Bishkek Journals

Good Morning Kyrgyzstan!

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A July 2003 trip to Bishkek by 80 Ways Tim

Welcome to Kyrgyzstan! Photo, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan More Photos
Quote: An adventurous account of three mountaineers' attempt to find fame and glory in the 'Tien-Shan' mountains of Kyrgyzstan

Good Morning Kyrgyzstan!

Overview

Welcome to Kyrgyzstan! Photo, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Quote:
Most of our time was spent in the mountains, and hence most of my best memories are from there too. We spent five days trekking from the middle of nowhere to the middle of nowhere else. The isolation was amazing, and we hardly saw anyone for days. Three days were spent on a glacier, where we endured long days of non-stop hiking, mild starvation, and some pretty scary crevasse-jumping. Even more isolated were our times on the mountain sides. Two nights were spent in a tent, pitched on a 30-degree snow at over 5,000 metres, on the slopes of Peak Gorky, and they were absolutely incredible. Between gusts of wind, there was absolute silence; we could see base camp a vertical mile beneath us...Read More
Quote:
A little piece of Western luxury in an otherwise crazy town. Escaping the cultural experience of a country might not be what everyone wants out of their accommodation, but for us it was perfect. On our first visit, we flew in in the early hours of the morning, were driven through the night (and several potholes) by a man who knew not a word of English, and arrived completely bewildered. So a modern, nicely furnished hotel with satellite TV was just great. We only ever ate the breakfasts there, but they were great. They had the Kyrgyz take on a full-English, cereals (but check which jug you get the milk from - one of them doesn't come from a cow, I can tell you that much), bis...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2005

Asia Mountains Guesthouse
1a Lineinaya
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
+996 (312) 690235

Kyrgyz Cowboy to the Rescue (Part II)

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Story/Tip

The Kyrgyz Cowboy Photo, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Quote:
(Excerpt from about 4 weeks into our trip. Having finished our climbing, we are several days into our trek back down the valley). Our state of mild starvation has led us to devise a number of optimistic schemes to get food from the huts we passed the first time we came through the valley. To our luck, the Kyrgyz Cowboy (who saved the day earlier in the trip by ferrying us across the river) was doing the rounds with his son. We approached him and attempted to communicate the fact that we were suffering from malnutrition and would happily use our Western riches to purchase whatever food he had. Unfortunately, our grasp of the Kyrgyz language extended to the knowledge of only a ...Read More

The Death Slide

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Story/Tip

The Death Slide Photo, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Quote:
Known as Gorky to his friends, Maksima Gor’Kogo is a 6,050m (~20,000-foot) peak that has only seen three successful summit attempts and which was conveniently located within spitting distance of our base camp. We were going to climb it. Our bags packed, we set off along the path to the steep scree slope a bit further along. There is little doubt that we were carrying too much stuff. I’m not sure that we could have cut down much more, but I think we should have taken a different approach to the climb. Sleeping bag, tent, bivvy bag (I’ll come back to that), stove, meals, snacks, down jackets, waterproofs, first-aid kits, crampons, ice axes, ropes, climbing hardware. The list goes ...Read More

Return to Peak Gorky

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Story/Tip

Peak Gorky Photo, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Quote:
We had some unfinished business with this mountain. It had beaten us once, but we weren’t about to give it up on it. This time round, we were going to take a different route, starting almost immediately up from base camp, and we left around lunchtime with the intention of getting to the snowline before dark. The first few hundred metres before the snow were pretty gruelling. It was just one long slog up scree. I really need some distraction from the effort, but I didn’t have the lung capacity to maintain a conversation. Instead, I counted footsteps, which is perhaps the worst possible thing you could do, but still, I persisted with it until at least two thousand. As planned, we stopped...Read More