The frightening Töö Ashuu Tunnel
Töö Ashuu Tunnel is a high mountain tunnel at an elevation of 3.180m (10,433ft) above the sea level, located in the Chuy Region of Kyrgyzstan.
Set high in the Kyrgyz Alatau range of the Tien Shan mountains the tunnel is part of the mostly paved M41 or Pamir Highway. The pass is named "camel pass". It’s located on the road between Bishkek and Osh. In recent years it has become one of the best-developed trunk roads in the country. Just below the pass there is a ski area. The tunnel bypassed the infamous and gravel old Töö Ashuu pass road, which climbs up to 3.594m (11,791ft) above the sea level.
The tunnel is 2.7-kilometre (1.7 mi) long, and links the Chui Valley and Suusamyr Valley. It’s pretty narrow, hardly wide enough for two lanes of traffic. The elevation of the tunnel ranges between 3.130m (north) and 3.180m (south). It is poorly ventilated, and the noxious exhaust fumes so thick that one can hardly see more than 100 feet ahead. The road to the tunnel is notable for its steep hairpin turns and amazing views. The tunnel was dug in the 1960’s. In 2001, an accident trapped dozens of cars in the tunnel, and several motorists perished of carbon monoxide poisoning.