Early on the 15th we started the real expedition and headed east towards Karakol where we were going to get two new cars plus drivers. Before entering the Tien Shan Mountains we would have to cross a mountain pass (3800 meters). Five kilometres from the top we met four Kyrgyz guys coming down the mountain. They waved at us and told us to stop. Apparently their truck had got stuck in the snow further uphill, not exactly good news. We tried to continue but soon realized that their truck was in fact hindering our continued quest into snow leopard land. After some discussions we agreed on going back down the mountain for the night and then get the local snow “cleaners” into action the following day. The following day we headed for the pass once more adding Güldenstats Redstart to the bird list on our way. Near the top the truck was still in the way with a four meter high snow cover. We started to doubt the whole snow cleaning process a bit but at least the local guys were already there. Three of the locals had gone for the pass to try and repair a snow cleaning vehicle placed there. A three hour walk up the mountain only produced a Lammergeier, impressive bird though. In the end the road was actually cleared of snow and we crossed the pass just as the sun was setting. We still had to cover another 3-4 hours of gruesome driving before reaching our final goal. 20 kilometres before our final goal we stopped at a local shepherds hut for the night. Here we were served soup before retiring to our sleeping bags.