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Adventure Travel

Introduction to Mountaineering

Fann Mountains, Tajikistan

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This is a 16 days mountain-backpacking trip of moderate to strenuous difficulty with an opportunity of climbing peaks Energia (5100m, 16730 ft) and Chimtarga (5487m, 18000ft).


Snowy peaks.

Mountain lakes of amazing colors from emerald green to navy blue and turquoise.

Warm nights with bright southern stars.

Peculiar juniper groves, local pilaf and home-made flatbread.

New friends and an opportunity to challenge yourself.

Fann Mountains (Fanns) are located in the south-west of Pamir-Alai mountain system, mostly territory of Tajikistan. The highest point is Chimtarga (5487 m, 18000 ft). Numerous picturesque mountain lakes are a striking feature of this region. The weather during high-season (July-September) is predominantly dry and warm. Daytime temperatures vary between +20-30 ºС (70-85 F), nighttime – approximately +10 ºС (50 F), at altitudes over 4000 m (13000 ft) nighttime temperatures may fall below zero (32 F).


The group will be led by an experienced mountain guide Sergey Turgenev (from Russia). Sergey has been to Fanns many times and perfectly knows the route and its details. Trip organizer and second guide – Serafima Kuropatkina (USA), founder of the Ways of Inspiration project.


You love mountaineering and backpacking and would like to discover new ranges. Or you always wanted to try mountaineering, but didn’t find the right company

You would like to visit a place that most people don’t even know exists. And when they see your photos, they are probably not going to believe it’s real

You would like to experience Central Asia in a non-tourist version, meet the ordinary people and see their way of life, try delicious local food

You would like to make new friends and connections

You are not afraid of physical challenges, heights, uneven terrain (scree), and are ready to spend two weeks without everyday comforts (sleeping in tents or under the stars, cooking on portable gas stove, and bathing in lakes).

Arrival location:

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Departure Location:

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Included in your experience:

- Help in trip preparation and information support,

- Transfer to IMTC (International Mountaineering and Tourism Center)

- Accommodation at IMTC in tents,

- Forest access fee,

- Food and Cooking Gas (excluding meals in chaikhana or cafe)

- Mules to Kulikalon and Mutniye lakes,

- Group Medical Kit,

- Group gear (ropes, stoves, cauldrons, etc...)

- Experienced Mountain Guides throughout the trip.

Not included in your experience:

- International flights,

- Health Insurance (available as an add-on > See Upgrades),

- Additional food (in chaikhana or cafe, pilaf, flatbread, lamb shashlik, beer,...),

- Visa fee (if applicable),

- Phone bills,

- Souvenirs,

- Medical bills.

Required Equipment:

- Backpack, 70 - 100 liters, and a rain cover for it (Over 90 liters for men. Has to be comfortable for you)

- Crampons (Can be soft, to use with trekking boots)

- Sleeping bag (Comfort zone 0 C (30 F))

- Sleeping mat

- Sitting mat

- Trekking poles

- Head light and batteries for it

- Sun glasses Protection 3-4

Gear for those planning to climb Chimtarga Peak:

- Harness

- Tether (Special or daisy chain x2)

- Carabiners (Locking, x3)

- Jumar (x1)

- Rappel device (Figure of 8 or Verso)

- Ice Axe With leash, for walking

- Helmet

Clothing :

- Underwear and socks (On average, 1 set for 2-3 days. Special trekking socks are preferable)

- Warm thick thermo-socks (1 or 2)

- Warm hat or balaclava (With windstopper)

- Snow mittens (Warm, 1 pair)

- Waterproof gloves (Warm, 1 pair)

- Thin gloves (Fleece, go under mittens, 1 pair)

- Gaiters (Waterproof, 1 pair)

- Sun hat, cap or bandanna

- Sleeping clothes E.g. a set of warm thermal underwear (from fleece)

- Warm pants (Windstopper or fleece)

- Thin thermal underwear (Goes under pants and jacket)

- Water and wind proof pants (GORE-TEX or similar membrane )

- Water and wind proof jacket with hood (Goes on top of all layers)

- Dawn jacket with hood (Should be at least hip long (to cover your bottom))

- Fleece (For walking)

- Trekking pants (Light, safari type)

- T-shirts (On average 1 per 3-4 days) -

- Long-sleeve shirt (E.g. old cotton shirt 1-2)

- Swimwear

- Shorts or knee-high pants

- Your "civil" travelling clothes


Trekking or mountaineering boots (for crampons). (Tall sturdy boots with rigid sole, waterproof (GORE-TEX), should be big enough to fit well on a thick sock. Usually 1 size bigger than usual)

Step-in shoes (Without big toe separation in order to go on top of a sock. As light as possible)

Light sneakers (If you have weight and place for them)

Other essentials

Sun screen UV 30 and over, depending on your skin type. 1 bottle for 2-3 persons

Lip balm


Hygiene (soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shaver, shampoo etc.)

moist tissues

Repair kit: Adhesive tape, ropes, rubber bands, needle and thread -

Personal medicine

Toilet paper

Mug, deep plate, spoon, knife

Watch with alarm clock - 1 alarm per tent

Batteries for the headlight, camera etc.

Lighter or matches

Garbage bags, plastic

Thermos 0,7 liters (One for two people)

Water bottle


Entertainment (player, notebook, playing cards etc.)

Additional :

Tent (If you are bringing your own tent)

* Rental equipment is availabel, see 'Additional activities' for details
  • 1
    Health Insurance
    We can arrange your health insurance for a maximum coverage of US$ 50, 000
  • Day1
    August 8, Saturday - Arrive at Dushanbe. Meeting at the airport. Most flights arrive early in the morning. After breakfast we will buy food supplies for our trip at a market nearby and transfer on all-terrain vehicles to the IMTC camp (International Mountaineering and Tourism Center), located at an altitude of 2700 m (8850 ft). The drive will take at least 5 - 6 hours. The road goes through the picturesque Zarafshan valley. Along the way we will stop for lunch at a cafe. One of the main adventures of the day will be passing through a chain of tunnels built in the Soviet times. One of them is several kilometers long. There is no light, broken asphalt, groundwater and lack of ventilation - a miracle of engineering, which we will need to survive. Then we turn to an unpaved road leading to the valley of the river Pasrud, drive over a small pass and several bridges, and after 1.5 hours finally get to IMTC. We spend the night on a meadow in our tents.
    Overnight in tents by the IMTC | Breakfast Included
  • Day2
    August 9, Sunday - After breakfast we pack our things (we can leave at IMTC everything that we won’t need during the next three days), hire and load our mules. Then we hike light to the Kulikalon lakes via a path over the Laudan pass (3 630m, 11 909ft). Walking time is about 6 hours. The pass offers excellent views of the Bodkhona (5 138m, 16 857ft) and Chapdara (5 050m, 18 568ft) peaks, and Kulikalon Lakes (2 800m, 9 186ft). We stop for the night at Bibi Dzhonat Lake. There we can swim, try to fish, light a fire, and all this with the magnificent view of the Kulikalon wall. We cook on a gas stove.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day3
    August 10, Monday - Before lunch we’ll take a walk by the lake through an archa grove (mountain juniper, endangered species) and visit a koshara (cattle camp) on the Big Kulikalon lake. There we can buy local yogurt and flatbread, and take a swim in the lake. We can also buy a sheep or a goat for shashlik (local kebab) or just order pilaf from the chaikhana (teahouse) for the evening. After lunch and rest we’ll take a walk along the Dyushaha lake in the direction of the Kulikalon wall.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day4
    August 10, Monday - Before lunch we’ll take a walk by the lake through an archa grove (mountain juniper, endangered species) and visit a koshara (cattle camp) on the Big Kulikalon lake. There we can buy local yogurt and flatbread, and take a swim in the lake. We can also buy a sheep or a goat for shashlik (local kebab) or just order pilaf from the chaikhana (teahouse) for the evening. After lunch and rest we’ll take a walk along the Dyushaha lake in the direction of the Kulikalon wall.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day5
    August 12, Wednesday - We pack gear and food for a large circular route and load the mules. Hike to Mutniye (muddy) lakes (3 500m, 11 483ft), approximately 3 hours. The trail offers beautiful views of the Alaudin lakes. After passing a poplar grove we come to a small, but very picturesque lake Pialat. It’s possible to swim. Then take a steep climb and arrive at the Mutniye lakes and campsite. Here we leave food supplies a gear for the mountain ascent (days 11-14).
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day6
    August 13, Thursday - From Mutniye lakes we go via a rocky path, and sometimes backcountry, following cairns, towards the Kaznok East pass (4 040m, 13 255ft, difficulty 1B/grade 2). There will be a couple of climbs on approach and a flat glacier. Just before the pass, there is a steep rise about 50m/164ft. However, this route is passable by sheep herds and should take us not more than 3-3.5 hours (ascent). Afterwards we descend via a scree trail for about 1 hour to the river Kaznok. Have a snack. Begin a very gentle rise along the river Kaznok. We cross it over rocks and continue up the trail along the right inflow. Overnight in a clearing near the inflow* or higher at the Turquoise lake. Total hiking time of the day - 7-9 hours.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day7
    August 14, Friday - Approach the Dvoinoy (double) pass (4 200m/13 780ft, 1 hour from the Turquoise lake). Ascent to the pass will take about 1 hour, descent to the circus 20 - 30 minutes. Snack. Next we descend by a rocky path along the river Left Zindon, by the Upper Allo lake to the Big Allo lake. About 3 hours. Approach the campsite via easy rock shelves several feet above the water. * If we camped on the previous night at the meadow, we will go through the Saratov pass (1A/grade 2, 3700m/12 139ft, talus) and right shoulder of the Dvoinoy pass.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day8
    August 15, Saturday - We spend the day at Lake Allo. Swimming, relaxing, walk to the far end of the lake. If there’s a herd, we can buy a sheep for shashlik.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day9
    August 16, Sunday - From Allo Lake to Chimtarga pass (4 600m/15 092ft, 1B/grade 2, snow and scree), campsite under the pass. We go up the gorge of the Right Zindon river. Flat areas are followed by steep climbs, and there is a small lake on the way. The approach to the pass is long and laborious. There is probably wind and snow on top of the saddle. We camp at the sites 150 meters (500 ft) below the pass. 8-10 hours.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day10
    August 17, Monday - Climb the Energia peak (5 100m/16 732, snow and ice) and descent to Mutniye lakes. From the campsite we go back up to the Chimtarga pass and climb the Energia peak via a rock-ice ridge using crampons. On descent the group may need a rope. Return to the campsite (where we spent the night), have a snack and continue down via a scree trail and the glacier to Mutniye Lakes. 7-8 hours.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day11
    August 18, Tuesday - Go from Mutniye lakes to Don pass (1B/grade 2) and then to a campsite near Mirali pass (2A-2B/grade 3)*. From Mutniye lakes we ascent to the Don pass carrying all essential gear. Two sections of the route follow a steep talus (about 2 hours). Then there is a flat glacier with a lingering rise of average steepness till the top of the saddle. Snack at the campsites under the pass. Then approach the rocks via a snow slope, climb rocky shelves of medium difficulty and pass a firn snout (roped-up). Overnight at the campsites on the ridge above the firn snout or on the Mirali pass (5 000m/16 404ft). 8-10 hours. * If at this point you realize that you are already very tired, then climbing Chimtarga can be skipped. Instead - a walk in the Chapdara gorge and descend to the Alaudin lakes. There you can camp, relax, swim, and enjoy pilaf and watermelons in the teahouse.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day12
    August 19, Wednesday - Climb the Chimtarga peak (5 476m/17 966ft, 2B/grade 3, snow and ice). Return to the Mirali pass or to Don pass (time permitting). 8-12 hours.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day13
    August 20, Thursday - Extra day in case of bad weather or delay.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day14
    August 21, Friday - Descent from the Don pass to Mutniye Lakes and on to IMTC. Reuniting with the rest of the group.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day15
    August 22, Saturday - Free day. Trips along the lake, swimming, lunch in teahouse, packing for departure.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
  • Day16
    August 23, Sunday - Drive from IMTC to Dushanbe. Flight home.
    Overnight in tents | Breakfast Included
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Kelvin T.

Adventure Travel

Introduction to Mountaineering

Fann Mountains, Tajikistan

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