Mountaineering and Climbing
Kyrgyzstan is a very mountainous country, with summits of different difficulties. The country has three peaks above 7,000 m (22,966 ft), which are an ideal destination for mountaineering. Please note that this sport, although exciting, can be dangerous.
You can try different summits during your stay in Kyrgyzstan. For that, you’ll need specialized equipment and a good training. You should be an experienced climber, in good physical condition, and aware of mountain safety recommendations before adventuring yourself on Kyrgyzstan’s high and isolated summits. You can climb alone or in a group, but it is always safer to be accompanied. For amateurs of high altitude mountain, treks, and climbing expeditions, Kyrgyzstan offers the best possible conditions.
There are eight spots listed as most interesting for climbing in Kyrgyzstan. Five of them are in the Tian Shan mountain range, which spreads from East to West of the country, from China to the south where it serves as a natural frontier. The other three spots are in the Pamir, one of the highest mountain ranges in the world.
In the Tian Shan range, these spots are: Ak Shiyrak, Ala Archa, Tian Shan Central, West Kokshaal Too and Terskey Ala-Too. In the Pamir: Alai, Zaalai and Turkestan.
The most popular summits for professional alpinists are, of course, the three giants of Kyrgyzstan, Peak Pobeda (7,439 m or 24,406 ft), Khan Tengri (7,010 m or 22,999 ft) and Lenin (7,134 m or 23.406 ft). The carved summits of Ala Archa and Karakol Kokshaal are also a great training ground, with difficult and technical peaks to reach.
The Pobeda and Khan Tengri summits are located between the North and South Inylchek glacier, also called Engilchek, a great place for trekking. It is one of the biggest glaciers in the region: 62 km (38.5 miles) long, 3.5 km (1.8 miles) large and with ice depths varying between 150 and 200 m (492 to 656 ft). It’s the sixth largest non-polar glacier in the world, and the fastest moving glacier.
The glacier is surrounded by high summits, for many unclimbed and unnamed that reach 6,000 m (19,685 ft). It also nestles the mysterious Merzbacher Lake, which fully disappears once or twice each year, in a mechanic that is still to be understood. At the base camp, temperatures vary between -15 and 7 C (5 to 44F) during the day and are always below freezing at night.