Travel in Kyrgyzstan is always connected with mountains. The mountains, despite all their beauty, are fraught with many dangers, which you need to be aware of, in order to take away from the trip only pleasant impressions and emotions.
Before you go to the mountains, make sure that the level of preparation will allow you to go through the chosen route. To evaluate the complexity of the route, you can use Google Earth, where you can better see the relief and elevations, as well as topographic maps.
Learn more about maps
Inform Friends and Family
Before going to the mountains, be sure to inform relatives and friends about the route you have selected.
Check out the Weather
Learn about the weather at the time of visiting the mountains. If the forecast is unfavorable, a trip to the mountains should be postponed for another day.
The mountains are an unpredictable place, and therefore, even with a good weather forecast, you should have outdoor equipment in case of bad weather and emergencies. It includes: warm waterproof clothing, a flashlight, means to kindle a fire, a minimum first aid kit and a small supply of food and water.
Don’t be ashamed to turn around
Don’t be ashamed to turn around if you feel very tired or face a bad weather. Moving in the mountains in the dark or an unplanned overnight stay in the mountains without special equipment can lead to serious consequences.
Choose Safe Routes
Learn to recognize complex parts of mountains and avoid them. Such places include avalanche areas, rock falls, unsafe fords, etc.
Use a Map and a Compass.
Take care of the means of navigation. These include GPS-tracker, maps and compass. Always know where you are, so as not to get lost and correctly calculate your forces.
In case of emergency, conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary. Do not panic and soberly assess the situation.
Kindle bonfires only in the event of emergencies and if necessary, in order to avoid the occurrence of forest fires.
In the height of summer
Summer is the best time for a mountain hike. However, despite the warm weather and lack of snow, there are a lot of dangers in the mountains that you need to know about.
Despite the warm weather, the sun rises late in the mountains and the sun sets early, which leads to sharp temperature changes. Therefore, even in the summer hike you need to have warm clothes with you.
The sun in the mountains has much more ultraviolet than in the plain. Therefore when you go to the mountains in the summer, take care of sunscreen and sunglasses.
Water and Food
Mountain trek requires a lot of strength. The impact of the sun, wind, coupled with increased physical exertion can lead to the fact that you lose all your forces on the way back. Therefore, regularly drink, and take care of the minimum supply of food for yourself. Water in mountain streams is suitable for drinking, however, it is always better to boil it.
Wild Animals and Insects
There are wild animals and insects in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Interaction with animals should be very cautious and it is better to reduce such interactions to a minimum. Even marmots and hares can be carriers of dangerous diseases, such as rabies and plague. Among the most dangerous animals in the mountains are wolves and poisonous snakes. Also, it is necessary to be afraid of insects – first of all mites. In spring and summer, there are many mites in the grass, which may have tick-borne encephalitis. Therefore, when going to the mountains, make sure that you don’t have open areas on your body, especially on the legs. You can also take care of special repellent sprays and ointments or just get vaccinated.
Do not eat mushrooms or berries you do not know.
During heavy rains in the spring and summer in the mountains, you should remember the danger of the descent of mudflow and breakthrough of mountain lakes. Therefore, try to refrain from hiking in the period of heavy rains.
In the dead of winter
Winter in the mountains has its own charm. And despite the cold and thick layer of snow, many people like winter mountain hikes. However, in the winter you need to be extremely cautious, and therefore there are several rules that you must know before you go to the mountains.
Winter in the mountains is significantly different from the winter in the valleys. The temperature in the mountains can drop to -40 degrees Celsius. The most important thing is the prevention of hypothermia, and therefore you must have warm clothes. Stay warm, dry and hydrated.
On a sunny winter day in the mountains without good glasses protecting from ultraviolet light it is very easy to get sick with the so-called snow blindness. Therefore, when going on a walk in the mountains be sure to take care of good glasses with a high level of protection from ultraviolet radiation.
Always check the weather forecast and avoid hiking in the mountains during heavy snowfall or immediately after them. Also, avoid steep, avalanche-dangerous slopes. You can’t outrun or outski an avalanche, so the best thing to do is avoiding them altogether.
Overnight in the Mountains
Setting Up a Tent
Install the tent on level ground. Do not install a tent directly under a steep mountain slope, as there is always a danger of rockfall. Also, do not install the tent close to animal burrows, or near anthills.
Yurts of Shepherds
In many gorges there are yurts of shepherds (shepherds). If there is an opportunity and the shepherds themselves do not interfere with this, try installing a tent near their yurt. This will allow for greater security.