SHEPHERDS TRAIL EXPRESS

 
If you look forward for a trekking week in Kyrgyzstan that means either you love and live in the mountains, either you are the guru traveler, you have a great experience of trekking behind the shoulder and your mountain knowledge deserves attention.
Shepherds Trail Express extends in the Great Tien Shan Mountain from our winter ski lodge in Jyrgalan (very east of the country near Kazakhstan) to our hometown Karakol (the capital of Issyk Kul province) and covers mostly lush green, shepherds summer pasture with five different stunning alpine lakes. As our trekking spaced in the Eastern Teskey Ala Too range, the trail provides with incredible panoramic views of the highest peaks of the district including Tashtanbek Tor Bashy peak aka Kyrgyz Matterhorn.
Trek begins from the finite skiers lodge at the upper edge of the village Jyrgalan. Before the week of inspiring vista all of our guests will be provided with warm, cosy house where is two (bed) rooms, one loby (library) room,. Two separate (with hot and cold running water) bathrooms. One  traditional felt covered Yurt (optional sleeping area). One dining Yurt. Two outdoor terraces. Fire pit. Massive backyard for sunset photo sessions and lots of midnight stars.
Future seven days everyone in the crew will experience expeditional tent living. Our living tents can handle pretty bad weather which is quite rare in this area. During the trekking time all the guests will have one tent for two person. It will be always big dining tent where the guests will have dinners, breakfasts and après hike suppers.
Last night guests stay at the traditional Kyrgyz yurts where is the famous hot springs in Altyn Arashan valley.

          DETAILS:

Location: Eastern Terskey Ala-Too Range, Issyk-Kul province, North Kyrgyzstan
Elevation: Start point at 2400m in Jyrgalan village
The highest point of the trip is will be the 3900m pass of AlaKol lake
The trekking ends in the AltynArashan valley 2600m
The higest campsite branched at 3400m
Season/Days:  Our season starts from late June and stretches till mid September. The groups should plan on having at least 9 days in KG. 7 full hiking days. 2 days for road trip between Bishkek-Karakol

       FOOD:

Breakfasts: Are starts with a tea/coffee which ends with omelettes, french toasts, porages and lots of sweets
Lunches: Packed lunchboxes for the field
Apres hike: You are welcome to our kitchen/dining angar anytime after trekking day to hang there for some tea with bred and cheese, where we pull out the maps and discuss the routes for further days.
Dinners: Lagman (Meat and vegetables with spicy sauce on top of a hand-stretched noodles). Plov (Rice with mutton and vegetables). Kuurdak (Fried beef/lam or chicken with potatoes). Shorpo (Soup with chunks of vegetables and lam). Oromo (vegetables and mints rolled in the pasta cooked on steam) Besh barmak (Lam, noodles, onions with a soup of a mutton). Dymdama (Vegetables with beef covered by cabbage and steamed in Kazan). Almost all the meals are have ability to be cooked as a vegetarian one.
Drinks: Unlimited Tea, French press coffee and lots of crystal clean water of Tien Shan         

        REQUAREMENTS:
EXPERIENCE:     
For joining our trek you have to be fit enough for long walks. This trek doesn’t require a glacier travel or any rock climbing but all the members should feel ok with walking on the moraines, screes and river crosses.
Group size: 6 person min – 12 person max. For all groups our services are works privately. We don’t like mess in our bases and we never mix 2 different groups in one. If the number of the guests are less than 6 either more than 12, shoot us an email for discussing for how we roll in that case
Insurance: Every one who joining us for skiing/trekking in KG should have a personal MED-EVAC insurance which can be easily paired with Kyrgyz mountain rescue service.
Gear: Whole structure of the trekking and personal gear
Camping:  Bring everything what you would bring if you are going for a multi days trekking, except tents and kitchen needs.

PRICE:

                        Group of 6-12: 870 $/person/tour

Price includes:                

• Kyrgyz Tours Guides (lead guide + tail guide)
• Airport transfers
• Roundtrip transfer between Bishkek-Karakol
• Hotel in Bishkek/lodging and meals in Karakol
• 4x4 transport between Karakol –Trail head lodges
•  lodges, Yurts, Tents with all meals and drinks at the trekking
• Animal support/porters
• Chief chef and camp keeper
• One satellite phone for the crew

Not included:                 

• Visa support (Kyrgyzstan offers a visa free policy for most countries)
• International flights to and from Bishkek
• Medical/evacuation insurance

 

DAY PLANS:

Day 1: “Lake of the Storks”
Altitude: 2100m to 2400m via 2700m
Tame taken: 5-6 hours, 15km
Trek gradient: Easy
Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Karakol. Guest will find clean water from the springs or side valleys along the trail to refill water bottles.
Accomodation: Lodge
Early transfer to Jyrgalan village where the trek starts on the way to Jyrgalan village. After an 45 min driving from Karakol to the east, guests get of the vehicle and start easy hiking day to our first lake of the Storks. “Turnalu Kol” which is located in the tree line up in the 2650m. The way to the lodge features amazing panoramic views across the Jyrgalan village in the middle of the valley at the foot of the mountains. To evening time when we get all together behind the family style dinner our guides will provide guests with a briefing about the upcoming trip, safety and everything what we should cover.
 
Day 2: Kok Bel valley
Altitude: 2300m to 3000m
Tame taken: 5-6 hours, 15km
Trek gradient: Easy
Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Jyrgalan. Guest will find clean water from the springs or side valleys along the trail to refill water bottles.
Accomodation: Tents
The second day starts right from the front door of the lodge and ends on the high alpine summer pasture in a Kyrgyz remoteness. The day starts with exploring morning life of the Jyrgalan village while you will crossing it. .  This small settlement was founded by Soviet government as a coal mine back in 1936es. During the existing period it supplied the largest part of Kyrgyz SSR with a black gold and finally in 1996 with Soviet breakup mine was paused, the case got majority of the workers back to the flat. Since country get independent the village have a typical post Soviet scenery with a plenty destroyed infrastructures. For us Jyrgalan is the sensation of endless terrain where we come to leave crowds behind and get trailhead for our new adventures.The trek will lay on the easy floating valley of the shepherds without steep up hills or any passes today.
 
Day 3: Terim Tor pass
Altitude: 3000m to 3200m via 3467m
Tame taken: 5-6 hours, 12km
Trek gradient: Medium
Water sources: Carry one liter of water all the time. Guest will find clean water from the springs or side valleys along the trail to refill water bottles.
Accomodation: Tents
Todays trekking provides with crossing one pass and approaching another one. In the morning it will be a uphill time for 1,5 hours to the Terim Tor pass and even more for getting down to the big Turgon Ak Suu valley. But there is a breathtaking views on the pass. After you descent into the trees there will be a nice lunch spots with clean waters so get some food for couple more hours easy hiking to the campsite.
 
Day 4: Jergez lakes
Altitude: 3200m to 3432m via 3362m and 3516m passes
Tame taken: 7-8 hours, 18km
Trek gradient: Medium
Water sources: Carry one liter of water all the time. Guest will find clean water from the springs or side valleys along the trail to refill water bottles.
Accomodation: Tents
This is a one day but two mountain passes, three alpine lakes and amazing views to the Tashtanbek Tor Bashy peak aka “Kyrgyz Matterhorn” 
 
Day 5: Anyrty pass
Altitude: 3432m to 3100 via 3671m and 3600m passes
Tame taken: 7-8 hours, 18km
Trek gradient: Medium
Water sources: Carry one liter of water all the time. Guest will find clean water from the springs or side valleys along the trail to refill water bottles.
Accomodation: Tents
All the trails which goes up must go down, go up again and finally should descent!? Another day of two passes but this time the vertical drop will build almost a thousand meters. The Ailanysh pass will be done quick and easy but can’t say the same about the Anyrty pass.
 
Day 6: Altyn Arashan hotsprings
Altitude: 3100m to 2500m
Tame taken: 2 hours, 5km
Trek gradient: Easy
Water sources: Carry one liter of water all the time. Guest will find clean water from the springs or side valleys along the trail to refill water bottles.
Accomodation: Yurts
Very easy hiking down the pasture of the side valley of the Altyn Arashan. Lazy day.
 
Day 7: Ala Kul pass
Altitude: 2500m to the same altitude via 3860m
Tame taken: 10 hours, 25km
Trek gradient: Moderate
Water sources: Carry one liter of water all the time. Guest will find clean water from the springs or side valleys along the trail to refill water bottles.
Accomodation: Guest house
Go big and go home! The last day of the trekking is truly big day. 8-9 hours of radial hiking to the panorama of the most beautiful alpine lake around. Most of the road will stretched in the slowly but constantly progressing uphill pasture. After four hours hiking in the grass you will have to get climb the scree for an last half an hour to the pass of Ala kul which is just under 4000m. Here you get five star panorama view to the Lake and the main five thousanders of the Terskey Ala too range in a good weather. After a lunch right at the top of the world it waits for you long descending down on the same way back to Altyn Arashan where you will get a vehicle to Karakol town.