/ NEW ARTICLE: TRIP REPORT: Second time lucky in Tajikistan

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UKC Articles - on 31 Oct 2013
Soviet military map of Muzkol range, Pamir mountains, Tajikistan., 4 kb

A short article describing  2 exploratory trips to the Pamir mountains in Tajikistan. One successful, one less successful...

"I have been on 2 mountaineering trips to Tajikistan and can strongly recommend it as a destination. It has better weather than the Alps, cheap permits, good food, is safe for visitors and contains range after range of barely explored mountains with good first ascents there for the taking by climbers of modest technical ability such as myself."



Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=5811
ice.solo - on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC Articles:

great stuff john. having been a cheerleader for tajikistan for several years its good to see positive reports.

go hard.
JdotP - on 01 Nov 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
> great stuff john. having been a cheerleader for tajikistan for several years its good to see positive reports.
>
> go hard.

Thanks. Next year's plan is south-west Kyrgyzstan (Karavshin). Need to get my technical climbing into gear for that...
ice.solo - on 01 Nov 2013
In reply to JdotP:

interesting, i may be about that region meself. amazing to behold that tho so close, the geography is very different - and the food much worse...
Dave - on 01 Nov 2013
In reply to UKC Articles:

Thanks, funnily enough had just been reading a bit about that corner of the world, more to do with the Wakhan corrridor though. Looks great and must say I'd fancy a crack at an unclimbed 6000er around there.
tdobson on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to ice.solo:

Just watch out for the mice. ;)

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JdotP - on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to JdotP)
>
> interesting, i may be about that region meself. amazing to behold that tho so close, the geography is very different - and the food much worse...

But in Murgab area they are mainly Kyrgyz, so surely you wouldn't expect it to be that culturally different once you cross in to Kyrgyzstan itself?
ice.solo - on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to JdotP:

my experience across both countries was that tajikistan, being sort of a crossing between persians and russians, had a better attitude and supply of food than kyrgyz areas away from the larger towns. the climate too maybe had better things growing (stone fruits, berries etc).

murghab i recall (a decade ago) being a transport and agricultural oasis of sorts, that tho having a kyrgyz population was more cosmopolitan than your average kyrgyz town in the middle of nowhere. the presence of russians and a major AKF and trade outpost meant the bazaar was reasonably well stocked.

marginal towns in kyrgyzstan tho often seemed to have a shipping container fashioned into a store that sold vodka, cigarettes and candy and little else, the kyrgyz seemingly content with stringy meat and heavy bread. increased chinese influence may be changing this tho.

culturally theres a significant shift when you know what to look for. the kyrgyz are quite different wherever you find them (including in china) and adapt their values. the tajiks, having a much more defined and stable culture to begin with hold stronger to it.
interestingly, in tajikistan, the kyrgyz and tajiks co habit mostly peacefully (tho very stratified), whereas in kyrgyzstan co-habitation with others isnt so happy.

a good example you may have seen already is sary tash. a significant cultural and transport hub on the roads between china, tajikistan and SW kyrgyzstan (and all that leads to) and its mud and shipping containers. it makes murghab look like new york.
THardSevere on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to UKC Articles:
Nice summary John- sounds like a great little set of adventures. Who knows f I get better at winter climbing I may one day be tempted to join you. I thinking of going to Jordan at some point if you are still keen.
climbbg - on 03 Nov 2013
I've been in the region myself and can highly recommend both Kyrgyz and Tajik mountains. ALso, Uzbekistan is a great country with very interesting and a sort of distinct culture from the other 'istans in the area (but no big mountains).

Great to see this article and your adventures...
JdotP - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to ice.solo:

Well yes, though of course the Kyrgyz will still wear their Kalpaks whatever country they are living in :)
dereke12000 - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to UKC Articles:
Interesting to hear about this little-explored part of the world, reminds me of Ladakh - thanks for sharing this!

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