Kol-Tetiri (Kel-Suu) Lake

Kol-Tetiri Lake

Lake Kol Tetiri that is also widely known as Köl Suu or Kel-Suu, is an isolated alpine lake located at At-Bashi district in the Naryn region next to the Chinese border. The altitude of the lake is about 3500 m above the sea level. The lake is more precisely placed in the Kurumduk Valley of the Tian-Shan range. This remote lake is surrounded by sheer cliffs that rise abruptly above its blue-green water and it has lately become a very popular destination amoung local and foreign tourists. Kol Tetiri was created by a landslide in the 1980s that formed a natural dam over the Kudumduk River which is about 17 m long and changing in width from 800 m to as narrow as 100 m. Kol Tetiri lake is similar to the Merzbacher lake meaning it can sometimes lose all its water as happened last time in the spring of 2019. By the autumn of the same year the lake was almost full again and in 2020 it did not get dry.

 

Thanks for the pics al.iv.og

As quite often with alpine lakes the color of the lake can change drasticly according to the light that is reflecting from the surface of the lake. The light in Lake Tetiri is still something different as the high mountains around it often block the direct sunlight.

How to get to Tetiri (Kel-Suu) Lake?

Lake Tetiri is located in Ak-Sai valley, Naryn region next to the Chinese border. The altitude of the lake is about 3500 m, however the exact elevation  varies between 3500 to 3600 m according to the source. 

Due to the location next to the Chinese border you need a special border zone pass which you need to acquire before your arrival to get through the border zone checkpoint on the road South from Naryn. Getting to Tetiri (Köl-Suu) actually requires passing of two checkpoints where passport and border permission papers are checked. There are two ways to get to the lake which both originate from Naryn. 

Thanks for the pic gladkov_nikolai

First and shorter route is through the East side of the line of mountains between At-Bashi and the Chatyr Kul area and turns South towards the Aksay river at the end of the mountain range. It takes about 5-6 hours to drive along the dirt road to the Lake Tetiri (Kel-Suu)

The second Western route is a longer road passing Tash-Rabat and the Torugart village and border to China in the South side of the Chatyr-Kul lake. During both routes rivers with suspicious bridges need to be crossed and therefore the trip requires an experienced driver together with suitable car due to the condition of the remote Kyrgyz dirt and mountain roads. 

The final part of the route needs to be usually hiked or ridden with horses but some adventurous groups have also reached the lake with rugged 4wd cars.

Photos in gallery by © Attokurovnm

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Other destinations and sights near Kel Suu

Page updated 25.12.2020. This page is still a stub. If you have more precise or updated information regarding this page, we would appreciate if you tell about it in the comments section. Thank you!

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