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
Day 7, 25/07/08: Tien Shan
Up at 7:00am; we packed up 3 tents to carry up the glacier. We were roped up in our respective tent teams as we made our traverse along the glacier. The further up the glacier we walked the more we could see the ridge on which we would be make our ascent of Chapayev - hmm looking pretty exposed!
As we headed to the edge of the glacier to find a camp spot the section of snow beneath us released a huge thud & crack. I felt the jolt through my entire body but be it through fear or nerves I just couldn't stop giggling - all's I heard was the guy at the back of our rope team yelling 'move, move, move, don't stop, don't stop!'
Haha when I belayed him in he kept saying 'did you hear & feel that?!' Ha poor lad, think we were all slightly bricking it! We crossed numerous crevasse holes before we eventually found a suitable camp spot (by a frozen glacial lake protected by a steep snow wall). Once again a mini-blizzard came in just as we were pitching our tents; the ice/snow was shallow so we tied the 3 tents together and made a rudimentary pitch using our ice axes; in all fairness we were pretty well protected anyway. We collected plenty of snow using the cook pots and made little snow-castles outside each tent ready for water melting.
A couple of the guys headed off to do the manly thing & build a toilet; after which they promptly christened it! We ate a lunch of stale bread, cheese, salami & drank tea full of undissolved granules! (The other Adventure Peaks team had taken all the tea bags by accident!). During late afternoon the weather cleared up beautifully so we cooked & ate pasta, tomato & cheese outside. During the night the tent had iced up & we each awoke to a full head of icicles!