In the beginning of July 2017 a large-scale international speleo project organized by the Foundation for preservation and exploration of caves under the support of the Asia Mountains Company and which acted under the auspices of the World Travel Encyclopedia, Russia was finished. Expedition consisted of 14 people (sportsmen and scientists from Lebanon, Kyrgyzstaba, France) went to the Tien Shan in order to determine the prospects of some areas in terms of new caves.
The first base camp was installed 4 km away from Lake Köl-Suu. One of the groups explored the southern part of the Sary-Beles Ridge which encircles the lake bowl with the Köl-Suu River estuary.
To the right of the lake, on the verticals of the Sary-Beles, several caves of a horizontal type with galleries and small volumes were discovered. In the farthest part, the interest was arisen by bizarre crystals, stone influxes and "buds." The largest cave was about 100 meters long.
Another team went to the northern edge of the lake by boat. Almost at midnight, in the dark water space from the far rocky ledge of the canyon the light of a lantern appeared. Belated speleologists said that on the southern side of the left bank they saw an impressive just a giant entrance to the cave.
Moored to the shore, the speleologists rose to the entrance, which was about 80 meters above the lake level. Behind the entrance there was an inclined gallery and a "temperature equator" behind which reigned cold and permafrost.
Here they found the inhabited lair and ascending inaccessible corridors leading to the upper floors of the cave. The lower part of the cave turned out to be a vast cavity in which the pioneers discovered accumulations of ice, a heap of boulders fallen from the ceiling, ice stalactites and icefalls. Preliminary topographic filming of the cave also impressed. The vast cavity stretched for 250 meters and as the filming showed, descended for 58 meters which corresponds to the level of the lake.
The head of the Lebanese group, Mr. Chadi Chaker, was pleased with the results of the first days. The drone brought by the Lebanese greatly helped the expedition.
Kok-Kiya River Canyon
Despite the bad weather researches continued in the canyon of the Kok-Kiya River.The river leaking through the engulfed dam soon acquires a natural outline.Spreading over a wide pebble bed and collecting a few small creeks it hides in the canyon cutting it with spectacular meanders.If you look at this miracle of nature from space (using Google Earth), you can seethat the canyon consists of two meandering areas. Caves are located on the steep shelves of the rocks attracting to reveal their secrets.
Most sections of the canyon are not accessible. Achievable river bank is only on small plots and, as a rule, on different banks of the river. It is pointless to bypass the sections on top since the depth of the canyon is significant and such tactics is not justified.
Attempts of past speleological expeditions to pass through the canyon were unsuccessful. Before starting the research in the canyon the speleologists launched the drone. Having received the mission the drone started flying and broadcasted impressive views of the Kok-Kia's green ribbon strapped by white verticals of rocks. Perhaps for the first time during thousands of years people saw mysterious cave entrances on inaccessible verticals and bizarre loops crawling along frozen bends.
So again this time despite attempts to pass along the river on horseback the explores had to retreat due to high water. The violent stream literally jumped on the stone boards lined with water. The desire to continue the way was great but still the search for the path had to be stopped and left to future expeditions. Nobody doubted that the area is very promising and its research must be continued.
It was decided to conduct a study of the Moldo-Too Ridge in the remaining week. In particular, in the Kok-Jerty Canyon, to the south of Lake Son-Kul where karsting limestone extends over a vast territory according to the geological map.
The Kok-Jerty Canyon cuts through several ridges perpendicular to it. The canyon itself owes its birth to the river flowing from the heavenly Lake Son-Kul. Here on the one of its picturesque terraces a base camp was set up. The nature around the camp amazed by its primordiality. More than 20 caves of various lengths were found and examined in the Kok-Jerty.
Most of them are located on the inaccessible verticals of the canyon. The most interesting was called Crystal and this is not accidental. The cave sloped into a cliff polished by time and rains on the steep cornice. Behind the entrance there was an inclined cavity spangled with crystals. An impressive panel, if we may say so, covered the tuberous surface of the ceiling. Spectacular!
The expedition time flew fast. So many impressions, discoveries, meetings and hopes!
Mr. Chadi Chaker (Head of the Lebanese group): «We are first time in Kirgizia. We heard different opinions. Now we have our own. Impressions are great. There are huge perspectives for searching and exploration of caves. We are happy and thankful to the destiny that we had met nice and target minded people. Thanks to the Foundation for the preservation and exploration of caves for the initiative to conduct SPELEOSTAN- 2017 project which was first started by our group. Thank you for the good organization of the expedition. Until next!»
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