Tag Archives: central asia

Return of the Snow Leopard

Families flock to Ala-Too Square for a choreographed light, music and fountain show.

Families flock to Ala-Too Square for a choreographed light, music and fountain show.

Greetings from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan! My five year love affair with the high mountains of Central Asia continues. This time, I return to the Tian Shan, the Celestial Mountains, to attempt Peak Pobeda. Known for some of the world’s worst weather, Pobeda is certainly the crown jewel of the former USSR’s five 7000m “Snow Leopard” peaks. I was hoping to write a more thought out piece but I have had too much to do in the mere 24 hours since my arrival. But I am in excellent physical, mental and emotional health, and I look forward to the journey ahead. I will have plenty of time ahead for reflection, writing, relaxation, and of course, good old fashioned suffering. It will be an adventure.

Nuts and bolts: The Journey from Here

In two hours I depart for Karakol, near the banks of the great Issyk Kul. The next day we’ll drive to At-Jailoo (jailoos are summer pastures) in the extreme northeast of Kyrgyzstan. The next day, early in the morning before the braided rivers swell with glacier runoff, I’ll begin a six day trek up the Inylchek River and South Inylchek Glacier. Once there, I’ll spend a few weeks climbing and acclimatizing on a few peaks including Khan Tengri (7010m) before attempting Peak Pobeda (7439m). More to come…I’m off to catch this jeep!

How to (and how not to) follow along

I’ll be out of good contact starting now. I will carry a SPOT messenger with me to post OK messages periodically, but I can’t make guarantees about the frequency or quality of my communication until August 16 or so. I expect to check in within at least 8 days (my arrival at base camp) and weekly-ish after that. To track my progress, click the “Where’s Hari??” link at the right of the header.

Thank you to the American Alpine Club’s Live Your Dream Grant and Osprey Packs for supporting this expedition!!!

Take care,

Hari

Kyrgyz folk singers were excellent

Kyrgyz folk singers were excellent

Boulevards and parks in Bishkek are as beautiful as ever. Definitely the most chill of the big Central Asian cities.

Boulevards and parks in Bishkek are as beautiful as ever. Definitely the most chill of the big Central Asian cities.

Glacial runoff from nearby 16,000 ft peaks rushes alongside every street. For a country with 30% permanent snow or glacier cover, water is abundant. But climate change threatens otherwise water-poor Central Asia.

Glacial runoff from nearby 16,000 ft peaks rushes alongside every street. For a country with 30% permanent snow or glacier cover, water is abundant. But climate change threatens otherwise water-poor Central Asia.

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