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Home » Trekking and hiking in mountains Zailiiskiy of Alatau. Northern Tien-Shan mountains of Kazakhstan.

Trekking in Tien-Shan.

Adventure tours in mountains of Kazakhstan.

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move” 

Robert Louis Stevenson «Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes».

Geographical location in Northern Tien-Shan. Northern Tien-Shan stretches from west to east for 400 km. It is divided into two ranges – Zailiski Alatau (“the first range behind Ili river”) and Kungei Alatau (“bright snowy mountains faced to the sun”). Zailiski Alatau is 280 km long and up to 60 km wide. Its northern slopes belong to South-Eastern part of Kazakhstan. Kungei Alatau (275 km long and up to 31 km wide) is situated completely in Kyrgyzstan.
The highest point of Kungey Alatau is Chaktal peak 4771 meters above sea level and of Zailiski Alatau - Talgar peak 5017 meters above sea level.All this mountain system belongs to Chiliko-Keminski mountain junction. The highest part of the ridge is situated between Kastek 2825 meters above sea level in the west and Amanjol 3510 meters above sea level passes in the east. It is about 180 km long.  The biggest glaciers: Korzhenevskogo, Bogatyr, Shokalskogo, Tuyk-Su, Djangaryk.
Route and difficulties – no difficulties. Any healthy person can join this program.

The short description of a route for a walk from Big Almaty gorge to Kim-Asar gorge:

Almaty – Big Almaty gorge – Big Almaty lake - merge of the rivers Ozernay and Tourists - natural boundary Kyzyl-Sai - pass of Tourists - a glacier of Tourists - Archovay glade  - Sunny a glade  - a glade the Alpine Rose -  KAZPI glade - Butakovskii pass – Kim-Asar gorge – Medeo natural boundary - Almaty.

Distance of route: 99 km.
Season: from 10 of July to 10 of September.
The best time for travel: from July, 15th till August, 30th.
Group size: no more than 12 pax.
Duration of the tour: 4 days, 3 nights.

The detailed program of round day after day to gorge Kim-Asar and Medeo valleys:

Guides in Tien-Shan and Central Asia.

1 Day. Almaty.
Arrival in Almaty, meeting at the airport, transfer to hotel, accommodation, rest. Late breakfast. Today you will visit the Orthodox Cathedral of the architect Zenkov, the Park of 28 guards, which was laid out in the mid of 1960s in memory of 28 heroes, who died heroically in the Second World War, the museum of Kazakh Folk Musical instruments, the Republic square, Kok-Tyube, Medeo, the national museum of Kazakhstan. After excursion return to hotel. Overnight in the hotel.
2 Day. Almaty – Big Almaty gorge – Big Almaty lake 2527 meters above sea level (28 km).
Breakfast. Today we will drive to the mountains. The last catastrophically mudflow was in 1989, which had destroyed bridge and all roads in upper of dam. The HES-2 is situated in 300 m to the left after the dam. In Alma-Arasan, there is located the health resort of ex-Soviet railway workers, which was opened in 1938.
Passing bridges we drive into the wide gorge; on the right side of which is the Northern mountainside, growing by the Tien-Shan fir-trees. These fir-trees are evergreen and provide the ozone stratum of atmosphere. Bushes grow the Southern mountainside. By the asphalt covered way we get to the first HES, which is the beginning of HES cascade on the Bolshaya Almatinka River. Here live first peoples from Kabardino-Balkariy, who came here in 1942 in the war period.
Not far from the HES there is ex-camp of prisoners. After building of HES, which was rebuilt into the rest house “Komunalnik”. In the territory of this house is situated the cell. Passing the bridge, consisting of two pipes, there is begun the hair-bend road, which meets all mountain road requirements. We drive further to the lake, crossing the bridge across Kumbel-Su River with deep rocky canyon and the house of observer.
Again we pass some bridges and see the little village with 10 - 12 houses, it is hoses of the different state departments, and after it - is the post with barrier where we are instructed how to behavior in the lake area. Just about 100m and we see Bolshoye Almatinskoye Lake, which is different colored depending on seasons of a year; its diameter is about 1 km; the max depth is about 40m; the absolute height is 2550 meters above sea level. There was the natural dam, which was fixed by the Soviet builders at the beginning of 1970s.
We will base our camp just across the lake near the hydro post. While the group of service base the camp and cookers cook, we will walk at the lake neighboring. We see cupola of Kazakhstan Observatory, named after Shtemberg - the Soviet astrophysicist researcher, on the opposite side of lake. To the left of the Observatory is a road, which is built to Cosmostation, situating on the Dzhusaly-Kezen Pass at a height of 3337 meters above sea level. Lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight in the tents. 
3 Day. Big Almaty lake - merge of rivers Ozernay and Tourist of 3120 meters above sea level (10 km, 4 - 5 hours).
After breakfast we hiking up by the old road, which is divided by the ditch with a partition, it is the result of mudflow. A magnificent view to the Ozernyi Peak unfolded before us; the height of this peak is 3999 meters above sea level. Soon we are coming to ford across the Ozernaya River, our guide help you to cross the river.
To the South of Ozernyi peak we see not so high peaks Chaibolsana, Karniznyi and Tourist. So we come to the place of 3 rivers confluence – Ozernyi, Tourist and Mutnyi; here we have launch; and the old destroyed road takes us to the East to the place Kyzyl-Sai (as Sheferds call). In the Soviet time here based summer hydro and meteor observers post, which observed the water level and the weather. Here we are under the beautiful peak Molodaya Guard, with height of 4000m. Lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight in the tents. 
4 Day. Merge of rivers Ozernay and Tourists – valley Kyzyl-Sai of 3600 meters above sea level - pass Tourists of 4000 meters above sea level - glacier Tourists (7 km, 5 - 6 hours).
After breakfast we cross the river and begin the climbing to the moraine. The climbing to the pass takes about 2 hours. In some places we climb by the glacier, which is begun from the Eastern side of the Molodaya Guard Peak and then we go by the stony path, which begin the climbing to the Tourist Pass.
From the walking by the path the movement is getting low. Hard and sharp climbing on the one hand, and the height on the other. Soon we will be on the Pass. Who can and desire he (or she) can go to the crosspiece (it takes 1,5 hours); there is a magnificent view to the Maloye Almatinskoye gorge.
We return and begin the descent of the Pass. About 400-500m we go by the glacier. After the glacier – is the path, which passes between moraine hills, and soon we again come to the large glacier Tourist, from this place we will descent to our camp. Lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight in the tents. 
5 Day. A glacier of Tourists – Archovay glade (6 km, 3 - 4 hours).
Breakfast. Today we go down by the gorge by moraine hills. There are no any plants, on the right and left sides we can see snow-glacial spurs. Soon we go by the path, which is between Alpine meadows, and we get to glade, where grow many bushes. The local name of these bushes is archa. Thus, by the path we get to the glade. Here we have a launch and after having rest we go to the neighbor gorge, which is tired out in the south by the large circus.
First, we go by the right side of the river, before us is a large moraine, which we go around on the right side. Here is the large circus before us; the exit from the gorge is behind us. On the right, from the western side is a large glacier Dmitriev, which’s one part, is from the eastern side of the Molodaya Guard Peak. In the south there are peaks of 4000m – Konstitutsiya, Bogatyr, Pravda and etc. After having rest we return to the camp. Lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight in the tents. 
6 Day. Archovay glade  - Sunny glade  - glade Alpine Rose - river Left Talgar 2250 meters above sea level – KAZPI glade (13 km, 4 - 5 hours).
Breakfast. Today we continue our tour in the one of the picturesque parts of our trekking. In 1km from archa glade we get to the Sunny glade. The Soviet tourists gave the attractive names for beautiful landscapes of the Tien-Shan Mountains.
The Sunny glade is a large place with the meadow plant. Passing this glade we begin our climbing to an ancient moraine, growing by fir-trees, which partitions of gorge between the left mountainside and the left Talgar River. Passing moraine we go to the fir forest, often cross little streams, which flow from the left mountainside. Higher on this mountainside there are one of the highest peaks of the Northern Tien-Shan – Ordzhonikidze and Komsomol (over 400m).
Soon we pass the pool, which is the result of mudflow, and again we go by the path. We pass the path, which takes us to the Talgar Pass and to the ski resorts Chimbulak and Medeo. In the afternoon we come to the glade of the educational institute. Lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight in the tents. 
7 Day. KAZPI glade – Butakovskii pass – Kim-Asar gorge – Medeo valley - Almaty (35 km).
Breakfast. Hiking: KAZPI glade  - Medeo valley (10 km, 5 – 6 hours). Today after the glade of educational institute we begin climbing to the gently sloping pass Butakovskyi. On the right is the Left Talgar gorge, if downing by this gorge, we will get to the Almaty preserve.
There is a path from the pass, going by this path we get to the Kim-Asar River, then we come to the car, which takes us to the down. Lunch on the way. Arrival on the Medeo natural boundary. Transfer to Almaty (25 km). Arrival in Almaty, transfer to hotel, accommodation. Free time. Closing drinks. Overnight in the hotel.     
8 Day. Almaty.
Transfer to airport, departure from Almty.

Big Almaty lake.In vicinities of a glacier of Tourists. Gorge Left Talgar.In gorge Left Talgar.In gorge Left Talgar.In gorge Left Talgar.In gorge Left Talgar.Sunny glade in gorge Left Talgar.Gorge Kim-Asar.Glade the Alpine rose.In gorge Left Talgar.Kind on town from gorge Kim-Asar.Mountain top in vicinities of gorge Kim-Asar.Vicinities of gorge Kim-Asar.

Author program is Alexander Petrov. Copying and introduction -  from the sanction of the author  petrovsra@mail.ru

Alexander Petrov and Sergey Mikhalkov.
photos.