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Lake Merzbaher – day 4 – We did it!

8 July.
Today we will have the most difficult part of our tour:  camp Iva  – camp Glina – Merzbacher meadow.
Today we want to pass a two-day trip, across the glaciers, falling stones, dirt and cold water.

Early morning. We are in the Iva camp. 17 km from here to our destination – Merzbaher meadow.
A lot of clouds in the sky, almost no sun.
I got up early at 6 o’clock. It was my first night in alpinist camps. At-djailoo looked more like a resort with its wooden houses. I wanted to discover more this place. Let’s make a sight-seeing tour.

Here is the camp Iva.

The green tents are all empty waiting for rich tourists.
Camp stuff live in yellow tents. There’s a kitchen, storage tent etc.
The white barrels are full of dirt water from the river. After the sand and dirt will get down to the bottom, it can be used for making food. We had the same barrel near our tent but the water doesn’t seem clean even after a night((
The easiest and reliable sink
Trash hole. Actually what I like in this place, far from civilization that there is no trash on the land.

And from here you can see the Armadillo  (?Potemkin?) mountain. This mountain is our beacon leading to us to the destination.

Today we must reach this mountain.
Merzbaher lake is located from the left side of the Armadillo.  Merzbaher lake is located on the right side of the Armadillo.  And from the left side there is a way to the Khan Tengri, one of the highest peaks of Kyrgyzstan (7134m).
After a breakfast we packed our tents and left around 8.00 AM to the Glina camp. In my view this was the hardest part of the whole trip. We were hiking over over melting glaciers,  up and down hills, jumped from one stone to another. It was the most beatiful part of the road in the same time .
I’ve never seen such stones before. It’s like a “sliced pie”.
Now we are hiking on the Inylchek glacier. The melting water creates numerous lakes.
Every minute you can see and hear how the pieces of the glacier melt, and fall down into the water.
The hills, dirt and stones are the glacier Inylchek.  The ice is  hidden under them.

“Toilet ” lake.

Because in some days all its water will evacuate like in a toilet and will appear somewhere down in the river stream )))
On the top of the glacier we met 3 alpinists, working in the Glina camp. They were walking to the Iva camp to take some products there. The truck that had an accident near Prijim was delivering food to the camp. Now they have to go to other camps to get some food ((
We wish them to have a nice trip and go further.
A small rain starts soddenly. I had to stop to cover my backpack with a cloak. I left behind the group. To catch up with them, I had to walk more quickly  without stops. I discovered that soon that if you force yourself not to stop and continue walking, even slower, the second breath opens.
If you stop every time you feel tired, every 15-20 minutes the second breath doesn’t open, once your legs are warmed up you stop again.
In the midday we reached camp Glina. Here we have our lunch

I like camp Glina.

It is located on the slope of the mountain, on a small meadow. This is a small cosy place, spring clean water flow across the meadow.
During the liunch we were discussing whether we should keep going further, to the Merzbaher Meadow. Because some people were quiet tired.
Finally we decided to proceed till the destination. If we succeed tomorrow we will have a day off, no hiking.
So finish line, from Glina to Meadow 8.6 km.
The weather changes avery 10 minutes. The sun shines. Then it suddenly hides and a small rain starts. In the next 10 minutes it turns into a storm  with hail. And then in 20 minutes the sun come out again. You’re in mountains, baby))
We found a huuuge stone, that doesn’t even fit in the  camera. But it covered all the group from the hail.
Here is a 120-liter backpack of Tair, one of our porters. Its weight is more than 30 kg around 50% of the Tair’s actual weight. And the whole day Tair carries this backpack till the destination. A “dream” job isn’t it?
Glace hills ended and now we hike through a stony plain.
Across the whole way I meet small towers made of stones. They are called – tours – made by other tourists and guides to help people find the right way .
Some tours are painted. By the color you can define what year it was built. It is important because rain and sliding stones change the rods. Old tours can lead you to the wrong way.
Now we are crossing another river.
Only 4.2 км to the destination. We enjoy the sun and the road.
The last 2.6 km I spped up
I eager to see the lake. I know that it is close and will show up soon behind the hills. It was a strong motivation giving me forces to carry my backpack further. Here it is by the way:

Another way up

Here must be the lake
But we don’t see. In the meanwhile we find the first show
Yes it’s already 2 days that we hike on the glacier. But we don’t feel it, because it is hidden by stones and dirt. And it is not cold during the day.  But now we found the real snow  and can play with snowballs. But we are too tired for this.
I was hardly moving my legs. I had a headache and I’ve got a frog in my throat.  I drink too much glaced water.

Far away on the mountain I see green tents. It’s Merzbaher Meadow!  And it is still so far, 1 km with a slope ascent in the end. And my strenghts are running out. I feel a fever, looks like, I’ve got sick.  Maybe it was not a good idea for untrained tourists to make the 2-day trip in 1 day.
I need to recover fast, because we to turn back.
Finally I reach the last ascent to the Meadow. Going up on the green  grass, I turn  my head to the Armadillo and see the blue water behind it. That is Merzbaher lake!  So small and so beautiful))
Very tired but happy. My dream comes true)))!!!!
I make last steps up and I’m finally on the Merzbaher Meadow.

Merzbacher meadow.

There are a lot of people. After empty glacier the meadow looks like a village. Tents, tourists, scientists, guides, workers. Everyone has its own business and they seem to be not interested by newcomers.
Beside tents here’re small living containers with real windows and doors.  Porters have their own old 1-room container, with beds (shelves) , heater and table.
They leave theirs giant backpacks inside and we go to setup tents.
The Meadow is not flat. It has a small slope, beside there are many bumps and pit on the land, so it’s hard to find a flat place for a tents. Another rain starts and then I feel that I’m really sick.
I feel a fever, a nausea, a cold in my nose and a weakness in arms.
I realise that I can’t stay anymore, so I setup my tent, take a medicament and fall into my sleeping bag without dinner.
I fall asleep with the final thought in my head: “we did it…”
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