24/05/2010

Routemap Trek 3: Zerafshan and Yagnob



The third route through the north western part of the Pamirs is created. Crossing the Zerafshan Range twice the route crosses two passes of around 4800 metres, the same altitude as Mont Blanc (the highest mountain in western Europe). And today the application of the last needed visas has been approved, the Afghanistan visa! This week the last preparations and flying out on Monday!




21/05/2010

360 shot of Pamir and Hindu Kush

Here's a film shot last October at 5000 metres on a ridge leading towards Pik Engels. Stunning views!!


video

18/05/2010

Map Trek 2: Trans Pamir Trek








At the end of June I will cross the border with Tajikistan. Somewhere south-east of Karakul Lake the second trek starts: crossing the High Pamirs from east to west. This will take roughly 7-8 days, depending on river and snow levels. The distance is 200-250km. Above the map of the route.


Highlights of this trip are camping on the shores of Karakul, getting very close the the worlds largest glacier Fedchenko and views on the higher passes of Pik Korzheveskaya (7105m)and Ismoil Somoni (7495m). And if I'm lucky enough I hope to encounter one of the most endagered species on earth, the snow leopard.



17/05/2010

Planning Trek 1: Osh to Lenin Basecamp and traverse Pamir Alai










The first trek of the research trip will start early June. I'll pick up the border permit from the capital of Kyrgyzstan Bishkek at trekking agency Dostuck. After that straight south to Osh and start walking! The walk to Pik Lenin Basecamp involves crossing a high pass (Jiptik, 4175m). That will be hard work coming from sea level. The views from this pass over the High Pamirs should be amazing.



The crossing of the Kyzyl-Suu river in the Pamir Alai Valley and onwards will take me to the foothill of Pik Lenin, supposedly the easiest 7000 metre peak in the world. Still high and cold I'm not sure easy is the appropriate word. From Achik Tash, the official name of the basecamp, walking up to camp 1 at the Lenin glacier is pretty easy. From there it will be westerly direction along the glaciers and pastures of the Pamir Alai. The trek will take roughly 10 days and is around 250km.






Trekking in the Pamirs!

Photo below: Pik Engels Meadows, southern Pamirs, Tajikistan


14 days to go and I'll be heading for one of the least explored mountain ranges in the world: the Pamirs. Tucked between its more famous neighbouring chains of the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Tien Shan, the Pamirs are not very well known. It's still a mystery to me why. The Pamir Mountains (literally “Roof of the World” in Persian) is one of the highest mountain ranges in the world. Its wild and snow capped peaks cover the entire eastern part of Tajikistan, southern Kyrgyzstan and the north east of Afghanistan. With three peaks well over 7000 metres, the longest glacier on earth outside the North and South Pole, and harbouring endangered animals like the elusive snow leopard and Marco Polo sheep, this mountain range has an incredible potential for mountain tourism. If done in a sustainable way.

A trek up to the base of Pik Engels in October 2009 was the inspiration to write a trekking guidebook about this magnificent mountain range. From the end of May until the end of September I'll be doing the first stage of the research. The first trek is in the south Kyrgyzstan, starting from the ancient city of Osh up to the base camp of Pik Lenin. Keep you posted!