The canyons are located on the northern slopes of the Turkestanskyi range and administrated by Lyalakskyi raion of the Batken oblast. This is “paradise” for climbers. Rocks of the region are similar to Southern Patagonia by its structure and composition. It’s sometimes referred as Kyrgyz Patagonia but unlike the original weather is much warmer here and extent of walls is much longer. For example, the northern wall of Ak-Suu peak is 2,000 m high. Rocks are composed with solid, monolith granites, limestones and sandstones.
Great opportunity for technical climbs on the known routes as well as first ascents and new routes are at climber’s disposal. Warm weather settles from mid June till September. Major precipitation is in autumn. The first climbers visited area in 1936 during geological expeditions. Their names are well-known: Vitalyi and Eugenie Abalakovi, Maleinov, Austrian mountaineer Lorenz Saladin and the others. Then they unsuccessfully endeavored to ascent the highest peak of the region Piramidalnyi (5,509m). Since that time the
region has been forgotten for almost 50 years. The modern exploration started in 1982 with the Russian expedition under leadership of Leonid Trochinenko to the Lyalak gorge. Later in 1986
Karavshin gorge was chosen as the ground for Climbing Championship of the USSR. This one region has more extremely difficult routes of grade B than in all Kyrgyzstan (more than 100). There are more than 50 grade 2-5 routes in the area.
The region is accessed by road from Osh and Batken towns. Beside main road there is also air service connecting Bishkek with Osh and Batken. If you go to Laylak, you should first drive to Katran village and from there one day hike or horse riding to the climbing start. If going to Karavshin, you should drive to Vorukh village and from there one day walk or horse riding. The rout to Karavshin lies through Tadjik enclave Vorukh. For each crossing it’s required to have Tadjik visa (if your country has visa system with Tadjikistan). However, this issue can be “solved” right at the spot though there is no guarantee. Usually to deliver loads from the end of the road to base camps horses are used and can be rented right in the villages. Fresh fruit and vegetables of good quality are available here and even cheaper than in Bishkek or Osh. Other supplies, petrol for primus stoves and gas is better to stock in Osh or Bishkek.
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