Best Season: July-September
Duration: 9 days
Level of Difficulty: Difficult; passes up to 4,000 meters
Overall Distance: About 60km
Requirements: Sleeping bag; sleeping mat; tent; warm weatherproof clothes; trekking boots;
hat; sunglasses and sunscreen
Description: This tour takes you across some of the most spectacular passes in the southern Yssyk-Köl region. The whole route takes you through dramatic scenery and the variety of landscapes and scenery is amazing. At the end of the trek, reward yourself by swimming in the warm waters of the world’s second biggest alpine lake, and enjoying a tasty national lunch and traditional music at the yurt camp.
Itinerary: Bokonbaevo Village – Tossor Pass – Chunkur-Köl Lake – Sary-Moinok Pass – Düngürömö Pass – Ashuu-Tör Pass – Kashka-Tör Pass – Kichi Kyzyl-Suu Gorge – Manzhyly area (15km from Bokonbaevo Village)
Day 1: Transfer from Bishkek to Bokonbaevo Village (about 300km). Arrive by lunchtime. Meet local support staff and have lunch in the Argymak café. Tour the village and visit a felt-making workshop (watch a display of how to make national felt handicrafts and felt carpets, such as shyrdaks and ala-kiyiz). Accommodation and dinner in guesthouses.
Day 2: Get up at 8am, breakfast at 8:30. At 9am, transfer from base camp to the trek’s starting point, the foot of the Tossor Pass. Climb the Pass via the old route (about 1 hour) and descend to the first lake, from where there is a good view of Kerege-Tash Pass. Enjoy lunch on the lakeshore. Cross the Kerege-Tash Pass (1,5-2 hours). Go by road to Chunkur-Köl Lake. Set up camp on the eastern lakeshore. Relax and have dinner. Stay overnight in tents.
Day 3: Get up at 7:30am, breakfast at 8am. Move down along the left riverbank of the Kerege- Tash River. Have lunch in a meadow. From here, a path leads to the middle of a slope. Descend to the river and ford it. Cross the Sary-Moinok Pass (3,126 metres asl) and descend to the Barskoon Gorge. Setup camp. Dinner. Stay overnight in tents.
Day 4: This day is quite hard so the group has to get up early. Breakfast at 6:30. At 7am start the descent to the Düngürömö Gorge. Move along the left hand side of the gorge, through a small fir forest and descend to the Düngürömö River. Ford the river and move along the riverbank then have lunch by some boulders. Climb up to the Düngürömö Pass, cross an ice bridge and descend to the junction with the Juuku Gorge. Cross the river and take a dirt road to the big stones. A stream with clear water and comfortable surroundings make this a good spot for camping. Dinner and stay overnight in tents.
Day 5: Breakfast at 8am. Continue the trek along the left hand side of the Juuku Gorge till the junction with the Ashuu-Kashka-Suu Gorge. Cross the river and continue trekking along the old path. Re-cross the river by a bridge to the right hand riverbank. Set up camp below the Ashuu- Tör Pass. Relax, eat dinner and stay overnight in tents.
Day 6: Get up at 7:30, breakfast at 8am. The gorge leading to the Ashuu-Tör Pass is very narrow and dry in its lower part. Water for the whole day has to be taken with you. Cross the Ashuu-Tör Pass (3,636 metres asl) via the right slope. Crossing the pass takes 3-4 hours. Descend to the Juukuchak Gorge and go towards the confluence of the Juukuchak and Kashka-Tör Rivers - further 2-3 hours, then cross the Juukuchak River to the right hand riverbank to the campsite.
Day 7: Breakfast at 8am. Set off along of the bank of the Kashka-Tör River to the Kashka-Tör Pass (3,937 metres asl), a trek of 4-5 hours. After crossing the pass, lunch will be served by a small ice lake. After lunch continue down along a little stream to the Kichi Kyzyl-Suu Gorge (2-2,5 hours) and on along the main riverbank in the gorge to a forest, where a car will be waiting by a bridge. Set up camp.
Day 8: Enjoy a late breakfast and then transfer to the Altyn Bulak yurt camp at Manzhyly (15km from Bokonbaevo Village) – 100km, about a 3-hour drive. Have lunch then relax in the afternoon and go swimming or hiking. Dinner at 9pm followed by a folklore show and overnight accommodation in yurts.
Day 9: Breakfast, transfer to Bishkek.