The sun is burning and the landscape does not seem to change at all. This is exhausting as the pass crossing the day before. And in front of us is a long day on which we have to overcome another 1,000 vertical meters.
Before we start our ascent and leave the wide river valley towards the mountains, we have lunch break. We treat ourselves today even twenty minutes nap before it goes on.
After a few hundred meters we are again in front of a river crossing. And that will not be the last for today. Afterwards we have to climb up quite steeply, because unfortunately we cannot just walk through the riverbed into the side valley. So we have to reach the valley over the steep mountain slopes, which fall down to the river. And that is extremely tedious and exhausting.
Before the first mountainside, I am in a good mood, that we can then continue along gentle meadows along the river . When I reach the top and can look over, this hope is abrupt: The mountain slopes fall directly to the river, so we must now always run along the steep slopes .
And often only on extremely narrow cattle rides. Left it goes steeply down to the river. One wrong step and you slide down the mountain. I do not want to imagine that anymore and concentrate on my steps. The group is silent and everyone is just concentrating on themselves.
And then the way is suddenly blocked. Through a huge landslide, which has pushed through the river valley like a dagger. The debris certainly towers up ten to twenty meters in front of us. And there is no way around it! Above the path is too steep and we would have to fight completely through the boulder field.
On the other side, the path is blocked again by a raging, mud-colored glacier river . Again and again we hear how the water crashes rocks with it. Frustrated, we fall to the river bank on the ground. We are exhausted, have been traveling for 8 hours and know that at least 2 more hours are ahead of us.
We saw some cows cross the river. That gives us hope. After another half hour, it is time to put sneakers on and off in the freezing tides. The river is wide and after only a few seconds my feet begin to hurt like hell! Now just do not get hectic, a misstep and I get carried away. On the other hand, I try to get out of the icy sneakers as quickly as possible. Again we did it!
Nevertheless, the mood remains muted. According to our guide, we should cross the pass today and descend to the camp on the other side. How should we do that? Slowly we torture ourselves through the rough terrain. Everyone is clinging to his thoughts and stumbles forward.
Suddenly one of the guys calls something in Kyrgyz from behind. I turn around in shock and see how everyone points to the mountain to our left. I close my eyes but can not see anything. I follow his outstretched arm with his eyes. Now I can recognize her! As tiny points almost at the top of the mountain! Certainly 15 to 20 of these huge and majestic marco polo sheep are slowly moving up there. My mood brightens up a bit.
In front of us, another slope blocks the view of the way ahead. From the right, the landslide slides now in its full sizein our field of vision. What masses came down here!
I do not feel very well when I look to the left of us the mountain massif with its loose rock masses! Again and again we have to cross larger and smaller freshly slipped stone fields. It is unbelievably laborious, the surface is uneven and often drops off to the right towards the river.
When we finally stand on the top of the next slope, I lose all hope that we can make it to the pass. Again another mountain slope is ahead of us, the terrain is impassable. We stop. We discuss what we should do. There is only one way and that means moving forward! But we agree to set up camp at the next suitable location.
When I see the shallow shore on the other side of the river, I draw hope. Here we can make our camp! We are now at 3,500 meters , the night is going to be cold but that does not matter to us all. We are infinitely happy when we sit at 8:00 pm at dinner. We have even managed to light a fire with wet driftwood! It smokes terribly at first, but soon becomes a big, warming fire. We mumble into our tent and soon fell asleep.
At night, I wake up from the patter of rain. I think, hopefully the tent will be tight. I still cannot sleep properly anymore. The rain continues until the morning. Breakfast is taken in the tent.
It takes about an hour to get to the pass. And from there, in turn, we have a breathtaking but completely different view of the next valley. The sun paints beautiful spots on the grassy landscape in front of us.
The Dunguromo, after whom the pass is named, wraps itself to the right of us in dense clouds. I hope to catch another glimpse of him. But unfortunately that will not work anymore. So we start the descent, which actually starts with a path!
Unfortunately, the comfort does not last long and it is soon again rivers cross , along steep slopes and clamber along various mountain slopes . Again and again violent showers patter down on us and quite honestly: I just do not feel like it anymore!
After about 4 hours and a particularly hard last section on the steep bank of a river, we reach our end point in the Barskoon Valley. Here a road leads up to a gold mine and thus civilization caught up with us again in one fell swoop.
We reach the Barskoon Pass at 3,800 m altitude after a 2,400 m ascent. There is an impressive nature, from which we can see the mountain road from about 4,000 meters. A small footpath leads to a waterfall. At the end of the road we see the waterfall called Tears of the Snow Leopard Waterfall. Only a few take the hike. Here we are almost alone. We find a romantic pitch on the other side of the river under coniferous trees. At the top everyone celebrated as they could, but in the end we all ended up in the same place.
We have a strange feeling. One hour up, we are completely cut off from everything and we are on your own. And suddenly we are standing on this road feeling different and being catapulted into another time. While we wait for our pickup, we eat our lunch. The group is silent, everyone can review the experience once again.
Suddenly everything happens very fast. Our guide from Karakol comes with a car. The luggage is thrown into the trunk. And it means saying goodbye! Quickly we press them a tip in the hand and it goes on the dirt road towards Issyk-Kul lake. On the way are still a few beautiful waterfalls.
We squeezed in the van trying to get rid of the cold and waiting for those who would arrive just after. Then, we continue the hike down to find a place to sleep, since between rain, cold and snow the options were scarce. So we had something to do if we did not want to die frozen. Luckily the guide was with us.
He took us to an abandoned house in ruins a kilometer down the harbor. In the afternoon we return to the Tamga village. He told us that this was the best place to sleep. We clean the place, search for firewood, cut logs with a mini axe, try to open a abandoned container and we had dinner that day.
Our guide saved our lives again by leaving us his little stove that allowed us to make very generous portions of pasta with a Kazy salami, something inedible but we ended up eating it. We found a piece of bacon that we had bought and that momentarily disappeared. We try the traditional Kyrgyz drink, the Kumis, and enjoy the scenery. After a little while next to the bonfire that we created, we all went to sleep in our little house. Although there is no direct danger, but so much mass of rock above us worries me easily. At night it is bitterly cold. The puddles freeze. We have a taste of aleeping along the Pamir Highway.
In the morning we travel along the south shore of the Issyk-Kul lake. On the way we visit the Skazka canyons. Here we find objects of surprising shapes and sizes. Then we visit the town of Bokonbaevo, where we meet a hunter with an eagle and his bird of prey. In the afternoon, we wash ourselves in the real Russian bath, the Banya.
The road to Bishkek passes through the north coast of the lake and through the Boom gorge. On the way we visit the Burana Tower. The Burana Tower is an old minaret in the Chuy valley in the northern part of Kyrgyzstan. It is located about 80 km from the capital Bishkek, near the town of Tokmok.
The tower with funerary monuments, embankments, remains of the Castle and three mausoleums is all that remains of the ancient city Balasagun which was founded by Karakhanids at the end of the 9th century. In the evening we have a farewell dinner at one of the traditional Kyrgyz restaurants.