Wednesday, 8 August 2012

So, having arrived in Kyrgyzstan at sometime on the early morning of the 31st and having promptly changed the softshells into shorts and t-shirt, Alek met with the ITMC staff (who were lovely) and having spend around 6 hours on looking around Bishkek's shops for dried milk and smash settled for Pryaniks (look it up) and baby food set off to Al-Archa to sit out mountaineer for the next few days till the main contingent arrived. Having gone up to the Ak-Sai hut (Stoyanka Ratseka), Alek then climbed (walked up) Peak Uchitel (Peak Teacher) at 4540 or so meters. Then realising that there was nothing else that could be walked up there (it's a beautiful mountaineering area, but not much of a place for walkers) headed up to the Al-Archa glacier. Alek would highly recommend this route as the valley is scenic, the bridges memorable and the abandonned ski base, erm... Historic? No the abandonned ski station was in all honesty a bit of a dump, and gave the impression that the ghosts of old soviets would come and take you away in the middle of the night, but the rest of the valley is amazing.

In any case, once Azwan, Bradley, Conor and Bradley Ronan arrived at 4am, in the 22 degree heat, full preparation began. Staring with breakfast followed by sleep. Subsequently, a further three days of exploring Bishkek for the sake of securing enough cheese, chocolate and other camping fares to last the thirty days on the glacier. The result is that they're all fairly acquainted with this lovely city (not sarcastic this time- it's actually a lovely city) and the flat is crammed with not quite enought food to start a small supermarket, but definitely enough to start a revolution (around 180kg of which 25kg is chocolate and 20kg is meat). All in all, we're finished with the preparations!

Tomorrow at 6:30 the Ural (a bigger truck than expected because the GAZ is broken), hopefully along with Vlad, comes to the flat, gets loaded up and then the expedition will truly leave for the mountains and you won't have to read any more of these for at least a month (hopefully)........

Alek, Azwan, Bradley

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