Hiking and trekking in Kyrgyzstan end May / begin June

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BartNL
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Hiking and trekking in Kyrgyzstan end May / begin June

Post by BartNL »

Hey!

Me (Bart) and my girlfriend (Maria) have a trip planned going from Uzbekistan, through Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan where we'll arrive in Karakol on May 27 this year. We won't book anything yet but the rough itinerary is to spend a couple of days in the mountains surrounding Karakol, then probably take a marshrutka to Song-kol area and spend a few days (horseriding) there before we go to Bishkek where our flight leaves June 3rd, so we have about 6 days to spend.

We'd love to do some hiking, and I have two questions regarding that, and was hoping people who know the country/region a bit better can help me out with that.
Will it be possible to hike up into the mountains around Karakol / Sonk-kol in the end of may, or is it too early and too cold? We can do either with or without guide, we have plenty of experience with hiking in Scandinavia and have the clothes for the cold, just don't know if any guides and tours to for example Ala-kul lake and Altyn Arashan are an option.
Aside from that, I understood that pretty much any camping gear (ten, sleeping bag, stove, etc?) can be rented in Karakol. Is this the case and is it good enough to go into the mountains? Of course we'll bring as much of our own stuff as possible, but packing for 3 weeks into one backpack we're not gonna be able to bring all of our gear. Good shoes, warm clothes, maybe some sticks and some dried food etc we'll try to bring. Also is tehre possibility to store our other luggage in a locker in Karakol if we go for a multi-day hike?

Hope someone has some insight into these matters. Thanks! :)
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bwv812
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Re: Hiking and trekking in Kyrgyzstan end May / begin June

Post by bwv812 »

I would go to Song-Kol first, as it may take time for things to come together and you probably don't want to try and organize a trek when you only have a few days left before you fly out of the country. You might want to try contacting the agencies that run Song-Kol tours out of Kochkor (CBT, Shepherd's Life, and Jailoo) before you arrive if you want to get things arranged quickly.

https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Kochkor

You can almost certainly arrange to leave your luggage with your guesthouse in Karakol while you go on your trek. Here's a fairly typical trek out of Karakol:

https://www.goatsontheroad.com/hike-rem ... n-arashan/
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BartNL
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Re: Hiking and trekking in Kyrgyzstan end May / begin June

Post by BartNL »

Thanks for the info, bwv812. Good point that it might be wise to arrange some tour / hike already beforehand in order not to waste time since we only have limited days there.

I've seen the Lake Ala-kul & Altyn Arashan trek you linked, and I'd love to do that, I was just wondering if it will be possible already at the end of may, or if everything is still covered in snow and not really easy to do that hike (with or without guide)?

Also we enter Kyrgyzstan through the Karkara, so we'll first be in Karakol, and move to Song-Kol after. I guess we'll either have to arrange something first and plan things properly, or do either a proper multi-day hike at Karakol and skip Song-Kol, or the other way around.
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bwv812
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Re: Hiking and trekking in Kyrgyzstan end May / begin June

Post by bwv812 »

I'm sure CBT in Karakol (or one of the guesthouse/trekking companies there) could advise you on conditions you're likely to encounter around that time of year. I think that doing this beforehand is probably the best way to prioritize where to go and avoid wasting time once you arrive.
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