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Where in the World are the Fann Mountains?

By: Tim Nicholl, posted

When I told people I was off to trek in the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan, I was met with blank stares from most people, including many who are well travelled.

The former Soviet republic of Tajikistan lies in the heart of Central Asia, bordered by Uzbekistan to the west and north, Kyrgyzstan and China to the east and Afghanistan to the south. It’s not a well known destination, and tourism and trekking are still in their infancy there. This is one of the many factors that make the Fann Mountains a really special place to visit. It’s an extensive mountain range with 11 peaks over 5000m, hundreds of peaks over 4000m with numerous glaciers and beautiful green valleys studded with azure lakes.

For the majority of the trek, the only people we came across were nomads taking their animals up high to graze for the summer months. They were incredibly friendly and we received numerous offers of tea, yoghurt and curd from yurts and houses we passed.

Every campsite on this trek is situated beside a beautiful lake or a river, so there are plenty of body and clothes washing opportunities, although the water temperatures are a tad refreshing. Not many of us lasted more than a minute swimming in the lakes, as they are fed by snow melt and glaciers, but it’s the ideal way to cool down after a days trekking. The weather in the Fann Mountains during the summer months is generally very stable and we were lucky enough to have blue skies throughout the entire trek. Day time temperatures are warm (25C), and night time temperatures are cool, but not cold, which means trekking with very little discomfort.

We spent a number of pleasant evenings at camp, eating our dinner ‘al fresco’ and sitting watching the sun set. I’ve been raving about this trek since I’ve been back to anyone who’ll listen to me and shows any interest. It’s a fantastic trip to a relatively off the beaten track location with awesome scenery, great trekking, idyllic campsites and really friendly locals who are genuinely pleased to see you.

What more could you ask for?

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