Tien Shan: Wilderness and Kozhomkul the Strong

I can write today, because we are at Suusamyr for our day off. We’re attending festivities celebrating the 130th birthday of Kozhomkul the Strong. Legend says that he crossed the mountains a long time ago in winter and when his horse couldn’t get any further because of the deep snow, he took it on his back and carried it over the mountains.

In the real world, work is going well in the mountains. On our surveys we have spotted ibex, marmot, golden eagle, found wolf, fox and other scats. Every day we saw sunshine interrupted by the odd rain or haze shower. The clear nights are cold, but the starry sky totally makes up for it. Karakol pass is still blocked by snow.

This morning all the peaks surrounding base camp had a fresh layer of snow on them. Because of this, only a few herders have moved into “our” valley – we have it to ourselves and the wilderness that surrounds us.

More from us when group 1 returns next week. Only a few pictures for now…

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