South of Barskoon, Kyrgizstan - Part Two Week 127 September 1st 2013
Today's activity is ....

Walk up the side of the glacier!

The track seems to head towards the edge of the lateral moraine on the left hand side.

Too good an opportunity to miss.

Indeed it does.

Then it sort of stopped.

But beyond that the walking looked easy.

Looking back, our truck is a small white dot, about center of the picture.

Most glaciers we've seen recede a bit, then advance a bit less, then recede some more.

Leaving a series of terminal moraines. Which then become vegetated.

They recede either because they melt faster or there's less snow fall.

Not sure what's happened here but the glacier seems to have receded very rapidly in recent years and forgotten to advance a bit.

The implications for the two rivers feeding the Aral Sea are probably quite profound.

The edge has collapsed a bit here.
Just to show how difficult it is to take a photo of us.
Much easier with just one.

Truck is still just visible.

There's a surface flow of water down the middle of the glacier.

It seems to be melting from the top rather than the end tumbling into a terminal lake.

One of those "just around the corner" days.

We almost turned back a few times before reaching here, after a couple of hours.

Nearly at the end (or beginning as its the top) of the moraine was this pimple which we chose to occupy.


And looked round the corner (at last).

The source of the glacier.

These are young mountains. The cwms are still being formed.

Looks like there would be some interesting avalanches at times.
This is today's brain-teaser..

There's a small pile of three stones, a short length of sawn wood on the ground, and a length of 19mm steel reinforcing rod sticking upright out of the ground.

On the ridge of the moraine. Some goat tracks around.


The striations in the ice are fascinating to us.

The rocks have been mostly granite. Very coarse grained (slow cooling).

A bit of sedimentary higher up along our side.


The sun has moved round a bit and is kinder to the camera.

We set out for a short stroll. We are nearly back after more than four hours.

A cup of coffee waits.

The kettle doesn't boil at high enough temperature for good tea.

Our short walk took us to the corner of the glacier in the distance.

Feeling a bit muzzy headed we decide to move lower.

We also realised it was clouding over with a hint of rain.

We really have no idea of how to read the weather here.

And the little red light on the dashboard came on again, but went out a while after changing to the fuller tank again.

We followed our intended route.

This is a small river crossing which has been little used. Its the river from our glacier and would probably have less water first thing in the morning.

The tracks of the last vehicle through looked like those of a large Kamaz truck.

Probably OK but we haven't seen another vehicle in the last 24 hours. Its 4pm. 

The track to the ford was a bit muddy in places. The surrounds are "tundra-like" and a bit spongy.

We have no idea what's in the 30km on the far side of the crossing. Insufficient local knowledge and poor maps.

All manageable individually. Add it all together and we are a bit uncomfortable!

We remind ourselves that, for us, 4wd is to get us out of trouble, not into it.

So we headed back towards the sunny bit.

Across the bridge for light vehicles.
And back to that lovely all weather gravel road for the mine.
We still don't know if its going to rain. It seems to be coming in from the south.

Though the clouds are very high we can see rain falling in places. Much like at Song-Kol.

We've lost count of the number of glaciers.

Beyond this is the descent through the ever so many hairpins.
We found a camp at the bottom.

A bit tight to get into, used 4wd on grass incline, and only just level.

We'd earlier noticed a mini bus with possibly tourists heading off up a track so thought we might investigate.

Cooker low volts light came on .... change the fuse, the old one was half melted and a bit of a neck.

South of Barskoon, Kyrgizstan - Part Three Week 127 September 2nd - 5th 2013

Lorraine Sat, 14 Sep 13 15:47:37 +1000
Absolutely amazing stuff Ali & Julian. What memories you are making. I have to say that you are much braver than me though with the places you have been too.

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