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Asia, CIS, Borkoldoy Region of the Central Tien Shan, Kirghizstan

Borkoldoy Region of the Central Tien Shan, Kirghizstan. A mountaineering and trekking group of five Russians and six British (Marion Elmes, Mike Parsons, Larry Hootton, Jane Sanderson, Alan Martley and I) spent three weeks exploring the Borkoldoy region (41°15'N, 77°45'E) during August. We reached the area with a six-wheel-drive truck from Lake Issyk-kul to the north. The peaks were alpine in size and character, mainly a shade under 5000 meters. We climbed eight virgin summits. Snow conditions were generally poor and snow arêtes particularly difficult. Kirghiz nomads occupy most of the major valleys in the summer months. There are snow leopards, wolves and bears as well as sheep, goats and horses. The high valleys are grassland and superb walking and riding country. The weather was generally alpine—mixed and unsettled, but no storms lasted more than a day.

Philip Bartlett, Alpine Club