Kyrgyzstan is a hidden gem in Asia that most people don’t think of visiting, however, this is quickly changing. We want to grasp the opportunity to hike through this paradise before it makes it on every tourist’s bucket list. After all, the country has everything to offer from delicious food, ravishing mountains, electrifying passes, delightful people and an amazing culture; our diversely planned trip will ensure that you enjoy it all!
WHY TREK MT. ELBRUS WITH GRASP THE ADVENTURE:
We've got countless reasons but here are some.
At Grasp The Adventure, our number 1 goal is to promote the spirit of adventure and the love of nature while forming bonds as strong as the mountains we hike on. We sincerely view all the hikers that joined our previous trips as friends and family, this is why we do our best to keep them safe and happy at all times. So besides going on awesome hikes to jaw-dropping sights, you’ll also be making new, like-minded friends.
IS THIS HIKE FOR YOU?
Remain calm and read on!
So you want to join but you’re also freaking out that you may not be experienced enough for this trek, well you really shouldn’t be. The great thing about the trails we’ll be taking is that they require absolutely no technical experience and are actually suitable for first time hikers. All you need to do is to follow our Grasp The Fitness training regime to prepare you for the trip. Moreover, although the distances involved are not that great, the altitude at the highest point of the trek is 3860 m which could cause problems for anyone (experienced or not); however, altitude sickness pills can be taken to prevent that.
The good news is that you have plenty of time to increase your fitness, strengthen your cardiovascular system and prepare for this trek. We will help you do so by sending out our Grasp The Fitness training regime. We are committed to helping you expand your comfort zone, all you need to do is to keep a positive mental attitude.
Certified mountain guides will lead the hike while porters transport the group’s belongings, camping equipment, food, mess tent, etc.
You will only be required to carry your day pack which will include whatever you may need during the hike, such as raincoat, snacks, camera and water
Our chefs will be preparing your breakfasts, lunches and dinners
Trek Guides are all professionally trained to handle any emergencies or evacuations under the unlikely circumstances should they occur
PRICE INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS
Our price includes all the essentials from the moment you set foot in Kyrgyzstan to the moment you depart. We do not believe in hidden costs that surprise travelers, that is why we include things like guide/ porter/driver tips and even the optional horse riding tour that you may choose to take (refer to itinerary). Please refer to the table below for more detail:
Return Dubai-Bishkek flight on FlyDubai
Comfortable hotels & guest houses (double room basis)
Guides, porters and chefs for the hike
All transportation in Kyrgyzstan
Two-man tents during hike
Tips for drivers, porters, guides and chefs
3 meals per day, throughout trip
Professional photography of the trip
Training regime for hike
Welcome & Farewell Dinner/ Reception
Horse riding at Altyn Arashan Gorge
Access to hot springs
Grasper merchandise surprise
One free local hike
Kyrgyzstan visa if required
Altitude sickness tablets (Diamox)
Personal expenses (souvenirs, snacks)
Paid activities not included in itinerary
Clothing (check packing list for details)
Specialized/ Extra hiking gear
RECOMMENDED PACKING LIST
Backpack or duffle for porters to carry
Day Pack with rain cover
Water Storage (bladder or canteen)
1-2 wicking t-shirts
1-2 hiking pants
2-3 sets of undergarments
2-3 sets of socks
1 fleece jacket (temperatures can drop to 5 C at night)
1 down jacket (temperatures can drop to 5 C at night)
1 rain jacket
Warm, winter hat
Waterproof plastic bags to put clothes in
Sandals or slippers or sneakers
Microfibre face towel
Microfibre body towel
Toiletries kit (soap, shampoo, conditioner, nail clippers, toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, Fresh Buzz, toilet paper, hairbrush, feminine products)
Personal First-Aid (Vitamins, hydration tablets, sleeping pills, altitude sickness pills)
CARE FOR THE PORTERS
As usual, we try to do our best to benefit the country we are visiting by only dealing with high standard companies that ensure high living standards for their porters and guides.
Note: Tips for the entire crew are included in the total cost of the trip and will be handled by Grasp The Adventure team, so you don’t need to worry about it. Tip amounts are calculated based on guidelines provided by the local company.
Thursday 10th September: Flight from Dubai, UAE to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
The group will meet at 8:45 pm sharp in Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 for our 10:45 pm direct Fly Dubai flight to Manas Airport in Bishkek. If you choose to book your own flights, or if you’re flying in from somewhere other than the UAE, make sure you arrive in Bishkek before Friday, 18th September at 4 am.
Friday 11th September: Manas Airport – Cholpon Ata – Karakol
Arrive in Manas Airport at 4:40 am and complete all airport procedures. A bus will be waiting to take us from Bishkek to Cholpon-Ata, a resort town on the northern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul. It is a 4 hour bus ride and a great opportunity to catch up on sleep. We will spend a couple of hours checking out this beautiful town before having our lunch. After lunch, we will continue the journey to Karakol which is an additional two hour bus ride. After checking into our guest house (double room basis), we will have time to shower and relax before going out for dinner at the National Restaurant.
Saturday 12th September: Karakol – Karakol Gorge – Sirota Camp
Maximum altitude: 2953 m/ Hiking distance: 8 km/ Maximum slope: 35%/ Hiking time: 5-6 hrs
Early in the morning, our guide will meet us at the guest house after breakfast for the hike briefing, this is where the fun begins! First, we will be taken deep into the Karakol Gorge to the starting point of the hike, at an altitude of 2300 meters above sea level. We will spend around 5 to 6 hours hiking through the Karakol gorge with multiple rest stops and of course, lunch with a fantastic view. Finally, we reach Sirota Camp at an altitude of 2900 meters for dinner. We will spend the night sharing experiences, laughing and stargazing before retiring to our tents (two person tents).
Sunday 13th September: Sirota Camp – Alakol Gorge – Keldyke Gorge
Maximum altitude: 3860 m/ Hiking distance: 7 km/ Maximum slope: 50%/ Hiking time: 6-7 hrs
This is the most interesting day! After breakfast, we will set off on a long ascent to Alakol Lake, located at an altitude of 3,500 m. A well-deserved lunch meal will be waiting for us by the lake. After eating, we will continue hiking along the left bank of Alakol, up to the pass at our maximum altitude of 3860 m. The push will be challenging but we are always there to support you physically and mentally. Remember, the most important thing when hiking is a positive mental attitude. At the pass, we will sit back and enjoy a heavenly panoramic view of the Tien Shan Mountains, icy peaks and the lake; take it all in, let that rewarding sensation sink in, you’ve earned it. The descent is rather steep, but short. We will get to the Keldyke Gorge in time for dinner and overnight camping.
Monday 14th September: Keldyke Gorge – Altyn Arashan Gorge – Karakol
Maximum altitude: 3530 m/ Hiking distance: 9 km/ Maximum slope: 34%/ Hiking time: 5 hrs
After an early breakfast, we will continue our journey down the Keldyke Gorge, surrounded by natural beauty. Eventually, we will reach the Altyn-Arashan Gorge where we’ll find the popular hot springs surrounded by several yurts… there is no better way to relax and rejuvenate after a hike than to take a dip these natural pools. You can also opt to do some horse riding around here. After lunch, we will take an old Soviet military car since they’re the only ones that can actually pass through the road to the gorge and head back to Karakol. We’ll arrive at the city in the early evening, giving us plenty of time to have dinner and relax.
Tuesday 15th September: Karakol – Bishkek – Manas Airport
After breakfast at the guesthouse, we will visit the souvenir shops in Karakol, make sure you get some things to remind you of this magical trip! Next, we will visit the Jety-Oguz Gorge for some pictures on the way to Fairytale Canyon. Here, we will spend around 30 minutes walking around, exploring the area and 30 more minutes watching the falconry hunting show; afterwards, we’ll have lunch at a yurt camp. Once we’ve satisfied our appetites, we will continue driving all the way back to Bishkek. In Bishkek, we’ll go on a night tour around the city center before visiting a national restaurant, Navat, for our farewell dinner. Finally, our bus will take us to the hotel where we’ll check-in and rest for a few hours before our flight.
Wednesday 16th September: Manas Airport – Dubai International Airport Terminal 3
At 3 am sharp, the bus will collect us from the hotel to take us to Manas International Airport. Direct Fly Dubai flight at 5:50 am from Manas Airport and arriving in Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 at 8:20 am. As we always say, this may be the end of the trip but definitely not the end of our new formed family. With Grasp the Adventure, we think it is very important to continue meeting up after the trip, to go over the photos and laugh over the memories and eventually grasp many more adventures together.