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Home » Issyk-Kul region nature. Central Tien-Shan. Hiking to Borkoldoy-Too ridges.

Origin of Lake Merzbacher.

Trekking from camp Maidadyr to glade Мerzbacher.

“Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Flight from Karkara bace camp by helicopter to lake Merzbacher.

"The way of expedition was blocked by the mountain lake. The high steep coast passing into slopes of ridges didn't allow to move further.  People were surprised to see  the ice blocks floating on the lake as if it was in the polar sea.
"Icebergs, sparkling in beams of the southern sun, floated in water. The ice castles and towers  burning on the sun with myriads of snow crystals, translucent grottoes on a surface of icebergs, the hanging-down icicles, iridescent in the sunlight - all this made fantastic impression", wrote  one of the members of expedition.
The  Expedition of scientists became the witnesses of the birth of icebergs - huge blocks of ice with loud noise emerged  from the depth of the lake. The reason of the phenomenon was not easy to determine.
 Work and efforts of several expeditions which solved an interesting and rare natural phenomenon of the birth of icebergs there were necessary. Two glaciers – Northern and Southern Inylchek. The glacier Northern Inylchek is higher than Southern Inylchek glacier.
 In  summer, when glaciers melt, Southern Inylchek for a while becomes a natural dam that blocks  waters of Northern Inylchek from flowing into Southern Inylchek river.  Melted snow accumulates at a dam and the lake is formed.
Its level  raises all the time, it floods Southern Inylchek glacier  and finally breaks through it and catastrophically runs down Southern Inylchek  river, leaving behind that part of Southern Inylchek glacier, broke into separate blocks of ice that were under water. 
In  winter the frosts restore an ice dam and freeze the ice blocks to the bottom. Then there comes the spring, melted snow of Northern Inylchek starts  to fill in  the lake again until the waters break through an go down.
When the lake hollow starts being filled with water, the  ice "aground"  melts at the bottom and emerges on the lake surface."
Geographic coordinates of Lake Merzbacher: N42 ° 13'33.17 "E79 ° 52'38.89"

 «The Encyclopedia of miracles». Vladimir Mezentsev. Alma-Ata, 1987.

Photos by
Vladimir Serbenko.