The Celestial Divide
Scouting New Route
bikepacking expedition
June 8, 2024
by Malik Alymkulov
The Celestial Divide
A bikepacking route from North to South of Kyrgyzstan
A journey from Great Steppes of Asia to Pamirs across Celestial Mountains

Description and overall idea

The main, longest, and highest ridges of the Celestial Mountains of Kyrgyzstan run along geographic latitudes. This means that the largest valleys which are located at their foothills, extend across the latitudes respectively. The largest and most densely populated valleys of the country are located in the north – the Chui Valley – and in the south – the Fergana Valley. The two largest cities are Bishkek in the North and Osh in the South. Most of the roads between valleys run along meridians, and the same goes for roads that lead to high mountain pastures. The mountains divide the country into north and south, and this has influenced local culture in both regions. Many people in the country have to travel in the directions from north to south or back when traveling around the country, and it is always involved with crossing passes. There is one and only major asphalt road from Bishkek to Osh, Pamir and Batken. Some cycling travelers use it to travel from north to south!
I'll be riding along some dirt roads, the inland routes used by the locals for their economic needs and activities.
The idea and this beautiful name came to me last summer of 2023. I decided then that I would try to devote some of my time to building new routes.
The Celestial Divide is my biggest bikepacking route-building project to date.
It's a natural extension of two of the world's most famous cycling routes in Kyrgyzstan: the Tian-Shan Traverse and the Pamir Highway. Or if you're planning to ride the Tian-Shan Traverse and finish it in Bishkek or at the Kegety Pass, you can then continue your journey along the Celestial Divide route. Or you could fly to Bishkek and then take this route to Osh. From there, you can cross the border and head to Gorny Badakhshan in Pamir.

Why Celestial? Celestial is an English transcript of Tengri (nomadic "God/Heaven"). Tengri Tagh (Too) in Kyrgyz means Mountains of Heaven, which is in Chinese "tian shan" - Celestial Mountains.

All are welcome to join this adventure.
Two riders will be accepted to the expedition.

Based on the results of the expedition, the final track and route description will be compiled, described and posted on for public access.

Total distance: apx 1000 km

Duration: 25-30 days

When: July 27 (29) - August 25, 2024

Vehicles: MTB and Gravel bikes

Guide and tour coordinator: Malik Alymkulov - founding editor

Who: Two riders are welcomed to join expedition

Unsupported: Everyone is responsible for its own food, water, supplies, tents, sleep system, bike

Navigation: GPX file for your navigation app or dedicated device will be provided for download

Photography and Videography: We will be filming our tour. There'll be many stops
Program: (Daily plan)
Will be provided later

Climbimg epic Kegeti Pass 3760m, a Gate to the Celestial Mountains

Enjoying North-Western shore of Son-Kul Lake, and a most spectacular panorama view of the lake.

Cycling highs and lows of the long stretch between Kyzyl-Oi village at the river of Kokomeren and Torkent at Toktogul Water Reservoir

Watching Kyzyl-Unkur Walnut Forest

Exploring the second bigest city of Osh

Crossing Alay Mountains

Exploring Chon Alay Valley

Camping at the foot of Pamir Mountains

Exploration of new routes
How to join:
Send me e-mail through the form below or contact via Instagram direct message.
+996 771 49 11 40 whatsapp/telegram
founder & editor
happy slow rider
Malik Alymkulov
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