Shorter Treks in Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan

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Ed Foster
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Shorter Treks in Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan

Postby Ed Foster » Mon May 22, 2017 12:53 pm

Hi - firstly thanks to Steven & Saule for the wealth of amazing and useful information and also all the forum contributors! My girlfriend and I have been planning a trip for a while now and are getting ready to go. Aug 17 - 3 weeks in Kyrgyzstan and 3 weeks in Tajikistan.

One of the main (but not only) reasons to visit these countries is to be outdoors, trek and enjoy the landscape, and we have a good route mapped out. Unfortunately due to various injuries i am not as fit and strong as I was hoping to be at this point, which means long multi day treks i think are off the cards.

-I am trying to find information on about the potential for shorter day or 1 - 2 day treks in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and wondering if anyone can help? -Similarly if i need a rest few days are there good places to just chill and recuperate?
- Or if I am not able to fully enjoy the outdoors, is it better to wait until a time when i am fitter to make the most out of it? Or are there enough other things to to do?

Any tips or insights from people who have been there and done it would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks

Ed
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Re: Shorter Treks in Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan

Postby steven » Tue May 23, 2017 6:08 am

Hi Ed,

there is really a wealth of options. I am just highlighting some places that I have been (i am not the world's greatest trekker)

1 or 2 day treks in Kyrgyzstan

Best option would be to go up to Altyn Arashan (4h walk untrained). Put your tent down. From here you have at least 5 great day or 2-day walks you can do, always coming back to base camp. The mountain hut makes great coffee, you can bathe in the hot springs to relax and watch the marmots, jump on a shepherd's horse when the shepherd fell off drunk. It's perfect.

Around Bishkek there are also a bunch of good valleys, less varied, but ok. Ala Archa chief among them. Lots of Kyrgyz just go to camp in a place like Alamedin or Issyk Ata, you can do that too, not super-exciting but ok.

You can hang out at Song Kol and walk around a bit. Also not super-exciting but it's another vista once again.

Both north and south shore of Issyk-Kul have great 3-day trekking options that you can do in 4-5 days. Get maps from Trekking Union of Kyrgyzstan and off you go.

Tajikistan

7 lakes near Penjikent is very easy-going. The lakes are beautiful, there are homestays and villages that are very traditional.

You can do a nice short hike up to a waterfall and a little village near Iskanderkul.

Wakhan Valley and Bartang Valley: Every village has homestays or you can ask around to stay with people. It's never more than a day's walk between villages. It's kind of like tea house trekking in Nepal. Mingle with the locals, see the scenery, do some walking while it still being pretty flat.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Shorter Treks in Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan

Postby mazeno » Tue May 23, 2017 6:44 am

> Bartang Valley
steve, i spend 3 days in bartang - driving along, not walking.
it is more than 300 km from rushan to karakul and there are no settlements behind ghudara.
(but of course you can walk back from any point).
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Re: Shorter Treks in Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan

Postby steven » Tue May 23, 2017 10:55 am

I think you misunderstood me there: I mean going to Jizev, Geisev, Ravmeddara, Yemts, Khuf, Bagu, Siponj. Maybe up to Basid but then that is already a lot of walking for someone who is recovering.

All the way up to Karakul? Not possible for walkers, I think.
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Re: Shorter Treks in Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan

Postby mazeno » Tue May 23, 2017 11:00 pm

> I mean going to
ok.

> Not possible for walkers, I think.
i know fellas walking much more kms, a week, two or more, 30-40 km a day (sometimes even 40-50 km), with 20-25 kgs on his back, alone, no support, often in wintertime and no tent.

of course these are not "shorter treks in kgz or tjk" ;)
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Re: Shorter Treks in Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan

Postby Ed Foster » Wed May 24, 2017 9:05 am

Hi both - many thanks for the input. That is really helpful, and I'll check those out. I'm hoping of course that if i start short i can, over the course of 6 weeks, build up my strength and rehab and be in a decent position to do more by the time we reach south Tajikistan. I will check those out and and come back if there's more questions.
Thanks again.
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Re: Shorter Treks in Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan

Postby mazeno » Wed May 24, 2017 10:58 am

most of the side valleys of pyanj valley have many good places for short treks.
e.g. try to get (by car) to the last settlement (po-i-mazar) in vanch valley - then walk next 10-12 km to the river bank and the destroyed bridge at the forehead morain of the russian geographic society glacier (offshot of fedchenko glacier). the trail is clear, easy and flat and the scenery is great. walking takes only few hours.
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Re: Shorter Treks in Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan

Postby Ed Foster » Thu May 25, 2017 11:00 am

Thanks again for your pointers here guys. It looks like there is enough moderate trekking to still warrant the trip, even if we can't do the more adventurous stuff. Plus all the culture and experience as a whole to enjoy.

One more question regarding equipment. Given we won't be doing challenging stuff, and also as we are moving on to India afterwards, we are not planning on bringing too much camping kit e.g. roll mates, tents, stove, cutlery etc...is it possible to rent some of this stuff, for example Steve if we went to Altyn Arrashan?

I'm guessing the answer is probably in larger places like Bishkek and osh?
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Re: Shorter Treks in Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan

Postby steven » Fri May 26, 2017 6:03 am

Karakol is probably the best place to rent camping gear. Bishkek is fine too. I am sure you can find things for rent in Khorog and Murghab as well.

Osh, I don't know. I wouldn't bet on it.
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