Ski touring in Ak-Shirak Range
Best season: March – April
Location: Central Tien-Shan, Kyrgyzstan
Highly recommended: All group members must to have medical insurance for particular activities with a minimum coverage of USD 40 000.
Alpine landscape, crystal clear air, majestic virgin peaks and glaciers, located in the valleys…. If this picture is attractive for you, we would like to invite you to visit Ak-Shirak Range. The second largest glacier system of the Central Tien Shan is located here. Ak-Shirak Range stretches at the South from Terskey Ala-Too, between the eastern side of Issyk-Kul Lake and Chinese border. The territory size is really huge, it is approximately the 60km in length and the 28 km in width.
As about relief features, the internal part of the range is almost Alpine. Glacial fields are separated with narrow rocky ridges. Passes here are quite gentle and often connected with glaciers. Peaks are diverse in exposition and height; it makes exploring and climbing ven more exciting.
The highest point of the range reaches 5,126 meters. This peak is unnamed and there is no information that it was climbed. There are four peaks of five thousand meters more in this area besides unnamed peak. The average height of the range is about 4,700 meters.
You should take into consideration the fact that frequent snow avalanches and ice slides can happen here during your skiing or climbing programme. Glaciers occupied about 50% of Ak-Shirak territory. The Petrov’s glacier is the biggest, the length is 14 kilometers. It is considered the third largest glacier on the territory of Tien-Shan in Kyrgyzstan. Big glaciers of the range are also Northern Karasai, which is 10 km in length and covers the area of 39 sq. m. The length of Kaindy(Koyandy) Glacier is approximately 8 km and coverage area is 24 square meters. There are more than 150 glaciers with the total area of about 450 square kilometers on the territory of Ak-Shirak. Most of the glaciers are located above the level of 3700 m.
The climate in Ak-Shirak Range, as well as in the most of the Central Tien Shan, is sharply continental, dry, but it is milder than somewhere else in Central Tien-Shan. The average temperature in winter time is -16 degrees Celsius, in spring and autumn it is – 7 degrees. However, it can reach of its minimum -15 or go down up to – 20 degrees.
Approach to Ak-Shirak are quite passable. To the North, West and South sides of the massif can be reached by cross-country vehicle. The itinerary starts at the capital and continue in Tamga Village and further it goes along the Barskoon gorge, through the pass. Even there you still need drive about 200-250 kilometers along the gravel road.
Ak-Shirak is the ideal place for explorers, lovers of virgin snow and pure nature. The area is excellent for those who have a spirit of adventurism, passion and desire for freedom.
1st Day. Arrival
Flight of international airlines will take the members of the group to the Kyrgyz capital airport early in the morning. Representative of our company will meet them and arrange their transfer to Bishkek three stars hotel. Here participants can have some rest and check your equipments. Our company may arrange city tour on request to show you the main sights of our capital, help to purchase necessary food or other stuff for expedition and arrange tasty dinner of local cuisine.
2nd Day. Bishkek – Tamga
After the breakfast, we will arrange transfer to Tamga village. It is located on the way to Ak-Shirak Range, the area for ski-touring. This trip will take about 4-5 hours, the distance between Bishkek and Tamga is about 300 kilometers. During the transfer you can see magnificent scenery of snowy Kyrgyzstan and discuss skiing plan for nearest days. You will stay in guest house upon arrival in Tamga village, situated almost on the shore of Issyk-Kul Lake. Cozy rooms, big home-cooked meal and friendly conversations will give you the warmest impressions from your staying here.
3rd Day. Tamga – Ak-Shirak
You will continue your trip to the Ak-Shirak Range today. All the group members will go to the place of base camp location today. It takes about 4-5 hours, trip to the south direction. Driving distance today is about 200-250 kilometers. Particular location of base camp will be chosen by the group upon arrival. You can relax or arrange acclimatization walking or skiing from the nearest slopes this day.
Important! All participants have to have border permit, because the ski area is located in a border zone.
The area of ski camp location is remote, that is why land transfer can be arranged by truck or cross country vehicle only.
4th-9th Day. Ski touring, new routes
The next few days are planned for acclimatization walking and ski-touring. Ski itinerary should be planned preliminary; the members of group choose routes by themselves, based on the physical conditions of group, ski experience and weather conditions. Participants should have their personal ski outfit.
Important! The North-West slopes of the Ak-Shirak Range are located on the territory of Kumtor gold mining company. This area is protected and closed for tourists. It is not expected that the programme will be arranged on this area.
10th Day. Ak-Shirak – Tamga
The group will go back to the Tamga village after breakfast in the camp. Accommodation in the village will be arranged in a family run guest house. Participants will have time to enjoy tasty dishes of national cuisine and share their impressions from the program.
11th Day. Tamga – Bishkek
After Breakfast in the guest house, we will arrange your transfer to Bishkek; accommodation is planned in three stars hotel these day. After a short rest on arrival, you can go out to purchase souvenirs and enjoy your dinner in the local restaurant.
12th Day. Departure home
Early morning you will have your breakfast before quick transfer to the airport where the airplane is ready to take you to your home country.
Group of 4 people + 1 free guide – USD 1285 per person
Group of 5 people + 1 free guide – USD 1110 per person
Group of 6 people + 1 free guide – USD 1010 per person
Group of 7 people + 1 free guide – USD 925 per person
Service included in the programme price
- All land transportation according to the program
– airport-Bishkek-airport, city sightseeing by car or minibus
– Bishkek – Ak-Shyrak Range BC – Bishkek by 4WD or 6WD vehicle
NB: Vehicle stays in the Base Camp and is available for moving between gorges in the area
- Twin accommodation in the hotels and guest houses as mentioned above
– Bishkek: 3* Hotel (day 2, day 12)
– Tamga: Guest House, shared facilities
- Cook service
– breakfasts in the hotel in Bishkek
– breakfasts and dinners in the Guest House in Tamga
– full board in the mountains
- Bottled water en-route
- All camping and kitchen utensils, camping furniture
- Mess tent (dining tent)
- Formalities: border permits
Price does not include
- English speaking liaison guide and Camp Manager for 10 days (not for skiing) – $850
- Meals in Bishkek – $10-15 per person per lunch or dinner
- Porter / workman – $400 per porter per expedition part (13 days)
- Sleeping bags and carry mats
- Skiing gear
- Alcohol drinks, additional service in the hotels, all other service which is not mentioned as “included service”