24-May-2013 – We met on the minibus from Bishkek to Alma Aty. She wanted to practice her faltering English, I knew my Russian was not good enough to be properly articulate. But somehow I managed to convey to her the concept of confluence point hunting and that there was one such point just south of Alma Aty. How could I get there?
She called me at the hotel later in the evening. Her aunt had organized a car and a driver for next morning. He turned out to speak German as well as Kyrgyz and Russian. His family had migrated to the area a couple of hundred years ago. Gulsun, the woman from the minibus, was there too and asked if she could come along for the trip. The car took us up to a reservoir, it must be what Rainer Mautz names Lake Almatiskoe. From there it was about 6.8 km to the confluence point and an ascent of just under 1.000 meters. We chose to walk on the eastern side of the lake following a jeep track to begin with.
The weather was not nice, cold and misty. It started raining, it turned to sleet and then finally to regular snowing. After about 4 hours we came to a river, about one kilometer to go to the confluence point at just over 3.000 meters altitude. The river was not deep, but very fast. We considered wading across, but realized that could be dangerous and grudgingly abandoned our mission. In water just above freezing point feet get paralyzed and powerless. Crossing was no option. With such an obvious incomplete mission the only reason for submitting a report is making other hunters aware of the river. We saw parts of a track on the western side of the river which means one would have to start on the western side of the lake. No more time this time for us, but perhaps in the autumn...
Many spring flowers, known and unknown appeared along the track, we saw a couple of small, wild goats and a hawk as well as many smaller birds. And a couple of marmots. No success, but a healthy trek!