From our snow leopard volunteering expedition in the Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan (http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/tienshan)

We are still struggling with our satellite system, so you are receiving this diary with a delay and without photos. But nobody should be worried as everyone is just fine.

On Monday it took us more than nine hours (!) to finally arrive at base as a piece of luggage had to be retrieved and the tunnel on our way over the pass was also closed for more than an hour due to smog problems. Emma (our cook) was with but Volodaya at base jumped into the fray and had prepared a delicious dinner for the team by the time we arrived tired at our mountain home.

Mainly dry weather helped us to get through our training sessions. And of course Biosphere Expeditions worked hard on the weather because it was a special day for Julija: her birthday.

Earlier in the week we had some cold nights. But by sharing warm clothes and following some “hot” advice, we made everybody survive. During our first walk out into the field (still mainly for training purposes) not far from base, Natalie spottet, with her binoculars, several ibex on a ridge about 2 km away. Eagle eyes, well done!

Lately the day and night temperatures have become much more pleasant. Blue sky, sun and spetacular views enticed everyone into long and exhausting research days. New places, many findings, several sightings of larger Ibex groups with juveniles, snow cock, golden eagle, lammergeier and so on were the reward and a firm ” mission accomplished” during the first days of this group 2.

From our snow leopard volunteering expedition in the Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan 

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