Hiking and trekking :
Kyrgyzstanís reputation as a trekking and climbing destination has
improved considerably in recent years and a growing number of tour
operators now offer walking, mountaineering and heli-skiing tours
throughout Kyrgyzstan and the neighbouring republics; these companies
can also arrange entry formalities for border crossings into China and
other CIS countries where visas may be required. Mountaineering camps
are available: the Ala-Archa camp, 40km (25 miles) from Bishkek,
offers over 160 routes and is the base for attempts to climb the
Kyrgyz range (highest point: 4876m/15,997ft). In the south, the Pamir
camp offers opportunities on the peaks of the Pamir Mountains.
The national sports reflect the importance of
the horse in Kyrgyz culture. Ulak Tartysh is a team game in
which the two mounted teams attempt to deliver the carcass of a goat
weighing 30-40kg over the oppositionís goal line. Players are allowed
to wrestle the goat from an opponent, but physical assault is frowned
upon. Each game is 15 minutes long. Aht Chabysh are horse races
held over distances varying between 4 and 50km (2.5-31 miles).
Competitors under 13 years of age are barred from entering. Udarysh
is a competition on horseback in which two riders or two teams of
riders attempt to wrestle each other, and frequently their mounts, to
Increasingly, sports such as football, skiing and
swimming are also popular.