Trekking to Son-Kul lake
(On the way of the ancient nomads)
Tour trekking will start with overpassing of one of the longest ranges of the Tien Shan - Kyrgyz, bordering the Chui Valley on the south, and stretching for 454 km in the latitudinal direction from west to east. The highest point of the ridge is Peak Semenov-Tyanshanskiy (4,895 m). A lot of beautiful gorges with crystal clear rivers cut its northern slopes. Our trekking begins in one of these gorges. The Shamsi Pass, 3,570 m high, over which we have to cross the Kyrgyz Range, has been used since ancient times as a convenient and uncomplicated path leading to the Issyk-Kul Basin, and further, over the Bedel Pass, to Kashgar. Next, we will descend to the highland pasture of Sarala-Saz, where you can get acquainted with the life of modern nomads, visit their yurts and try a slightly sour and refreshing kumys drink.
Afterwards we will descend to the valley of the East Karakol River, originating high in the mountains, and cross the eastern extremity of the Kara-Moinok Ridge over the Buchuk Pass (3,400 m). We descend into the valley of the East Seyok River. The valley is very picturesque. There are multiple herds of grazing sheep, cows, herds of horses everywhere.
On the final day of the trekking we will go to the Dzhangyz-Karagay Pass (3,325 m), from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the alpine Son-Kul Lake, located at an altitude of 3,013 meters above sea level. The lake basin is surrounded by the Son-Kul-Too Ridge from the north and west, by the Baiduluu spur of the Son-Kul Ridge from the north-east, by the Moldo-Too Ridge from the south. The lake itself, 59 km in length and 23 km in width, is located in the center of the same name basin. The name is translated from the Kyrgyz language as «last, extreme lake». Nearly 18 small rivulets and streams flow into the lake, but only one - the Son-Kul River - flows out, called Kek-Dzharty in the lower course.
Climatic conditions in the winter are very severe. The thickness of the ice at the end of winter reaches 1 meter. The temperature in winter sometimes drops to 30-40 degrees below zero, with the air at lake level 2-3 degrees colder than at the surrounding slopes due to the fact that the cooled heavy air goes down from the slopes to the bottom of the basin.