The Lebanese International Speleological Expedition to the Southern Tien Shan, from 17.06 to 2.07.2017.
As part of the International Expedition, the speleologists of Lebanon, France and Kyrgyzstan.
The speleological research area is located 500 km from Bishkek, near the Kyrgyz-Chinese border in the southernmost region of the Tien Shan. In Soviet times and in a later period, the area was practically closed for various studies and tourist trips, since the regime of border control did not allow conducting any serious research expeditions, let alone speleological ones. Therefore, in speleological terms, the attractiveness of the area is very obvious for today.
The main goal of the expedition is to search for and study new, previously unexplored caves, as well as a number of speleological studies in already famous caves.
The mountain ridge Kokshaal-Too, has long attracted the attention of speleologists. But, because of its remoteness and inaccessibility was postponed for later. Conducting speleological expeditions in this karst area requires considerable resources and certain tactical decisions. Not an unimportant role, there are weather conditions that favor such expeditions, only in July and August. Difficult accessibility of individual sites is due to the lack of roads and for conventional transport, the impassability of swamped areas from the summer, makes these places almost inaccessible. Therefore, the use of military Soviet equipment for expeditions remains the only opportunity for a full-fledged expedition.
Recently, this area also becomes attractive for tourists. Here there are no settlements, these are places with little voyage with a virgin nature almost untouched by nature, the majestic Kokshaal mountain range located in the latitudinal direction and the amazingly beautiful Kol-Suu lake, squeezed in a narrow canyon that cuts the Sary-Beles mountain range.
In the north, the karst area is limited to the Ak-Sai valley, the absolute height of which is about 3000 meters. The interval of absolute heights of the speleological research area ranges from 3200 to 4000 meters.
Perhaps, one of the most significant stages of the region's exploration history was in 2010, when a very successful Bulgarian expedition made a number of discoveries, including global significance. In addition to the open and explored 29 caves, biospeleologists made discoveries in the field of entomology, describing previously unknown species of insects. In Europe, these discoveries were sensations, which subsequently initiated new expeditions of the Bolgar to Kyrgyzstan for the purpose of bio-speleological research. Now in every International speleological expedition coming to Kyrgyzstan there are bio speleologists.
The tasks of the expedition include:
- Continuation of research in the area of Lake Kol-Suu;
- Search and exploration of caves in the canyons of the Kapchigai tract, east of the Kok-Kya river basin;
- Search and study of caves south of the lake, and also to the west of the Kok-Kya river basin in the area of the merging of the rivers Karabel and Tekelik;
- Study of hydrothermocarstic phenomena and hypogene formations in known caves, since the main part of caves and grottoes is formed by hydrothermocarstic processes.
- Speleoglacial research;
- Estimation of the prospects for speleological research in the future.
The plans of the expedition are very ambitious tasks for the search and exploration of caves in hard to reach, but at the same time majestic canyons and seemingly unrepresentative plateaus. For this purpose, the drone (quadrocopter) will be used in the arsenal of the technical means of the expedition, the main task of which is aerovisual exploration of hard-to-reach entrances to caves and grottos that are located on the steep walls of canyons, as well as preliminary exploration of high-altitude plateaus. This will allow us to localize the search for caves and send forces for a detailed study of a more promising site.
The mission of the expedition also includes the search and exploration of caves south of Lake Kol-Suu, where the speleologist's foot has not yet set foot. To accomplish this task, it is necessary to move to the southern extremity of the lake from the first base camp, which is planned to be installed near the Kok-Kya River, which is almost 14 km long. To solve this problem, a rubber boat will be used. In the area of the southern extremity of the lake, in the tract Kulzha-Bashi, it is planned to establish a temporary field camp for speleologists-scouts.
The second base camp of the expedition is planned to be installed in the confluence of the rivers Karabel and Tekelik, 15 km to the west of the lake Kol-Suu. Here, for the first time, speleological reconnaissance will be carried out.
For the first time, for the entire history of speleological research in Kyrgyzstan, the international cave explorers will study the southernmost karst areas of the Tien Shan, and these territories are the highest in speleological terms. According to speleological zoning, these places belong to the Borkoldoy karst area.