Trekking in the Pamir Mountains
Tour destinations: Kyrgyzstan, Pamir-Alay area
Itinerary Duration: 11 days/10 nights
Best season: June -August
Tour itinerary: Osh- Uzgorush village -The food of Sabakh peak- the food of Aksu peak- Uzgorush village-Osh
The mountain trip to Sabakh peak (5283m) and Aksu peak (5365m) is often called trekking in Asian Patagonia. The infinite number of unique treks, including the pioneering one, and genuine wilderness of the region attract numerous mountaineers, rock climbers, and trekkers.
The Pamir -Alay region possesses an amazing nature. Bright valley and mountains foothills give place to rigorous colors of rocks, snow, and glaciers. The mountainscape is characterized by high rugged peaks. Crystal-clear air is saturated with fragrance of thick juniper forests. Boisterous capricious rivers enliven the surrounding majestic beauty.
Fascinating landscapes resembling those of South American Patagonia, fill the travelers with a powerful supply of emotions, whereas hospitable dwellers of Uzgorush village are always ready to welcome the guests from all over the world, and treat them to the national Kyrgyz dishes and numerous local legends.
Arrival to Osh. Meet and greet at the airport. Transfer to Uzgorush village. Accommodation in the guest house. The altitude of Uzgorush village 1800m. Distance 310km. Travel time approx 7 hrs; The altitude difference:+800m)
Uzgorush is a typical Kyrgyz mountain village with established centuries-old lifestyle. The country folk is amicable and hospitable. The majority of the local village are engaged in animal husbandry, tobacco cultivation, and flour at small watermills. Gardening too is a great help for the locals. Apricot in the most common fruit-tree. The fruit is extremely sweet but not big enough to satisfy your appetite after the first bite. It's amazing, but due to unique climatic conditions, you can taste the ripe apricot right from the fruit-tree even in mid-August. In addition to being eaten fresh, it is often dried up for wintertime. Dried apricot, called Bargek, is really finger-licking good.
Now we drive into the village and stay over in the guesthouse or rent camp. From the village, we'll continue our journey accompanied by horse drivers and their graceful quiet horses which can help us carry the load throughout the whole journey.
Trekking from the Laily-Mazar river valley to its confluence with the Uryam river.
Camp 1. ( Altitude:2100 m Distance:10 km. Travel time 608 hrs. Altitude difference: +300m)
The morning sun hasn't yet beamed down on the valley garden but un the camp the life is already in full swing. The substantial breakfast leaves no chance of losing weight.
After short preparations, we set up for our first day of trekking. Soon enough the vain thoughts start to flash across your mind that you should have been training for the trek instead of wasting time. But the farther you go this is interrupted by more cheerful thoughts, like "My goodness! Can it be real? Isn't it a dream? How beautiful it is here!"
Now, approaching Laily-Mazar canyon and becoming more and enchanted by the surrounding landscapes we reach the right tributary of the river. They say, in the upper reaches of the river every spring there blooms up a virtually extinct flower "Aigul" which according to a popular legend can be found only here and in one or two canyons in Batken region. The symbolic image of this fower cam be traced in many Kyrgyz ornaments, So if you happen to encounter this peculiar "distinctive feature" of Kyrgyzstan , you will easily recognize it.
Step by step, marching along the mountain path, we reach the locality intended for the camp. The camp site is chosen in a really picturesque setting, next to a mountain stream whose murmur will serve you a sweet lullaby.
The passage from the confluence of the Laily-Mazar and Uraym rivers to the confluence of the Laily-Mazar and Sabakh rivers the upper reaches of the Sabakh river.
Camp 2. (3000m; 8 km; 7-9 hrs; +900m)
A new day starts and everyone is concerned about what we are going to feature today. There are always natural 'forecasts" all around, and you are just to observe the surroundings. Today eagles are hovering high in the sky, loud shrills of grey partridge are heard from the high grass. These are the indications of a warm sunny day.
Grey partridge is a common game bird in the area. It likes to hide in high grass and only when being startled the whole flock suddenly rake flight just from under the feet. This is accompanied by a loud shrill series of frightened birds.
A short detour to the bridge and we again walk up the picturesque Laily-Mazar valley. This is not a leisurely journey as we are to reach the river confluence before lunch and then to ascend along the Sabakh river canyon. The river valley is dotted with birch trees lining the river banks, juniper thickets scattered all around, and even mountain ashes that spread out on the canyon slopes. Here and there rocks bear the tracks of ancient glacier activity.
We reach the foot of the lower moraine where we pitch a camp on a cozy glade. Nature itself seems to have created this ideal site for the camp: the imposing rocks covered with juniper trees of peculiar guard the tents of the travelers. After a long and a bit tiresome trekking we can now relax, delight in a delicious dinner, and have a full hight of sound sleep.
Radial trekk to Sabakh peak (5200m)
Camp 2 (3600m; 3-5 hrs; +600m;- 600m)
Today's trekking pace is rather relaxed and comfortable. We'll make a radial passage to Sabakh peak (5200m). First, we'll ascend the moraine rampart from the top of which one can see a beautiful panorama of the mountain valley with a small river meandering amongst pastoral setting. This is also the place of herdsmen camps. We'll make a stop visit one of these camps to find out more about herdsmen's life in the severe conditional of highlands.
Continuing our way to the peak we cross one more moraine rampart behind which Sabakh peak opens up in its full splendour. Standing at the foot of this forbidding 5000-metre-high giant we feel the cold breath of the glacier. The high altitude mountainscape is really spectacular. The pictures of the Peak itself taken from different angles present this giant differently depending on the light.
After a short rest and energizing lunch at the foot of the Peak we'll set out for our return trip. The pleasant descent will bring us to the camp where the warmest welcome and hot delicious dinner await us.
Passage through Udobniy pass (4140m) to the Uryam river valley.
Camp 3. (3000m 7 km; 7-9 hrs; +1100 m; -1100m)
The height of Udobniy pass cannot embarrass high-spirited trekkers, So after breakfast, we'll start our ascent. Your efforts will be well rewarded. The view that opens from the pass is absolutely magnificent, almost spellbinding, we stop here to savor the grand vistas; a fantastic panorama of the Uryam river valley and neighboring ridges with their peaks including Parus (Sail) peak (4883m). It really looks like a filled outsail. The peak is much loved by local and international climbers. Elated by the thrilling sight we descend to the valley. The camp will be pitched on a mountain meadow to the river and we'll have a long-expected rest in this idyllic location. Sitting around the dinner table laid in a warm cozy dining tent, surrounded by the fellow-travelers, you can congratulate each other on the first pass you have surmounted, and exchange the impression of the day.
Trekking rest day and redial trek to the upper reaches of the Uryam river.
Camp 3 ( up to 3400 m, 4-7km; 3-5 hrs: +400m,-400m)
The scenic place disposes to relaxation and there is nothing shameful in your wish to just lounge on the grass or to loaf around. The most active, though, are invited to make short hiking along the river meandering amongst the ancient moraines, and en route to marvel at the view of snow-topped peaks, a succession of such meadows and juniper grove which remind Japanese gardens carefully groomed by a gardener. This is the of pastures and now and then we encounter the herdsmen's camps. A good opportunity for us to meet the local people, spend some time in their company and enjoying a cup of tea and a friendly chat to appreciate their well-known hospitaluti.
Passage across Uryam Pass (3760m) to the Ak-Mechet river valley, to the confluence of two rivers- the Ak-Suu and the Kara-Suu.
Camp 4 (2860m; 8 km; 6-8 hrs; +750m; -900m)
Today's goal is to ascend the Uryam pass. Through in height, it's inferior to the previous pass it is no less spectacular. Approaching the pass once again we can see Parus peak, this time towering behind us, with a bladelike Sabakh peak emerging from it one the left. As we proceed further we can dilight in observing the majestic views of the valley where the Ak-Suu and Kara-Suu rivers interflow into the wide, rapid Ak-Mechet river. And then, just in front of us, there comes into sight one more range crowned with glaciers. It separates the Aksu peak region from the Karavshin region, The cone-shaped snow-capped Aksu peak (5355M0, which to the north drops off in almost vertical two-kilometer-deep rock precipice, attracts the mountaineers from all over the world
The majestic view of this natural amphitheater is accentuated by imposing crescent-shaped Iskander peak (5120 m), Admiralteyets peak (5090m) Petrogadets peak (5163m) and A. Blok peak (5239m)
The descent is rather comfortable and soon we reach our campsite. It is arranged at the height of 2800 m. where you can feel the warmth of the summer air and smell the tich coniferous fragrance of the juniper wood. Sunset in the best time fo picture-perfect view of Aksu peak.
Trekking rest day and radial trekking to the foot of Aksu peak (5355 m)
Camp 4. (3500 m. 8 km -4-5hrs; +700m; -700m)
Today we'll trek to the glacier that lies under the tops of several peaks; A. Blok, Aksu, Admiralteyes, Petrogandets, and Iskender. Today hardly anyone would prefer idling in the camp to trekking to a spectacular destination. Though the glacier itself is hidden under the moraine and there will be only a few occasions to the feel its ice-cold breath through the sole of your trekking boots, the view that awaits us at the end is worth the effort. After several hours trekking, you will yourself standing in front of a 2-km-high Black wall of Aksu peak that seems to rise up from out of nowhere and to tower above you with all its might.
We'll have lunch at the Aksu river which springs from the glacier sliding from under Blok peak. Being among these eternal towering rocks fills you with a sense of belonging to the macrocosm.
We'll come back to the campsite by sunset and a fantastic image of the day will stay in your memory for long.
Descent to the Ak-Mechet river and further to Uzgorush village
Accommodation in the guest house ( 1800 m. 14 km. 6-8 hrs)
Today you will experience a relaxing stroll down the river. The juniper woods all around fill the air with coniferous fragrance and lift your spirits. The trail runs through alpine grassland dotted with flowers of every color. And suddenly realizing that this is your last trekking day, you try to imprint in your memory, as well as to capture on your cameras, the stunningly beautiful surroundings. Who knows when there will be another chance to delight in the world of wilderness. Meanwhile, we approach the river's outfall and enter the Laily-Mazar valley. Our circuit closes up in Uzgorush village where our trekking program is completed with a celebration dinner. Today you can give vent to your appetite and eat your fill since so many delicious dishes were prepared by our cook, and then to relax and share wine and laughter with new-found friends every day of the adventurous journey.
Transfer from Uzgorush village to Osh. Accommodation in the hotel.
Overnight in the Osh (1000m 290 km. 7 hrs- 800m)
Today we return to the warmth of Osh where the benefits of civilizations await you: numerous cafe and restaurants, comfortable hotels. supermarkets and bazaars. and free internet access. Osh offers many interesting souvenirs that can become a good keepsake to remind you about your trip to mountainous Kyrgyzstan: felt yurt, Kyrgyz national hat, musical instruments, and many other bric -a brac that can catch your fancy.
Transfert to airport. Flight back home.
We hope your experience in the picturesque mountain areas of the Pamir-Alay was full of bright positive emotion. Aksu and Sabakh peaks provide an array of challenging untrodden routes for mountaineering, rock climbers, and trekking inspiring them to come back now and again.