After an early breakfast transfer to Karkara BC. En-route we make a visit to the Berkutchi (eagle hunting) Museum. Golden Eagle hunting is one of the oldest methods of hunting for food. Central Asian ancestors in the Eurasian steppes mastered the art of eagle hunting several thousand years ago, in the Andronov age. Eagle hunting was mainly practiced in the northern and central regions of Kazakhstan, while in the south hunters preferred to use hawks and falcons. Each bird was intended to hunt a particular type of animal, golden eagles usually catch corsacs and hares. The stronger, well-trained eagles proved useful for hunting hoofed animals and even wolves.
200km east of Almaty lies the Charyn Canyon. In close proximity to the Chinese border it is part of the Charyn National Park, established in 2004. The canyon stretches 154kms along the Charyn River in the northern Tian Shan mountain range. A strikingly beautiful place, the canyon is known for it's unusual rock formations and bares semblance to some of the great canyons found in western USA. Finally we arrive in base camp and begin preparations for the coming acclimatisation days.