The Trans-Ili Ala-tau and the Kunghei Ala-tau, stretch along the north shore of Lake Issyk-kul, both ranging from io,000 to 15,000 ft.
In the Ala-kul steppes the winds blow away the snow.
Lake Balkash, or Denghiz, Lake Ala-kul (which was connected with Balkash in the post-Pliocene period, but now stands some hundred feet higher, and is connected by a chain of smaller lakes with Sissyk-kul), Lake Issyk-kul and the alpine lakes of Son-kul and Chatyr-kul are the principal sheets of water.
It forms the barrier between the Issyk-kul and Balkash lakes, the elevation of which is about 5000 ft.
On arrival at the supreme Mongol court - either that on the Imyl river (near Lake Ala-kul and the present Russo-Chinese frontier in the Altai), or more probably at or near Karakorum itself, south-west of Lake Baikal - Andrew found Kuyuk Khan dead, poisoned, as the envoy supposed, by Batu's agents.