W
NW
N
N
NE
W
the Degree Confluence Project
E
SW
S
S
SE
E

Kyrgyzstan

7.5 km (4.7 miles) N of Torkent, Talas, Kyrgyzstan
Approx. altitude: 2556 m (8385 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 42°S 107°W

Accuracy: 3.8 km (2.4 mi)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: the view towards toktogul and the reservoir 3,8km from the confluence #3: the mountain behind which the confluence lies #4: one of the farmer familys who helped with water and some apples #5: me after the attempt, completely exhausted and with severe sunburns #6: map of the area

  { Main | Search | Countries | Information | Member Page | Random }

  42°N 73°E (visit #1) (incomplete) 

#1: behind this peak is another peak, behind which lies the confluence

(visited by Philipp Funovits)

29-Aug-2006 -- This was the first confluence I tried to visit in Kyrgysztan.

Unfortunately my attempt was not succesfull. The good news are though, that in principle the confluence is accessible. The confluence lies 14,7 km north of Toktogul, a small town whose claim to fame is its famous son Toktogul Satilganov (whence the present name of the town) still one of the most revered folk singers Kyrgysztans. It is situated at the shore of the huge reservoir created by the Kara Köl dam 20 kilometers down south. The power plants along the dam system downstream are supposed to have the capacity of creating 1,2 gigawatt energy, and are in fact controlling a big percentage of the kyrgysz water resources who are used to irrigate the fergana valley and with it a significant part of the Uzbek agriculture. Clearly one of the major sources of discontent and jealous bickering between the two states.

According to the map I bought from Geoid in Bishkek (1:200 000), the point is right behind a unnamed 2700m peak on a saddle at an altitude of 2400m. The shortest route would be to attack the confluence from the flanks (e.g. climbing the slope to the east. But this would not be very wise because the flanks are not only very steep, but consist at least in part of gravel and loose rocks (landslides are a common problems with kyrgysz mountain roads), which makes them hazardous.

Before the mountains lies a belt of soft hills which meander in north from an altitude of 1100m to about 1600m at which point the massive starts (they look like giant fingers groping towards the lake. There are no trees or other megaflora, just sun scorched dried grass and occasionally some bushes.

At this time of year there is almost no water, and the rivulets marked in the map are down to a trickle or have drowned completely. Apart from that are most of them are polluted from agricultural use.

I made a brute force attempt, that is hiking the whole distance from Toktogul. On the way I learned that there are some gravel tracks winding in the valleys between the hills, connecting some small farms with the main road. If I had used the small road that starts in a small village 2 east from toktogul on the main road, I could have driven within 6km distance of the confluence.

The best time to visit this confluence is autumn or spring. In summer the temperature rises quickly above 36 degrees Celsius, and there is nothing to shade you from the sun. I couldn't guzzle the water down as quickly as I sweated it out, and there was almost no possibility to fill my flasks (the local farmers are happy to help out if you ask). The really hard part are the last 6 km to the confluence. Within little more than one kilometer the altitude rises from 1600-1700m up to 2200m above sea level. It was manageable without climbing gear (although real good shoes are recommended), but very exhausting. I came within 3,8km distance of the confluence before turning around (had to be back before nightfall). On that day my odometer showed that I walked more than 30 kilometers that day. I needed two days for recovery and re hydration which made a second attempt impossible. Visiting this confluence is a rewarding experience, if you happen to be in the area -try it. I am happy to provide any information I can give if you contact me beforehand.


 All pictures
#1: behind this peak is another peak, behind which lies the confluence
#2: the view towards toktogul and the reservoir 3,8km from the confluence
#3: the mountain behind which the confluence lies
#4: one of the farmer familys who helped with water and some apples
#5: me after the attempt, completely exhausted and with severe sunburns
#6: map of the area
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)