Tien-Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan raise over the Central Asian steppes
and deserts like islands crowned by clouds, like a wonderful emerald
green and snow white mirage bestowing water and thus life to the sun
Yes, many a country in the
world prides itself on its majestic mountains and mountain ranges. Not
many countries though can claim a capital that is a mere 40km's from
the flanks of a mighty mountain range, such as is the case with Bishkek
and the Tien-Shan. Here lay the peaks, conquered by world champion
And Bishkek is the only
capital in the world whose down town central governmental area is named
in honor of the mighty range that is just within reach. In Bishkek, all
important national celebrations and festivals are being held on the
grounds of the capital's main square, the Ala-Too, meaning "Motley
The most distinguished of all
Ala-Archa sites are located on the gorge's right side, beyond the
Ak-Say glacier, where Peak Free Korea and Peak Corona for their
expressive architectonics are comparable to Han-Tengri, the famous
"Lord of the Spirits" of the central Tien-Shan range.
In theTurkistan Range lay the
phantastic monoliths of Ak-Su the Karavshin Mountains, famed among the
world's best climbers for the highest technical difficulties they
present, the ultimate challenge.
The Ala-Too Mountains
inAla-Archa holds another distinguished peak. Afanasiy Schubin, the
head of Kyrgyz climbing instructors was the first to ascent its 4895
meters. Holding the right of the first climber, it was up to him to
name the anonymous peak and he chose to name it after
The Ala-Archa mountains, the
world of the mountain climbers, Golubin's glacier were the inspiration
to the creative works of Alexey Agibalov, one-time participant of the
"Ala-Archa" expedition. The famous Russian master of the seven-stringed
guitar, performer and composer, wrote musical masterpieces such as the
concerto for guitar and the symphony "Mountain Rhapsody". Ala-
Archa became a popular venue
for training of instructors in alpinism and mountain tourism, preparing
participants of high-altitude expeditions to the Himalayan mountains.
It was also a favorite background and film-set for feature films and
documentaries of different film studios and artistic associations.
Naturally, the beauty of Ak-Say and Ala-Archa natural park and their
vicinity to the country's capital Bishkek and the Manas airport drew an
enormous number of visitors from different countries of the Eurasian
subcontinent and with the country's independence, draws an ever
increasing number of Western tourists, curious to discover these parts
of the world. Whereas sadly, the political instability in such
traditionally alpinist regions as Caucasus, Pamirs, Pamiro-Alay
mountains and Kashmir makes these areas off limits, Kyrgyzstan offers
the environment and the safety and security which make itan ideal
alpine tourism destination.
The northern walls of Ak-Say
became known to the world alpinist community thanks to the hundreds of
routes opened by such local specialists for technically difficult
climbing as Lev Mishyayev (Moscow), Valeriy Bezzubkin (Krasnoyarsk),
Boris Studen in (Almaty). There is climbing and hiking for all levels
and all categories, there are thousands of peaks over 4000m and in the
Meridian range about 50 peaks with an altitude of over 6000 meters.
Along with the list of the
wonderful peaks of Kyrgyzstan there is a list of the outstanding
climbers of the country, first and foremost those who were awarded the
honorary title "Snow Leopard", the chosen few who have climbed all
7000m peaks of the Tien-Shan and the Pamirs. Almost all of the "Snow
Leopards" have passed through the school of Ala-Archa, worked as
instructors in the base camps.
Many of them till nowadays are
in active cooperation with the young generation of alpinists. Amongst
them is LevanAlibegashvili, the chairman of the Federation of Alpinism,
Mountain and Glacier Climbing of the Kyrgyzs Republic, Vyacheslav
Lyakh, the head of the Public Alpinist Rescue Team, Vladimir Biryukov,
the director of the company "Tien-Shan Travel", Nikolay Shetnikov, the
director of "Dostuk-Treckking", Alexander Gybayev, the director of
"Asian Mountains", Vyachesiav Alexandrov, the director of "Edelweiss
Tours". Dmitriy Grekov, honorary master of sport, subjugator of the
Everest, represents "Aksay Travel". The list of these "Snow Leopards"
would be incomplete without such well-known masters of alpinism as
Vladimir Kochetov. Elvira Nasonova, Evgeniy Slepukhin, Robert Yakhin,
Stanislav Lavrenchenko, Alexander Novikov, Vladimir Kapanin, Alexander
These strong personalities
with their longstanding experience and understanding of tourism are
today successful entrepreneurs, providing a wide range of services
through their own companies such as "Tien-Shan Travel", who have
confidently demonstrated their business acumen for over ten years.
Specialized in difficult to reach mountainous regions such as Enolchek
glacier, Khan-Tengri peak, Victory peak, Vladimir Buryukov's company is
the trusted partner of tourist companies from USA, Germany, France,
England, Sweden, China, Nepal, and other countries not only
contributing to the national economy but also enhancing the country's
image, aiming for the integration into the world community.
Ala-Archa pupils, "Tien-Shan
Travel" company employees don't forget their alma mater. The company
has taken over refurbishing of the base camps, training of instructors
and is a driving force in the activities of the Federal Association,
sponsoring the Kyrgyz Alpine Team, who made headlines during the Year
of the Mountain.
With their consistent efforts,
their active participation in the country's tourism development,
"Tien-Shan Travel" amongst many other tourism service providers and
leaders have made it possible to revive the Alginate, the Mountain
Festival, gathering hundreds of mountain lovers each May.