landscape image - Tien Shan
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  • Fly to: Almaty Kazakhstan

  • Internal Transfer: Almaty (Kazakhstan) to Karakol (Kyrgyzstan) in minibus (9hrs 30mins)

  • Karakol, Kyrgyzstan - Inylchek (9hrs) in an Ex-Soviet off road Military Truck

  • Ex-Soviet military helicopter flight up the Inylchek glacier (35mins)

  • Visa required: Yes if British for both Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

  • Currency:Tenge (Kazakhstan) & Som (Kyrgyzstan)

  • Time Zone:+6hrs GMT

  • Journal:Click here

Day 11, 29/07/08: Tien Shan

Up at 8:30am for another chillout acclimatization day; tomorrow we leave base camp in order to make our 8 day summit attempt (incl spare days) - feeling like I just want to get up on the mountain now & achieve what I've come here to do.

Did some laundry today; the lads had also decided to wash all of their clothes; it was like a mini production line, ha everything took so long as their pre-wash, was followed by a 1st wash, 2nd wash, 1st rinse, 2nd rinse. It was quite an operation especially as every ounce of glacial water had to be heated on a gas stove. Then was the task of sorting what personal gear to take onto the mountain; my thinking so far was:


  • Rab down jacket
  • ME thin synthetic puffa jacket
  • Rab smock
  • Ice breaker top/bottoms
  • 2 Helly Hanson underwear shorts (wear 1, the other summit pants or scary moment replacement pants!)
  • 2 pairs of mountain socks (wear 1, the other keep as the summit pair)
  • Fleece hat plus spare (balaclava)
  • Gloves plus spare (extreme mitts)
  • Waterproof jacket & trousers
  • Lowe Alpine trekking trousers

    Other Equipment:

  • Sunglasses plus spare (goggles)
  • Factor 50 sun cream & lip balm
  • 1 x 1L nalgene
  • Helmet
  • Climbing harness
  • 2 x prussets
  • 2 x slings (4ft)
  • 3 x locking karabiners
  • Fixed rope ascender (jumar)
  • 2 snap karabiners
  • Belay plate (required was a figure of 8 but I didn't have one)
  • Head torch
  • Mug & spoon
  • Watch
  • Sleeping bag (Rab summit series 900)
  • Therma-rest
  • Foam roll mat
  • Personal 1st aid kit (ibuprofen, diamox, antibiotics, athletic tape, duck tape, lighter & sew kit)

I'm a little concerned as one member's sleeping bag only goes down to minus 4 degrees & her boots are single skinned Boreals...hmm slightly worrying. After everyone took an eternity to decide what kit to take (my kit is pretty standard so I didn't have to concern myself with too many decisions) we headed out on the glacier to practice abseil techniques. The decision to practice these was taken in light of the 'hold up' & mini dramas encountered the other day.