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  Peak Karakol in Terskei Ala-Too  
 

 


Trekking in Kyrgyzstan - Terskei Terskey Ala-Too and Kungei Ala-Too Ranges

Also see, Trekking in Kyrgyzstan - Kokshal-Too, Tengri-Tag, Meridionalniy and Sary Djaz Ranges.

Trekking in Kyrgyzstan would be incomplete without a visit to the Terskei and Kungei Ala-Too mountains. To the South of Lake Issyk-Kul is the Terskei or Terskey Ala-Too or the Teskei Ala-Too. This range stretches from the Central Asian Arctic beyond the Karakol region till areas South of Balykchy. The mountains to the south of lake Issyk-Kul are called the Terskei Ala-Too (southern sharp mountains), and the range on the northern shore of the lake are called the Kungei or Kyungei Ala-Too (northern sharp mountains). Of these, the Terskei are slightly higher, being 4300 metres in average altitude with the highest point, Peak Karakolskij being 5216 metres high. Other high peaks in this range are Peak Dzhigit (5170 metres), Peak Russia (5112 metres) and Peak Palatka (5020 metres). The Kungei range is smaller in area (about 9000 sq. kilometres, while Terskei is spread over about 14000 sq. kilometres), and has an average height of 4200 metres, with the highest point being 4770 metres above mean sea level. Excellent potential for mountaineering in this area exists for enthusiastic climbers and also for very experienced trekkers.

The ranges of Terskei Ala-Too are aligned latitudinally, just like most of Tien-Shan. Kyrgyzstan treks go from east to west or from west to east here. There are more than 1100 glaciers in Terskei Ala-Too, and they are distributed equally on northern and southern slopes and exposures. The mouths of glaciers are usually at 3000 to 3500 metres altitude. When they advance and retreat, their debris clogs the surface areas. The snow line in the peak summer varies from 3700 to 3900 metres. The ranges are asymmetrical, they have short southern slopes and long northern slopes. The major hubs of glaciation are located in Arashan, Karakol, Ak-Suu, Turgen Ak-Suu and Konurulena. At 2100 to 3100 metres are located spruce forests, containing mostly Tien-Shan spruce or Shrenka spruce. From 2500 metres there are barberry, currants and honeysuckle. Higher still are sub-Alpine and Alpine meadows and juniper and mosses and lichens. This vegetation continues up to 3800 metres in the Terskei Ala-Too.

The Kungei Ala-Too is on the northern side of lake Issyk-Kul. It starts in the west around the Boom gorge and goes on to the east in the shape of an arc with its conves part to the north, and ends in the Karkara valley, with a straight line length of about 275 kilometres. The width of the ridge in the highest part is 30-35 kilometres. The Chok-Tal array (4771 metres), and the Peak Kemin (4643 metres) at the junction with the Zailiskiy Ala-Too are some of the high points. This is a popular region for trekking in Kyrgyzstan.

The mountains to the south of lake Issyk-Kul are called the Terskei Ala-Too (southern sharp mountains), and the range on the northern shore of the lake are called the Kyungei Ala-Too (northern sharp mountains). Of these, the Terskei are slightly higher, being 4300 metres in average altitude with the highest point, Peak Karakolskij being 5216 metres high. Other high peaks in this range are Peak Dzhigit (5170 metres), Peak Russia (5112 metres) and Peak Palatka (5020 metres). The Kungei range is smaller in area (about 9000 sq. kilometres, while Terskei is spread over about 14000 sq. kilometres), and has an average height of 4200 metres, with the highest point being 4770 metres above mean sea level.



 

 
updated on 24th May 2012
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