Trekking to Merzbacher lake
(Trip to the heart of Tien Shan Mountains)
The Central Tien-Shan - enigmatic and mysterious name! Since ancient times people tried to penetrate into this alluring and such an unexplored region. There were legends about this area, and many spears were broken during scientific battles about its origin. Not talking only about origin, the location of some dominant peaks was a great mystery. Some local names of the greatest peaks speak for themselves. First of all, this is the legendary Khan-Tengri - the lord of spirits and the ominous Kan-Too - Bloody Mountain. Not in vain that numerous expeditions of scientists from all over the world, starting from the middle of the XIX century and up to our days, strive to discover the last secrets of the gray-haired Tien-Shan’s heart. These are the expeditions of Semenov P. P., 1856-57, later called Tien-Shanskiy for his invaluable contribution to the study of the Tien-Shan, and the Italian Prince Cesare Borghese in 1900, and a number of expeditions of Gotfrid Merzbacher in 1902-1903 and 1907– 1908, in honor of whom the unique lake at the confluence of the Northern and Southern Inylchek glaciers was named.
Lake Merzbacher was discovered in 1903 by Gotfrid Merzbacher, the German geographer and mountaineer, during his expedition aimed to reach the foot of Khan-Tengri Peak. Lake Merzbacher is located at an altitude of 3,304 m above sea level. It has a total area of 4.5 square km and 60-70 m in depth. Every year, from July to August, this lake containing 129 million cubic meters of water suddenly disappears completely in 2-3 days. There are many hypotheses why this is happening. But none of them found its full confirmation. The Heart of the Tien-Shan still remains undiscovered.