MERTZBACHER TRAIL TREK
Trip code: MTTR
Trip season: 01/07-31/08
Group size: 1-16 pax
Price: Please refer to Trek Dossier for the most up-to-date information
Description: Dr Gottfried Mertzbacher was the first man attempted to reach as he thought at this time highest point of Tien Shan: Khan Tengri peak in 1902. This eight days-long trek takes in some of the most remote and the less visited scenery of Eastern Kyrgyzstan -the unique Merzbacher lake known for its mysterious fill and explode cycles. Every year the lake bursts its icy bottom and explodes into Inylchek River below the glacier for only 7-10 days. Then starts a new cycle of filling. The trek goes along one of the longest glaciers in the world Inylchek which is presently 60 km long. On the way the route passes the world's second largest alpine lake Issyk-Kul, mountain ranges, passes, fur tree forests and juniper groves. The tour begins and ends with the opportunity to visit some of Kyrgyzstan's finest cultural and historical treasures.
Route: The route begins with drive to Karakol town located on the eastern end of Issyk-Kul lake. There will be time to swim and explore the lake and its environs on foot or by boat before continue to Karakol, once a Russian fortress. Next day we will drive to Jergalan valley. Here, porters take over and carry personal luggage and camping gear for the trek through stunning mountain scenery. The trekking route, known as the 'Mertzbacher Trail' passes many tempestuous rivers, high glaciated summits and a wide variety of colourful panoramas. The alpine meadows are extremely beautiful with a profusion of flowers and lush grass pastures. Several Golden Eagles have their home here along with other colourful bird-life. There will be time at the end of the trek for sightseeing and shopping in Karakol's and Bishkek's bazaars, and we will gather together for a banquet on the last night.
Grade: The tour is 11 days trekking on foot. Paths are generally in good shapes as far as the glacier where the trails are rude and sometimes disappear. The trek is porter-assisted, so you need to carry only a day pack with some of your belongings. Average walking time is around 5-6 hours per day. Daily altitude gain is about 500-800 m. You must be reasonably fit to attempt this trek. Trek graded as Steady extra: Trekking and camping background advisable. Varying extra demands: Remoteness, altitude, long days, weather, lack of comforts.
Trek Crew: The trek is assisted by guide and porters who carry camping gear for the trek.