Trekking from Tash Rabat to Chatyr Kel Lake

Trekking from Tash Rabat to Chatyr Kel Lake

Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Season: May – September
Route: Tash Rabat Caravanserai – footstep of Tash Rabat pass – Chatyr Kel Lake – Djinishke pass – Uchkara valley – Beldjol pass – Tash Rabat
Level of difficulty: program is suitable for active people with good health, able to acclimatize on 4000m above the sea level and make hiking passages for 5-7 hours a day. Average altitude difference during trek is 1000m.

Traveling to the places literally "saturated" with history.
Perhaps negotiants can be called the first professional travelers. They overpassed inconceivable distances for those times and met with unimaginable difficulties along the way.
In Tash Rabat caravanserai  surroundings we can still feel how travelers used to feel in those deserted places. As it was in past no one lives there and only rarely can you find nomads.

Chatyr Kel Lake. Chatyr Kel Lake is located in the Aksai valley at an altitude of 3520 meters above sea level. In Kyrgyz language “Chatyr Kel” means "Heavenly Lake". This is one of the largest lakes in Kyrgyzstan.
In March 11, 1859 Kazakh traveler and explorer of Central Asia Chokan Valikhanov visited Chatyr Kel  Lake on the way back from Kashagar.
The water temperature varies from 6 °C to 16 °C in the period from July to August, and in winter the air temperature can drop to -54°C degrees.

Tash Rabat Caravanserai. It is located on the bank of the Tash Rabat river the tributary of the Kara Koyun river at an altitude of more than 3500m above sea level.
Tash Rabat supposedly was built in the 15th century on the site of an older monastery of the 9th-10th centuries. There are two versions of its foundation: the first - the temple was founded by Christian monks from Syria or some Christian sect the second - it was founded by Buddhist monks.
Eventually Islam finally consolidated in Central Asia and the monastery began to decline. However the proximity to the Silk Road did not allow the temple to become a desert. It was used as a caravanserai.
It is believed that Tash Rabat was a key point on the way through the Tien Shan as it not only provided shelter for merchants but also served as a fortification. Passing Tash Rabat trade caravans went to the cities of the Fergana valley.

Day 1 
Tash Rabat caravanserai – footstep of Tash Rabat pass

Packing horses at yurt camp and hike to the upper of the gorge, till footstep of the pass. Night in tent camp.
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Tash Rabat caravanserai – 3100m, overnight in tent camp at 3500m. 
Elevation: +500. Distance: around 10 km. 
Walking time: around 4-5 hours on the way.

Day 2 
Footstep of Tash Rabat pass – Tash Rabat pass – Chatyr Kel Lake

Hike over the pass and descent to Chatyr-Kul lake. Night in tent camp or yurt camp.
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Tash Rabat pass – 3964m, Chatyr Kel Lake– 3550m. 
Elevation: +500, -450m. Distance: around 10 km. 
Walking time: around 5-6 hours on the way.

Day 3
Chatyr Kel – Djinishke pass – Uchkara valley

Hike over Djinishke pass pass to nearest valley named Uchkara. Night in tent camp.
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Djinishke pass – 4062m, overnight in tent camp at 3500m. 
Elevation: +500, -550m. Distance: around 10 km. 
Walking time: around 5-6 hours on the way.

Day 4
Uchkara valley – Beldjol pass – Tash Rabat

Walking along Uchkara valley. Getting over Beldjol pass and finish trek at Tash Rabat caravanserai. Night in yurt camp.
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Beldjol pass – 3431m, Tash Rabat caravanserai – 3100m. 
Elevation: +300, -700m. Distance: around 15 km. 
Walking time: around 5-6 hours on the way.

 

Recommended clothing and equipment:
Sunscreen (at least 20SPF);
Chapstik or equivalent lip balm;
Sunglasses with UV protection;
At least a 25 Liter backpack for personal items;
Sleeping bag;
Sleeping mat;
Telescopic trekking sticks poles (optional);
Head lamp (eg Petzl) spare bulbs & batteries; 
T-Shirts, long-sleeved T-shirt, shorts;
Trekking pants;
Underwear;
Fleece jacket or pullover;
Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional); 
Down vest and/or jacket (optional); 
Waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex) with hoody;
Waterproof pants (Gore-Tex);
Thick, warm wool hiking socks - 2 pairs (for sleeping in tents cotton socks - 3 pairs);
Thin gloves for trekking and overnight;    
Sun hat or scarf;
Warm fleece hat or light balaclava; 
Trekking/Hiking boots with spare laces; 
Footwear for around camp, eg running shoes and/or sandals.