D249. May 8. Trek in the Altyn valley, an alpine paradise

map trekThe Altyn-Arashan valley is set in a postcard- perfect alpine valley at 3000m, with 4260m Pik Palatka looming at its southern end…

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At the end of the day, we should reach our destination : a mountain hut for the night, and hot springs as a reward for our efforts.

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An avalanche-prone road, strewn with rocks and winter debris, makes for a slow crawl up to the springs by 4WD.

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It’s a steep six-hour (14km) climb south on the 4WD track beside the Arashan River, through a piney canyon full of hidden hot and cold springs.

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On my way, I meet Dorek on his horse. His friend would like me to give him water but I don’t have any left. I give him an empty plastic bottle, that should at least help him in storing additional water when he will pass by a source.

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Indeed, when we stopped for lunch, our guide and cook used the river water without even boiling it.

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Six hours later, birds of prey seems to show the way.

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Around Five, we catch sight of the Arashan camp…

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The white summits seemed so far from us this morning, and now we are only a few kilometers from them.

The night is gonna be cold though, so let’s hope the hot springs are real…

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