Mountain photos - amateur and professional photos of mountains.
Budyansky Michael, Moscow
First it is brief:
Fanskie still exist.
So I would only like to add yours to them.
I have fell ill mountains Fanskie at once and forever. Neither Caucasus, nor Pamir, Tien Shan did not cause so much positive emotions, did not give so much positive energy, as Fans.
Therefore it is not only and is not so much my work, and, most likely it is a call of my heart. But let start everything under the order.
Mountains Fanskie or it is simple Fans are about hundred the most beautiful tops, over ten of which are above 5000 meters at the altitude point and have the walls with difference of heights up to 1500 meters.
The area is located in a southwest part of Pamiro-Alai between Gissarskiy and Zeravshanskiy ranges area that is translated accordingly as "Fortress" and "Giving gold" - this area till now keeps gold-bearing mines. Conditionally mountains Fanskie are limited to Zeravshanskiy range from the north, to Hissar mountain range from the south, to the Fan-darja River from the east and to the river Archimaydan from the West. Marguzorskie lakes area is often also related to Fans (to the west of the Archimaydan River).
Fans are always attractive for me, first of all, with the fine stable and solar weather in July - August, presence of cols and the routes of ascents of all categories of complexity from simple non category up to the most complicated rocky wall routes of 6B.
The highest point in the region is Chimtarga peak (5,487 m). Among the others tops above 5000m are Mt. Bodkhona (5138 m), Mt.Chapdara (5050 m), Mt The Big Hansa (5306 m), Mt. The Small Hansa (5031m), Mt. Zamok (Castle, 5070 m), Mt. Mirali (5132 m) and Mt. Energy (5120m). It is necessary to mention that there are a lot of very beautiful lakes in Fans. The most known lakes are Alaudinskie lakes in the valley of Chapdara River, Kulikalonskie lakes, Hallo, and certainly – Iskanderkul Lake. The Most recommended time of travel and ascents in Fans is the end the June - beginning of September.
Unfortunately, the Soviet times passed and with transport in these places it became bad. There is absolutely not any trip transport and you should to order the transport beforehand. We suggest (and we use) at least two variants: through Samarkand and Khodzhentò.
The big lake Kulikalonskoe Lake Iskanderkul from road on approach to it. Lake Iskanderkul and mountain Dozhdevaya (Rain) from the base of rest "Iskanderkul"
2.1.1. How to get up to Samarkand. Now it is possible to get to Samarkand by direct flight of the Uzbek Airlines from Moscow. The exact schedule is set in April. Usually in the summer there are two flights a week that is convenient enough for the planning of your travel.
Besides it costs rather cheap. In 2002 the return ticket was $278 for a person (at group discount). The return ticket for individuals - $293. Certainly, a single ticket costs more expensive. The other way to get to Samarkand is first by train Moscow-Tashkent and then by any passing transport. A train ticket is the cheapest but you should take into account the traveler expenses on food, additional transport etc. And it seems to me that to fly by plane up to Samarkand is more economic. A train can be used for transportation of "cargoes" and gas cans escorted by two - three persons from group, as transportation of "overweight" is very expensive by plane (1.6 dollars for kg over 20 kg free-of-charge), and it is forbidden to take gas cans on plane's board.
2.1.2. Accommodation in Samarkand.
There is a still active climbing base "Artuch" in Samarkand, that near to the airport and the bus terminal. To tell the truth, the definition "climbing" has remained only historically and very conditionally. At present time it is a base of very cheap accommodation for tourists whom are interested in the material aspect but not the comfort. In 2002 the accommodation cost somewhere 1.5 dollars/person for a night in rooms. In the territory of base there is a planking place where it is possible to spend a night in a sleeping bag, on fresh air. As it is hot in Samarkand in the summer such variant sometimes even is more pleasant, than to spend the night in rooms. And by the end of summer - you can even taste on base's own grapes! You needn't order a room beforehand in "Artuch". Come, knock at the gate and live. It takes five minutes of walking to get to it from the airport and one minute on all fours - from the bus terminal. Certainly, there are more decent variants of accommodation in Samarkand: hotels of a different level and also the hotels called B*B (bed*breakfast) - private hotels of a very good level and not so expensive ($15-20/person for a night). If you plan your journey for summer time it is necessary to order your accommodation beforehand. I advice you to choose B*B hotel if you would to have a rest in comfortable, normal, human conditions after all ascents. And you will not be mistaken.
2.1.3. Transfer to mountains from Samarkand.
The transfer to mountains from Samarkand consists of two stages. The Samarkand (Uzbek) transport takes away a group with a cargo and carries to the Uzbek-Tadjik border. After passage of boundary formalities (see beneath), the group is accepted with the Tadjik transport and carries in mountains. It cab be difficult enough to find the good transport to reach the mountains on the Tadjik side. We use Ural or KRAZ, a bus, KAMAZ, UAZ for small groups. Unfortunately, you have to be ready for any delays in the road because of breakages are quite normal, the techniques all are worn out. The border passes near to the city of Pendzhikent where usually there is a stop for purchase of products on a market. The way goes on a valley of the river Zeravshan, the valley gradually is narrowed and turns to the gorge limited from the north Turkestansky, and from south Zeravshansky ridges. If the group should reach the rests of mountaineering camp "Artuch" (do not confuse with the mountaineering base of the same name in Samarkand) the road turns off from Shurcha settlement that it is in 50 km from Pendzhikent. The transport can reach only up to Artuch; and farther you have to carry (about 10 km) all cargo or on yourself, or to order donkeys up to Kulikalonskaya valley. If the group should reach up to mountaineering Camp "Alaudin" you should go further up to the city of Ayni, the administrative center of area Ayninsky, where you can stop for a dinner, and further the road turns off aside Dushanbe to the south along the river Fandarja (the left inflow of Zeravshan river), and after 30 km the road turns to the east along the river Pasrud through settlements Pasrud and Marguzor (the last settlement in the valley). Further the road goes along the river Pasrud there are a few of steep sites on the mountain road, 30 km, and only real 4*4 transport can pass them. The road leads directly to "Alaudin", where your group will be greeted with tea and flat cakes. The way Samarkand - "Alaudin" is approximately 6-7 hours, but it is necessary to plan a whole day on as the real time depends on speed of passage of the border, a time for a market, conditions of the road, transport, etc. And simply "Asian" factor - " in heat do not hurry up " - plays an important role.
2.2. Through Khodzhent
The variant of the transfer through Khodzhent (former Leninabad) is convenient that thing that it is not necessary to cross the Uzbek-Tadjik border. However...
2.2.1. How to get up to Khodzhent
Earlier there was the train Volgograd - Andizhan having a stop at the station Leninabad. Unfortunately, now this train is not present and "by the ground" to reach from Moscow is enough difficult. Therefore there is a unique variant - by the plane of the Tadjik airlines Moscow - Khodzhent-Moscow. In the summer the flights are made three - four times a week, but always it is necessary to specify the schedule for concrete dates as it can "operatively" vary. The return ticket cost $340 (for the summer 2002), the discounts for group is not stipulated.
2.2.2. Transfer to the mountains from Khodzhent
The transport meets a group at the airport after passage of passport and customs formalities and transfers you at once up to city Hurrah - Tyupe where groups usually spend the night directly in a field. Unfortunately, at the present time we do not have any variants of accommodation of groups either in Khodzhent or in Hurrah - Tyupe. In the morning you can visit a market in Hurrah - Tyupe, buy products and then a trip through the Shahristan Col continues to the city of Ayni, then to "Alaudin" and further as it is described above. The way time is practically the same, as well as from Samarkand, it also depends in addition on a condition of the road on Col Shahristan. But as this road is almost officially considered "the way of life" it supported in enough normal condition.
2.3. Other variants
For a long time we could not recommend to reach in Fans through Dushanbe in connection with some astable political, military situation both in Dushanbe, and on road to the north through Vazorb and Anzob Col. The situation by the summer 2004 may be changed (if "the Iraq events "will not help") and we can consider this variant too. But, taking into account, that the through train is not present, and the flight is more expensive, than to Khodzhent, such variant will still be less preferable for a long time. If you group go from other cities, it is necessary to specify, where it is more convenient to fly or go, whether is a train passing through Khodzhent, for example, or a direct plane to Samarkand, Tashkent, Khodzhent, etc. In any case we can meet groups in Samarkand, Tashkent, Khodzhent.
3.1. In Uzbekistan and Tadjikistan the main thing is that the visa still is not necessary to citizens of the Russian Federation for visiting these states. You have to mean the following: you are allowed to travel through these states with working Russian internal passport or the passport for travel abroad. It is necessary to check up presence of a photo of corresponding age, a registration, validity of the passport. When you pass the border you have to fill the declaration on all kind of imported currency (dollars, roubles, yuans, tughriks...). The sum of imported money you have to find out right before you trip, as "operative" changes are possible. The declaration needs to be kept "up to the end of trip". It is necessary the presence of a stamp of customs house. The sum of taken out currency should be less imported. It is strongly recommended to exchange currency in a bank with reception of the proper document confirming the exchange. If there be some problem in this our local friends who will escort you to the mountains can help you to do it. Do not exchange money independently. You can exchange both dollars and roubles. Before you trip we shall specify, that it is more favorable. Be always and everywhere accurate and attentive, check and keep your money and documents in safe place. Actually it is as well as everywhere. You should be extremely polite and affable with local police. It is not recommended to swear, shout, find out attitudes with representatives of local authorities. You should always have passport at yours own and if you are going to stay in the city longer, than three days you should have a registration. There would be problems without registration. You should find out the situation with registration before your trip as it can vary.
3.2. Crossing the border Uzbekistan - Tadjikistan
Till now the procedure (its duration and complexity) of crossings the border in many respects depends on mood of frontier guards and customs officers, health of their children and relatives, prospects of a marriage or receipt in high school of their children etc.
It can takes some minutes (check of documents, filling of the declaration and all), or a pair of hours with full examination of luggage, finding any mistakes in the passports, "forbidden” to transportation products, medicines, substances "similar" to drugs, dirty wheels from transport, etc. Therefore we strongly recommend you to cross the border with a local person, to have all documents in the order, and also to have as much as possible different and good papers. For example, it can be such papers: solid travelling certificates, directions from firm, educational establishment, with lists (surname, name, number of the passport, date of a birth, a post in group) with signatures and seals, confirmation of participation in any action, for example the Championship on mountaineering, etc. Variants are possible. And all the papers should be in several copies as on road, probably, you will have to show them and even leave some times. From our side we usually prepare different papers from the company "Vertical", from the Eurasian Association of Mountaineering and Rock-climbing about participation your group in the Championship on mountaineering in a technical class which is already traditionally carried out in Fans. The presence of such papers considerably simplifies the procedure of crossing the border and movement across Tadjikistan. Except for it you should give special attention to your drugstore which any group should have in mountains. ALL medicines should be in the factory not broken packing that there could not be even the slightest suspicions in transportation of narcotics.
It's required the special sanction for transportation of radio stations.
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