Climbing Communism Peak

8 03 2009
Pik Lenin (7,134m) from Saryk Mongol

Pik Lenin (7,134m) from Saryk Mongol

Well, not exactly. Pik Comminisma, which is the highest mountain in Tajikistan, stands tall at 7,495m. It’d be hard to trek that in a day. But considering the fact that 93% of all of the land in Tajikistan is mountanous and you see beautiful snow-peaked mountains every time you look out the window, it’d be almost a crime not to do some hiking during my time here.

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I was able to do two day hikes thus far. One was last weekend – with a few friends from work.

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And another one happened to be today with a small group of expats led by a local hiking guide. Unfortunately, the locals are not too keen on hiking, so it’s typically the foreigners that do it.

Group of expats getting ready for the hike.

Group of expats getting ready for the hike.

I have got to say – anybody that wants to get into International Development (ahem, Andrey) and wants to meet the right people, you need to come out to Dushanbe and go on a hike. It’s really quite interesting to see such a diverse expat community. You’ve got project managers, directors, embassy and foreign service people, etc. from virtually a dozen NGOs and government organizations that come together every week to go hiking.

It’s quite a networking opportunity – in fact, as our guide briefly mentioned, on more than one occasion, they’ve had “devushki legkogo povedenja” sign up to come out on these hikes to meet foreign men.

It was also pretty strange to suddenly hear so much English around you, after a month of communicating solely in Russian. It’s even stranger to bump into people from Brooklyn, NY – as it turns out, it’s a small world.

Anyway, back to the hike:

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Clouds are so close, you can almost touch them.

Clouds are so close, you can almost touch them.

Weather can change quickly here.

Weather can change quickly here.

My new pet. Gosha, can we keep him?

My new pet. Gosha, can we keep him?

Who said I'm a bad photographer?

Who said I'm a bad photographer?

 

The roads to the mountains can be tricky. Especially with snow on the ground.

The roads to the mountains can be tricky. Especially with snow on the ground.

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Both of these hikes took place in the Varzob region – just 20 minutes away from the city.

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8 responses

8 03 2009
Saadat

That’s a beautiful picture of the flower… I think that I need to take Photography classes now!

8 03 2009
Mustafa

Pik Communisma is not the second highest mountain in the world.

K2 or Mount Godwin-Austen,peak, 28,250 ft (8,611 m) high, in the Karakorum range, N Kashmir, on the China-Pakistan border; is the second highest peak in the world. It was discovered and measured by the Survey of India in 1856, and first named for English topographer Henry Godwin-Austen, who explored and surveyed the region. “K2” is taken from the first letter of Karakorum, and the number indicates that it was the second peak in the range to be measured. An Italian team led by Ardito Desio reached the summit in 1954.

9 03 2009
boba

Mustafa,

You are absolutely correct in your statement. I’ve made the correction on the post.

Thank you very much for the feedback!

9 03 2009
Andrey

“I have got to say – anybody that wants to get into International Development (ahem, Andrey) and wants to meet the right people, you need to come out to Dushanbe and go on a hike.”

Can I just go to a bar in DC instead? ;)

I love the name Pik Communisma. Here is something just as good, Dushanbe used to be called Stalinabad.

14 03 2009
Alex M

“devushki legkogo povedenja” on a hike? Scandalous!

14 03 2009
Boris

Andruha,

Another big sity in TJ was called Leninabad. It’s still referred to as such by many. But I don’t think it’s limited to TJ – most FSU countries have that.

Alex,
:)

14 03 2009
Frances

What’s with calling cities “[insert leader's name] is bad”? Can we have a city renamed Bushisbad or Reaganisbad or Cainisbad or how about Dubyaisbad? Ha ha … yes, I know it’s not “is bad” but I had to try to find a joke in here somewhere and that is the best I could come up with … lame, I know.

16 03 2009
Nastya

Borya, it looks like you are on a double mission there. You are not only empowering Tajikistan’s businesses by microfinancing, but you are also promoting tourism there. Who wouldn’t want to go “touch the clouds” or get such a cute pet now? … )))))

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