Explore-Share logo and link to home

Trekking tour to Lake Sary-Chelek, southwest of Tien Shan

Trekking tour to Lake Sary-Chelek, southwest of Tien Shan | undefined

A guided trekking tour to explore completely the Tien Shan mountains and the Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve with fascinating panoramic views. Do it in the company of Andrey, a local KMGA mountain guide.

Tian Shan

12 Days

Jul - Sep


Let me invite you to this 12-day trek along the Southwest Tien Shan. An expedition you won’t forget in your life!

Sary-Chelek is a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO since 1978. It is located in the Western Tian Shan Mountains, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world, in Kyrgyzstan.

We will start this trekking tour going all over the three mountain ridges of the Tian Shan range: Talas, Chatkal and Atonoksky.  These places offer fascinating panoramic views from many different altitudes where we´ll observe untouched nature.

We will spend extraordinary hiking days, enjoying the turquoise lakes, amazing forests and waterfalls falling down steep slopes. Moreover, we will appreciate how simply the local community lives in the heart of the Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve.

We´ll finish our journey at the spectacular Lake Sary-Chelek, at 1.800 m above sea level. This place is a paradise surrounded by a lot of snow-capped peaks. Additionally, I suggest you not to miss the awesome Zamok Peak at 4200 meters of altitude.

Please contact me if you are interested in living this amazing trek on Sary-chelek, one of the most wonderful natural scenery of Asia. Don´t miss the chance!

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Transport during the trip

- Transportation start and back

- Permit and entrance fees

- Porters

- Luggage transfer

- Flight to the start


Day 1: Arrival to the starting point

Arrival to the airport, meeting and transfer to a hotel in Bishkek.  At the afternoon our first excursion will be to the Ala-Archa Natural Park (40 km from Bishkek) where you´ll have an easy trek to the Ak-Sai waterfall and then return back to Bishkek.

Day 2: Trek to the Urmaral River

We´ll be transferred to the Talas Valley. The road goes along the Tuya-Ashu pass and the Susamyr Valley. On the way we will have a stop to visit the historical architecture complex “Gumbez Manas” and then continue until the trek’s starting point.

You´ll spend night at a campsite in a birch grove on the bank of Urmaral River. We’ll sleep in tents.

Day 3: Shor-Alysh and Chiim-Tash rivers

We´ll trek towards the confluence of the Shor-Alysh and the Chiim-Tash rivers (about 15 km). The road goes along the riverbank. We will arrive to the next campsite close to lunchtime. We will take a little hike into the Valley of Urmaral River and then we´ll come back to camp for the night (2100 m).

Day 4: Chiim-Tash trek

We´ll pass the Chiim-Tash trekking. Tonight our campsite will be on the shores of two moraine lakes under the pass. (12 km, 3150 m).

Day 5: Karakulja Pass

We´ll go across of the Chiim-Tash pass (3,601 m), from which we´ll enjoy a fantastic view of the Karakulja Valley and the Talas range. Then we´ll descend to the valley of the Karakulja River and further trekking towards the Karakulja pass. We´ll settle in a camp at an altitude of 2850 m in a charming mountain pasture.

Day 6: Kashka-Suu River Valley

After crossing the Karakulja pass (3161 m) we will go down into the valley of the Kashka-Suu River. Tonight we´ll camp at the confluence of the Kashka-Suu and the Karakulja rivers at an altitude of 2150 m.

Day 7: Kara-Suu Lake

We´ll trek towards the Kashka-Suu pass. We´ll cross further the pass (3390 m) and then will descend to the valley of Kara-Suu River. On the road we may see local miners and their machines on the shores of small streams which feed the Kara-Suu river. The place was surrounded by small villages and summer houses owned by local shepherds. As this area doesn´t have roads, local people use horses. Tonight we will camp in tents near to the Kara-Suu Lake (~15 km, 2000 m).

Day 8: Rest Day

Today we´ll have a rest day. There will be an easy trek in the Kara-Suu valley (6-7 km, 1810 m).

Day 9: Iri-Kel Lake

We´ll trek to the Kuterme Pass (2446 m). This is a steep path, rocky lakeside of one of the region’s most marvelous lakes – Lake Kara-Suu. The ascent will be along a picturesque path surrounded by Archa trees. We will see from the pass three wonderful lakes: Sary-Chelek, Karasuu and Irikel. Tonight we will camp on the shores of the lake Iri-Kel (10 km, 1950 m).

Day 10: Sary-Chelek Lake

We will have a short trek to the shore of Sary-Chelek Lake (2-3 km, 1890 m). Along the way, maybe a visit to the ancient city of Uzgen. Transfer to Osh city and accommodation in the hotel.

Day 11: City tour in Osh

Today we´ll have a city tour in Osh.  The Osh oriental Bazaar has remained at its original site on the bank of Ak-Buura River in town center upon the centuries. A lot of different products come to Osh Bazaar from all over Central Asia. The most particularly point of interest in Osh is Suleiman Too (holy mount), where local people regardless of age, often climb the mountain in the conviction that it brings blessing and good health. From here we transfer to the airport for the flight back to Bishkek. Hotel accommodation.

Day 12: Departure and end of the program



More info


  1. International airfare to and from Bishkek
  2. Equipment rental
  3. Excess baggage charges
  4. Cost of visa and consular services (for Russian citizens there is no need for international passport / visa)
  5. Personal expenses in hotels: bar, international calls, etc.
  6. Single room addition
  7. Insurance
  8. Any changes in the program

More prices options:

10 persons: 1500 US dollars per person / 12 persons: 1439 US dollars per person / Single room addition: 126 US dollars per person

Meeting point

Airport in Bishkek

About the guide

Guide profile image




Mountain Guide

I was born in what is now Bishkek, the Capital City of Kyrgyz Republic (used to be Frunze, the Capital of Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic) and live there ever since.

I started guiding professionally in 2004. I guide groups and individuals in technical and high altitude climbing, ski-tours, backcountry skiing, rock-climbing, ice climbing. I can also provide training facilities and organize trekking programs.

My main priorities in guiding are client safety and expedition success and therefore, my professional motto is “Never climb with strangers”.

In 2011, I finished my training with the Kyrgyz Mountain Guide School. The school is supported by Mammut and the Swiss and British Mountain Guide Associations and follows the IFMGA standards. Upon completion of the course and passing necessary tests I was qualified as a Mountain Guide. I am also qualified in mountain rescue and first aid by Mountaineering Instructor School in Kyrgyzstan (2012) and a member of the Kyrgyz Mountain Guide Association (KMGA) since the Autumn of 2009 where I serve as an instructor and examiner for the National Mountain Guide courses.

In my 13 years of guiding, I have worked all over Tien-Shan and Pamir in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and China and East Sayan and Lake Baikal areas in Russia. I have arranged several ski tour and backcountry skiing programs in the Ala Archa national park, Suusamyr valley, Kyrghyz Ala Too, Chong Kemin gorge, Kumtor glacier, and Terskey Ala Too.

In 2009-2016 I worked as a high altitude guide at the Lenin Peak (7134 m), Khan Tengri Peak (7010 m), Pobeda Peak (7439 m), and Muztag Ata Peak (7546 m). As a mountaineering expert, I also have participated in 6 expeditions.

Presently I have over 100 ascents of different difficulty. The most significant of them are: Pobeda peak (7439 m) 1 ascent; Lenin peak (7134 m) 13 ascents; Muztag Ata (7546 m) 1 ascent; Khan Tengri (7010 m) 1 ascent; Korona peak 1st tower ED2 Smirnov route, winter conditions; Free Korea peak ED1 George Lowe route, winter conditions; Bachachekey peak 4 routes ED1 Kusmenko, Shwab, Polik, Ilyshenko; Ak-Too peak TD route, first ascent, winter conditions; Tarasova(Slovenia) TD route, winter conditions; Simagina peak TD+ route, winter conditions.

My sport climbing level: 7a-7b on sight, 7c-8a red point.

Please get in touch with me if you are interested to come and discover the mountains of my region.


Russian | English



Request more information

What people are saying about -Andrey


Great experience in Jyrgalan Kyrgyzstan - Very competent end experienced guide. Very involved in making sure we got the best experience. A must do and highly recommend it!!


I had an awesome climb with Andrey to the summit of Peak Khan Tengri in August 2019. Andrey is a terrific guide and climbing companion. This climb was a huge challenge for me, both technically and physically. Andrey was outstanding in his focus on having a safe climb while at the same time doing everything possible to enable me to reach the summit. He showed excellent judgment and resourcefulness in planning our itinerary and making adjustments when needed. He was extraordinarily patient with my shortcomings. His friendly and engaging personality was a great benefit as well. I can honestly say, my positive experience on Khan Tengri was due in no small part to Andrey. I look forward to climbing with him again someday.


I climbed the Pobeda Peak with Andrey in 2011. It was something very difficult to achieve but we did it. The most difficult part of the trip was the section from the highest camp to the summit because of the altitude (more than 7000m). That was also the longest section of the climb. Andrey and I worked together up to the summit. I trusted 100% in Andrey during the climb because I knew him very well. He is a real professional climber!



For our rock climbing week Andrey had put together a programm which was ideally tailored to our skills. He handled everything in a very professional and trouble-free way. Under his guidance we learned a lot and gained confidence to undertake more challenging tours for ourselves in the future. At the same time, Andrey is also a really nice guy to hang out with. We had lots of fun during our tours and in the evenings. Thanks Andrey!



We were a large group of 15 guys that spend one week with Andrey and his colleagues (because of the group size we had two additional guides). Andrey is a great guide and a good organiser. From we ordered until we arrived Andrey was available on Whatsapp and responded almost imminently to all our questions. When we landed we were meet by Andrey at the airport and a fleet of large SUV`s that took us to the base camp that was the starting point from the touring. The base camp was located far up in the mountains on the Kazakhstan border. The accommodations where ok, with a nice sauna as a pleasant surprise. The ski touring was nice in variated terrain. We were a bit unlucky with unstable snow conditions forcing us to ski a bit less steep than we hoped for, but the area got massive potential for nice skiing. We decided to end touring after five days in the mountain and spend the last night in Bishkek. There Andrey stepped into the role of a tourist guide and showed us around town, a really nice gesture which we did not expect. Overall a trip I would recommend to anyone wanting to ski in a country you would not expect to travel to. And when you go, Andrey is your choice for guide ;)

Join our newsletter!

Stay up-to-date on the best adventures.