August 29, 2007 – Chimtarga pass in the Fan Mountains at 15,500 feet

Energia peak (5120m / 17,797 ft.) on the left and Chimtarga peak on the right (5489 m / 18,000 ft. )

I’m calling you from 4,700 metres, that’s about 15,500 feet above sea level at Chimtarga pass in the Fan Mountains.

This is the high point for this group, the entire trip, our summit, if you will. And what a glorious day it is for us to reach our high point. Absolutely clear skies above, not a breadth of wind, and beautiful mountains in all directions.

This pass is between two spectacular peaks, Chimtarga (5,489 metres) itself and another call Energia peak (5,120 metres). It’s making me think that our next year’s Berg Adventures Silk Road Fan Mountains trip we might have to take an extra day on the trek and tell some of our members who are interested to bring along some climbing gear because there’s definitely great opportunity in this range to climb as well as trek.

In terms of mountaineering, I can tell you that this group walking up the pass right now behind me, Julie, Alex, Linda, and Jim, have done an amazing job. The last two days, we’ve been walking up a glacial moraine. We have had exceptionally warm conditions for these altitudes but we still got was the high altitude itself and living in a demanding environment.

You know, two days ago we said goodbye to our Tajik taxis, those loveable, adorable little donkeys which have been carrying our big loads and since that time, we have had to use our Uzbek staff and their strong backs and their willing attitude to carry very large duffel bags over these passes.

Life is greener in the Fan Mountains as you can tell, I’m proud of the group and how well they’ve done. I’m going to get off the phone and we’re going to enjoy the view. We’ve got two long days of descent ahead and of course ultimately we’re heading back to Samarkand and the wonders of that ancient city and we’re going to report to you each day along the way as we finish our tour of the Silk Road.

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