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Photographer's Note

In Kyrgyz, the archa, which gives the park its name, is a bright or many-colored juniper which the Kyrgyz people have traditionally held in special esteem, using smoke from its burning wood to chase away evil spirits.
However, the archa is not supposed to be planted near the home, because it is believed gradually to sap the energy from human beings living close-by.
The park covers about 200 square kilometers, and its altitude ranges from about 1,500 meters at the entrance to a maximum of 4,895 meters at Peak Semenova Tian-Shanski, the highest peak in the Kyrgyz Ala-Tau range of the Tian Shan.
There are more than 20 small and large glaciers and some 50 mountain peaks within the park. Two smaller rivers, the Adygene and the Ak-Sai, originate from these glaciers' melting waters.
The Adygene gorge is a beautifully wooded valley, with waterfalls, springs and abundant trout.
A small reservoir on the Kargay-Bulak river was built to study the Amu Darya trout. Other wildlife includes the very rare snow leopard (in Kyrgyz: "ilbirs") on the alpine meadows and snowfields above 2,500 m elevation, wild goats, roe deer and marmots. Many plants can be found in the park including; Crocus alatavicus.
The Ak-Sai Glacier, where remains of a Soviet climbing base indicate the high quality mountaineering within the park.
The region's most famous peaks rise from the Ak-Sai glacier, including Korona (4,860m) all at altitudes of above 4,000 meters.

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Additional Photos by Alex Fan Moniz (LondonBoy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 83 W: 0 N: 363] (1882)
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