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Authors Ilya Rylskiy, Belousov
Karavshin - Three Years of Oblivion
Karavshin Valley located in Turkestan range (Pamiro-Altay) in Batkensky region, Osh, Kirghizia.
In upper reaches it subdivided into Rocky Ak-Su (White Water) and Kara-Su (Black Water) gorge. In Rocky Ak-Su areas peaks Ortyubek, Slesova, Ptitsa (Bird), 4774, 4810 are located. And in Kara-Su - peaks Asan, Usen, the same great and terrifying 4810, the 1000-anniversaries of a Christening of Russia, Pyramidal, Yellow Wall and K.
Till 2000 year in Karavshin all was quiet. In 1999 the Russian mountaineering championship there was run, there was a lot of people. Then there occurred a series of incidents as a result of which to visit this area have ceased. Till now many people consider a trip to that region rather unsafe action. We’ve heard that there was a group of Czech climbers but we don’t have much information about it. During our stay in the valley we met there at once two groups of Germans. One of them - horse tourists (the original burghers - with moustaches and a smell of beer). The second was more sports - four climbers, arrived to ascend " something simple ".
You can find here and there in the valley the traces of guerrilla war:
automatic sleeves; even a scrap of machine-gun tape. But basically all is quiet- frontier guards have an outpost in 20 kilometres below on gorge and they constantly carry out spot-checks in the gorge, sit in ambushes.
Vladimir Nikolaevich Shataev went us towards and gave us all necessary descriptions for scanning, for what many thanks would be desirable to tell to him. As the result we had on hands 29 descriptions of routes up to 6À categories of difficulty. We chose only the routes passable without a platform. Photos - colour or black-and-white (according to an initial one), texts - as the scanned rasters. The list, naturally, was not full, we didn’t take 6B-routes descriptions, but it was quite enough for a middle-advanced group to depart to that region. Well, the data was recorded on CD, any interested person can receive it in exchange for empty CD and 5 bottles of beer. At present moment we are preparing fresher descriptions of routes 5À on Yellow Wall and 6À on Àsàn (Pogorelov).
The route of our transportation was following:
Moscow (airport Domodedovo) - Bishkek (Kirghizia) - Îsh (Kirghizia) - Vorukh (Tajikistan) - Base Camp (gorge the Kara - Su).
Air tickets: 320$ there and back, 25 kg of luggage are authorised. Airline: ITEK-AYR (Kirghizia), the plane was super-old, but could fly. Gas, food and a part of gear went by rail with conductors: for 120 kg of a cargo (informal) we paid about 50$. The train goes 3 times to a week, it takes about 73-74 hours to get Bishkek. Our train left about the midnight on Thursday, and on Sunday at the fourth one o'clock in the morning it already was in Bishkek. All the time we spent without adventures. Advice: the container should be very tough, and balloons with gas - are dug more deeply.
The exchange course in August, 2003: 1$=42-44som.
The small lorry from Osh to Bishkek costs 6500 som. From Bishkek to Osh it would be more. We ordered all in advance and it consequently was more expensive. The car from Osh to Bishkek- 2500-3000 som, the UAZ "loaf" – 5000 som. To go from Bishkek up to Îsh - 12-14 hours (without breakages). To go from Osh up to Vorukh - 10-12 hours (It depends on times spending at customs). If you have a guitar customs are passed easier. In general it is better to go in the afternoon and earlier: in the evening, after 18.00 not clear things begin: that appears that the border does not work at night, the chief of frontier guards at which it is necessary to sign the group miss, disappears.
To Vorukh we first went by KAMAZ. This vehicle could reach only up to lower apricot orchard, in 4-5 km from Vorukh. Further the road becomes too narrow for it. The part of our cargo was put "Goat" (GAZ CAR), a motorcycle and the donkeys taken in the same place, in Vorukh and was went up upper. But it was necessary to pay for it separately. "Goat" reaches the bridge - about in a kilometre from a frontier post. It is recommended to take a bottle or two of vodka as a gift to frontier guards. On the post there is a portable radio set and the platform prepared for landing a helicopter. The helicopter, supposedly is in Osh. So, theoretically, it can be used for urgent evacuation of injured persons.
The Basic places on 50-km of a way from Vorukh to the Base Camp:
lower apricot orchard - in 5 km from Vorukh; the big bridge over the river - at 2-2.5 hours walking from the apricot orchard; intermediate apricot orchard, there is a spring there-in 3 hours more walking; the frontier post- 2.5-3 hours more; the upper apricot orchard- 2 hours more. We spent a night in the upper apricot orchard: you can taste fruit and accommodate a whole regiment. It is possible to spend the night also at the frontier post (if they will allow), and settle the Camp near the spring (but problems with places under tents are possible).
From the upper apricots orchard to the Base Camp it takes about 5 - 6 hours of trekking.
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