WAKHAN CORRIDOR, epic hindukush isolation
The light in this region of the world has something magical. A purity and sharpness hardly seen in other places. Not only Sven Edin who traveled through this area mentions it but also Alexander the Great while he crossed to Eastern Asia. In addition to the amazing light, the people, resilient and pure in their connection to the world make it an un missable experience. The rugged landscape embodied by the Wakhan corridor (that became a buffer zone during the Great Game between the Russian empire and the British Empire) at the crossroad of China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kirghizstan, Tajikistan, turns into a mystical place in explorers mind.
Today it belongs to Afghanistan and even after the Soviet invasion in 1978 or the US lead invasion of 2003, this region remains untouched. It is today as it was many centuries ago. Only a few Wakhis keep leading their goat and yak herds over the Pamir and Hindukush Mountains in summer, in this bare and high altitude stony heaven. You'll travel in the footsteps of Kessel's cult, epic "The Horsemen".
Best time to go: June - August
Next depature: 11 June 2020 (end 10 july)
3.Group Meeting Point:
4.Who can go?
a.Min age: adults only
b.Physical condition: must be fit and healthy. This trip involves 20 continuous days of high altitude (above 4000m) trekking on difficult mountainous terrain and tough conditions, while carrying your 15 kg pack. There will be limited porters to carry your pack.
c.You will need to:
i.walk up to 20km per day in altitude terrain
ii.resist to high altitude effort and living
iii.resist very dry climate conditions
iv.be mentally fit and strong in isolation
v.be a team player
vi.carry your own 15kg backpack
d.Group size: max 6 pax + 1 guide
5.Rating (1 to 10): Overall = 8,6
Difficulty = 9
Isolation = 9
Danger = 8
6.This activity involves (%):
Transport: Walking = 80% Van = 20%
Survival skills = 30%
Orienteering = 90%
Group Autonomy = 80%
Day 1, meet at Dushanbe Airport, Tajikistan.
Day 2-5, travel to the start of trek by local means.
Day 6, start the trek toward Vrang Pass
Day 7-15, trek toward Afghanistan on high altitude plateau via the Three Legs valley (4300m)
Day 16-20, trek into total afghan isolation crossing through old Soviet Border outposts.
Day 21, trek to Chaimak (Tajikistan) and to pick up point
Day 22-26, travel to Dushanbe by local means
Day 27-29, safety buffer
Day 30, fly out
8.Weather / local conditions / Terrain:
Spring is sunny and dry. Summer weather in this region of Central Asia is arid and humidity often reaches only 10%. In valleys next to rivers, trees and plants can be seen. While on mountain slopes no grass survives the rocky terrain and altitude. There are no trees to be seen. Most of this trek will happen above 4000m with some passes close to 5200m. Almost none of those are technical climbs, but rather difficult high altitude walks due to the lack of oxygen. Most days will be very sunny but at 4000m, temperatures hardly peak above 16°C during the day. Night will frequently be under 0°C. It is also probable that some fog or rain hit us. For this reason, some buffer days are added to the journey. Roads to destinations are of poor quality and trails disappear quickly after the trek starts. Most of the journey will be done with on compass by your guide.
Dushanbe: basic hotel or b&b
Along the road to and from the trek pick up: Guesthouse (Chaikhana = teahouse)
Trek: One man tents (bivi or sarcophagus) or shared tents
In Central Asia, the food is good, varied and plentiful. Meals consist of fresh vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.), meat (mutton, chicken, grilled meat) and dairy products. Food is often very tasty and full of delicious fragrants, it is not spicy. Traditionally meals are served with tea. Bottled water will be purchased in towns and villages. During the trek, water will be procured in fresh sources and treated with Chlorine. In some section we will have cooks and porters in others we will be on our own. This means we will eat what we carry and though it is energy reach it might be boring!
Transport will be in minivan until impassable. Then 4x4 on bumpy roads. The rest is done on foot.
12.What to expect
This is another unique expedition as it is off beaten tracks. The area has little to no tourism infrastructure and thus you are asked to be understanding in case of poor service by local suppliers. Also, delays, bureaucracy and haggling should be expected in this region! The reward is a unique experience that will test your endurance, resilience and physical capacity.
13.Safety and security
We take safety very seriously as you are in our hands.
But the reality is that you are embarking on an expedition with serious challenges. Challenges are not only in walking, but more importantly, in the remoteness and isolation. In the worst case, should help be required, it could take days to arrive. The group has to be ready for it and be prepared to follow the guides' decisions. Risks include physical injuries, and mental breakdown, bad weather pinning the crew down, altitude syndrome.
We minimise these risks by preparing for them. But the best is to act mindfully and carefully during the trip. The area is known to your experienced guide, and the route could change depending on local conditions.
Wakhan Corridor is often thought to be dangerous because it is in Afghanistan. We consider this area safe enough to organise this trip, because of: its isolation, strong police control at each entry town, its high altitude terrain, its population (more tadjik than pashtuns). In some areas landmines remain, and following instructions is vital. If you want to discuss these points please feel free to contact us anytime.
But be reminded, your safety and your pleasure is our priority.
a.one English speaking guide for up to 6 people.
b.no internet or mobile phone network for 20 days.
email us firstname.lastname@example.org for any price request.
16.Inclusions and exclusions
iii.all meals (fullboard)
iv.accommodation (in double twin share room)
v.transport and drivers as per the schedule
vi.porter in some areas
vii.full services of an No Limit Journeys guide and local guides when required
i.permits to local area (GBAO) as only you can apply for it
ii.flights to 'meeting point' (here flight to Dushanbe)
iii.personal expenses (beverages, entertainment, etc)
iv.tips to local guides
v.personal equipment (we will send you a comprehensive kit list when booked)
Should you have any questions please contact us