Be part of an expedition team to explore an untamed, isolated region within the Inner Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country with a wilderness that truly feels limitless. The ridgelines there are rugged, the meadows filled with shaggy mountain sheep, and the peaks are all snow-capped. This expedition takes you to the Tien Shan mountain range to summit some of the phenomenal peaks there. You’ll also trek across semi-nomadic territories in one of Asia’s growing adventure destinations.
Your aim is to climb the unclimbed summits. Your guides will help you explore an untamed and isolated region of the inner Tien Shans. After setting up basecamp, you’ll explore in a different direction each day and endeavour first ascents of peaks in the 4800 metre range.
- Attempt (and hopefully succeed) to summit unclimbed peaks
- Enjoy a basecamp style expedition
- Unbelievably breath-taking scenery
- Passes at 3,500 metres and peaks that rise to 5,000 metres
- Improve mountaineering skills and increase your competency with crampons, ropes, and the ice axe
- Meet and interact with Kyrgyz shepherds and visit small semi-nomadic villages
- Relax at the end of it all on the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul
Kyrgyzstan’s peak account for 95% of the countries mountains. And almost half of them are over 3,000 metres. Get familiar with Khan Tengri or the formidable Jengish Chokusu.
This adventure presents an opportunity to achieve mountaineering’s ultimate goal. All the while surrounded by remote and stunning wilderness, enjoying passing encounters with the local shepherds.
It’s also an opportunity to get away from hectic modern life. The nomadic culture of the country offers a wonderful blueprint for a simple and spiritual way of life. They care for and respect the animals in their flocks, live in yurts in secluded encampments, and are almost always eager to share the warnings and wisdom they’ve earned from a life lived deep in the mountains.
For this expedition, all team members will need to be familiar with using ice axes and crampons. If you’ve had a few alpine experiences prior to this, you’ll be satisfied with the level of challenge involved in the Tien Shans. Your guides will help you improve your skills at lower altitude levels in order to help you feel confident once you reach those towering peaks.
We like this operator because they run their expeditions with what they call ‘framework itineraries.’ They don’t create set daily plans and their trips don’t look or feel like guided tours. They make daily plans based on the group’s needs and abilities, as well as what the weather and trail are telling them. It’s a pioneer-type approach that most people love.
Adventure to this unexplored region in largely unexplored Kyrgyzstan. Set your sights on one of those incredible peaks and see if your guides think it has potential. It could be your peak that day – the sense of accomplishment once you’re done will be unbelievable. Enquire today to learn more.
Why We Love This Adventure
- Enjoy a basecamp style expedition to summit un-climbed peaks
- Meet and interact with Kyrgyz shepherds
- Improve you mountaineering skills
The Tien Shan, meaning the Mountain of Heaven, is one of the mightiest mountain ranges in Asia. Passing through China, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, with a width of 400 km and length of up to 2,000 km, two-thirds of this mountain range rises up out of land-locked Kyrgyzstan.
Characterised by a combination of mountain ranges, intersected by valleys and basins such as the Turfan Depression – 154m below sea level and the lowest point in Central Asia – the elevation differences in the Tien Shan are extreme (over 7 km!).
This expedition is run with a framework itinerary, rather than guided tours with set daily plans. The following is the outline plan for this epic Kyrgyzstan expedition – the ‘substance’ rather than the specifics. A fuller itinerary is provided in the Kyrgyzstan Expedition Handbook which is available on request or upon application to join the team.
All teammates fly into Bishkek on or before day one of the expedition and will make their way to the local hotel by 1100 on the 26th August to meet the team leader. Departing from Bishkek around midday, the expedition officially begins with a six-hour drive to Tamga Village on the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul where the team will sit down for an introductory briefing over dinner.
Setting off from Tamga, the team will transfer by Soviet 6WD trucks through the Barskoon pass to basecamp – home for the next eight days. Day one of the trekking phase will be used to acclimatise, recce the area on exploratory treks and practice a few essential winter mountaineering techniques before the real ascents begin.
With your basecamp tent set up for the week and cooks preparing local cuisine, energy levels should be high, ready to explore the range and identify potential peaks. The very nature of mountaineering expeditions dictates that a summit is never guaranteed, but the group leader will consider weather conditions and team potential to ensure the team maximise their chance of claiming a first summit in the region.
Don’t forget to bring a camera for those all-important summit shots!
With the peak(s) officially bagged (weather and conditions permitting) you’ll travel back to Tamga village for a relaxing day exploring the local area and swimming in the magnificent Lake Issyk-Kul. The following morning you will say goodbye to the basecamp crew and transfer back Bishkek for a final celebratory dinner.
All teammates are then free to organise onward travel from Bishkek from the morning on the 8th September (including flights leaving in the early morning on this date)
- Professional expedition leader.
- Full communications and medical kit supported by 24hour UK Operations room.
- Local English speaking IFMGA mountain guide and drivers.
- Registration with local Rescue Services.
- All meals including local cooks and porters.
- All transport as outlined in the itinerary.
- All specialist and safety equipment.
- All accommodation.
- All local permits.
What's Not included
- International flights.
- Transfers from airport to hotel.
- Local airport taxes and international visas.
- Insurance (compulsory)
- Tips to local guides (discretionary but appreciated).
- Beverages and any costs of a personal nature.
- Personal equipment (your Handbook will contain a kit list).
- Any activities, transport or accommodation outside of the itinerary.
Trip Duration14 days
Start LocationBishkek, Kyrgyzstan
End LocationBishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Average Group Size12
Please make an enquiry for full details.
Please make an enquiry for full details.
Please make an enquiry for full details.
This Trip is Suitable For
This expedition is achievable by anyone with a healthy lifestyle and a good level of general fitness.
Team members should be willing to be part of a team working together to achieve the goal of the expedition. As a team member, you should have an adventurous and robust spirit. At a basic level, you should be comfortable jogging for at least 45 minutes and walking for eight hours in the hills, carrying 15kg for three consecutive days. The biggest challenge on this expedition will be dealing with the trekking at altitude in potentially cold or snowy weather conditions, carrying full winter kit and camping for many days.
Previous experience of alpine conditions is necessary to join this expedition. Teammates are expected to have knowledge of basic alpine skills including the use of crampons and ice axes. Anyone who has not done this before is invited to train to achieve this in advance of departure as proof of experience is required on this epic expedition. This is an opportunity for those with previous alpine skills to further develop their skills in a challenging expedition environment.
Minimum fitness requirements:
- Trek: up to eight hours per day.
- Carry: up to 15kg.
- Terrain: rocky and uneven trails and paths below the snow line. Above the snow line expect snow, ice and often steep, exposed terrain which may be glaciated.
- Altitude: up to 5000m.
- Climate: temperatures ranging from 25ºC to -10ºC at night.
- Age: 21+
Dates & Availability
- 25 Aug 2019 – 07 Sep 2019
This trip can be tailor made for your perfect travel dates. Please make a booking enquiry for more information.
When it comes to getting off the beaten track these guys can’t be beaten. They lead pioneering expeditions to some of the most remote regions on earth. The organisers are dedicated to creating imaginative experiences for adventurers around the world and their team of expert military guides are some of the most experienced in the industry. Nowhere is off limits and no idea is too crazy. They have achieved ground breaking world firsts such as mountain biking in Afghanistan and mountaineering in Iraq and their first ever expeditions to walk across Madagascar and pioneer white water rafting in South Sudan both made the headlines…. and a bit of history.
Being wild and wacky is one thing but with their background as commanders in the British Army and experienced team of specialists in every kind of terrain and environment means that all of their adventures are thoroughly planned and the safety and security of teams is always their highest priority. Expeditions can be inherently risky, but they do everything possible to minimise potential hazards and for that, and the utterly extraordinary trips they put on, we salute them.
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