Packrafting in Kirgistan

Peter from the LWA guide team and a friend of his went Packrafting in the wilderness of Kirgistan. This is a short account of what they did, together with a few pictures.

End of August we set out for a ten day packrafting adventure in the remote mountains of Kyrgyz Tien Shan. Start and end point was the deserted mining town of Enilchek. We aimed to paddle the unknown rivers of Irtash and Uchkel.

To reach the headwaters of Irtash, we had to hike in 60 km with 30 kg packs and cross the 4300m Kuilu pass. Luckily we could arrange riding the first half of the hike saving time and strength. After reaching the headwaters of Irtash, the rivers turned out to be way wilder and higher volume than expected. With continuous class II and III whitewater (and some class IV rapids) we progressed faster than planned and paddled both rivers in two long days. After hopping in for a bath in some natural hot springs on the way back to Enilchek, we finished the adventure in seven strenuous and adventurous days.

Thanks a lot to Visit Karakol for the great support in planning this trip and arranging some of its logistics!

All pictures: © Alexander Riedel

Text: Peter Nauroth, Land Water Adventures

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