Kyrgyzstan (Summer 2008): Visokiy Alay and Western Kokshaal-Too

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In the summer of 2008, I did two treks in Kyrgyzstan: one in the Visokiy Alay region of the Pamiro Alay range that lies on the Southern border of Kyrgyzstan with Tajikistan and the other in the Western Kokshaal-Too range located in a rather remote area of Kyrgyzstan on the border with China.


Visokiy Alay (red-box area in the map below) is part of the long Pamiro Alay range. It is located in a complex political area, between Uzbekistan to the North and Tajikistan to the South. Moreover, there are several Uzbek and Tajik exclaves inside Kyrgyz territory. Visokiy Alay is just south of the Shakhimardan Uzbek exclave.

A map with a red square

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The Western Kokshaal-Too is a mountain range (red-box area in the map below) south of Lake Issyk-Kul, on the boundary with China (Xinjiang). Its access is rather difficult. We eventually reached it from Naryn. I heard that Kyrgyzstan has recently transferred a small portion of its territory to China. So, the border with China may have changed.

A map of a mountain range

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On this trip I was accompanied by two great Russian/Uzbek guides, Maxim, with whom I already visited the Kichi Alay region of the Pamiro Alay range in 2004, and Vyacheslav, who had been twice before into the Visokiy Alay. The logistics for this trip (transportation, permits) was arranged by Boris Karpov, who knows well the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Boris had already arranged my previous trekking trips in Central Asia in 2004, 2005, and 2006.


From right to left: Maxim, Vyacheslav, and me.

A group of men with backpacks and poles

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To see photos of these two treks, click on the following links:

Trek in Visokiy Alay

Trek in Western Kokshaal-Too






A few of the many flowers in the Kyrgyz mountains.

A collage of different flowers

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