A trek in the Afghan Wakhan Corridor

In the very northeast of Afghanistan is a strip of land tucked away between two massive mountain ranges: The Wakhan Corridor. Far away from violence, this is probably the only safe place for travelers to visit within Afghanistan. Yet only a 100 people, primarily trekkers and climbers, make it out here every year. In September 2010 I did a trekking deep into the Wakhan towards the Lake of Chaqmaqtin. The trek report follows, here's a selection of photographs of this spectacular end of the world.


Expedition report Pik Korzhenevskaya (7105m)

Of course I knew climbing a peak over 7000 metres wouldn't be easy. What I forgot was getting back from the mountain is the part where (at least in my case) was absolutely the toughest thing I have done so far. You're already completely knackered and then you are supposed to walk to same bloody distance back. No cook who has your dinner and tea ready. Getting back in the tent means melting snow for cooking and rehydrating.

No complaints here, we had excellent views over the Pamirs during our summit attempt.

We climbed the mountain expedition style. We set up tents at 5300m, 5800m and 6300m before making the final climb to the top. After setting up the camps we got back to basecamp to rest, eat solid food and drink RC Cola (the local drink of the Gods, in this context). The biggest obstacle up is basically from BC to camp 1. 1000 altimetres on shit terrain. Lot's of loose scree, steep and rather ugly. From camp 1 things are more beautiful, but still hard work. Ironically the higher you get, the nicer and more gradual the climb. From high camp it's "only" 800 metres up. Check out some pics!


More trekking adventures in the Fann Mountains

Yesterday our expedition heard that the helikopter to basecamp Ismoil Somoni (the mountain we intend to climb) was cancelled. That gives me an extra day to update this blog and chill out a bit more after the 8 day trek in the Fann Mountains.

It's been another great trek. One of the highlights was meeting up with the expedition group who was doing a trek as well in the same area. For them a surprise, for me planned. The photos say enough!

From tomorrow (Inshallah) I'll be on the mountain for 5 weeks. So no blog for a bit. But do check the expedition site that is being updated regularly: http://www.dutchpamir2010.nl/.

Enjoy the photos!


I'm a Fann! Finally some trekking in Tajikistan

Finally I have found time and a decent internet connection to do a little update of my Pamir adventures. Well, actually I'm in a different mountain range, although you could consider it a sub-range: the Fann Mountains. Less than a 100 km north of Dushanbe as the crow flies, this small mountain range has massive peaks well over 5000m. I started out in Hakimi, near Dushanbe and walked in three days over the Mura Pass (3760m) to the famed Iskander Kul. The past three days I did a three day trek along deep blue lakes guarded by jagged snow capped mountains. Tonight I'm in Penjikent to watch my fellow countrymen win the World Cup football, tomorrow (12th of July) of to the Fann again! Here's some photographs, enjoy!