in BC in tents. 

Day 9. South Inylchek base camp. Rest day at South Inylchek BC or radial hiking to Khan-Tengri Peak (7010 m a. s. l.). The beautiful pyramid of Khan Tengri is without doubt the Jewel of the Tien Shan. It is the second highest mountain in this most northerly and remote of the great Asian mountain ranges. 

Day 10. Helicopter flight to Karkara helicopter pad – transfer to Karakol. 200 km, 3 h, -2500 m.

Breakfast. Helicopter flight from Inylchek BC to Karkara BC, where you will be meeted by our car and delivered to  Karakol. End of service. 

Equipment

Equipment and items for trekking part:

  • Sleeping bag up to -10 C
  • Good trekking boots with high proper ankle support and good thread, pair of sandals
  • Waterproof rain jacket and trousers
  • Warm closes and extra closes to exchange
  • Hat and cap, sun glasess, high factor sun cream
  • Daypack 50-60 litters and rain cover. It is also good idea to line your daypack with a quality plastic bag
  • Head-torch
  • Bottle for water
  • Quick drying towel
  • First aid kit, if you have some disease
  • Recommended to have

  • Walking sticks
  • Toiletries
  • Insect repellants (for lower elevations)
  • Water purification tables or a water filter (more details in Notes)
  • Some Diamox pills against potential altitude sickness (if you don’t have altitude adaptation)
  • Pocket knife
  • Important Notes

    WATER

    While on a trek, you are in the wild to enjoy the nature and the thrill of it. Its very important that you stay healthy and do not take ill on the trek to have a joyful experience in the wild. Water is important during trekking, we are providing boiled water or tea/coffee during breakfast and dinner, however boiling the water is limited, and it is not enough if you will need to fill up your bottles for next day. Water can be a cause of stomach problems on a trek. On the other hand, you need to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Always fetch water from running streams. The faster the better. Stagnant water has high risk of bearing pathogens, irrespective of the cold surrounding. Whereas, as fast gushing water has very low chances of bearing pathogens in it. It even has less particulate materials. You will be able to fill up water from natural springs, it’s the best as it acts as a natural filter and has very less chances of having particles in it. Local people same as a lot of tourist don't have a problems to drink water from the source, however if you are not sure please bring water cleaning pills with you for the trek from your homeland. You will not be able to find water cleaning pills in Kyrgyzstan.

    LUGGAGE ON TOUR

  • Main Baggage:
  • The item of luggage used to carry all your belongings in the hold of the plane and used to store all of the items you don't need on trek. This can be left behind at the group hotel used prior to the trek.
  • Luggage to the porters:
  • That tour is not including porters, due to transition is going from camp to camp, where tent and meal (D,B,L) will be provided. If you need a porter, you need to book beforehand. Price for 1 porter is 40USD per day. Additionally, it is need to pay 300$ for his helicopter flight.
  • Daysac/Rucksack:
  • 50-60 liters recommended, which will fit all of your staff. In mountain region, the weather can change very fast and you must be equipped for this eventuality.

    TRECKKING GRADE

    You need to have a good level of fitness and previous trekking experience. Trekking days are generally longer, challenging and at higher altitudes up to 4200 meters. Terrain may be difficult and ascents and descents are often demanding, especially during rain or snow.

    INSURANCE

    Travel insurance is NOT included. We recommend that clients have their own travel insurance against illness, injury, loss/damage to personal belongings. In case of emergency our staff will make all the best to delivery you to hospital or other point and solve your problem, insurance will cover your charges, if you don't have insurance, you will be required to cover charges by yourself.

    MEAL

    Breakfast: consist some of following dishes: Porridge, omelet, omelet with fried sausages, pancakes, scrambled eggs with sausage, boiled eggs and etc + bread, jam, butter, honey, sweets, tea/coffee. Lunch boxes or lunch: Dried fruits, chocolate, yogurt, juice, cheese, sandwich, vegetables/fruits and tea/coffee. Dinner: Our cooks is preparing european and asian cuisine You need to let us know if you are vegetarian or have some preferences, so we will be able to make special menu for you.

    TIPPING

    Service of local staff is included to the program; however, it is polite to tip to local staff if the service has been very good. Also at your discretion, you might also consider tipping your tour manager in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.

    Terms and Conditions

    Price
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    MAP

    Map of trekking via At-Djailoo | Kyrgyzstan
    Trip to Inylchek Glacier in Tien-Shan mountains, Kyrgyzstan.

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