An introduction to the Pamir Trail
The best trekking route being created right now
The Pamir Trail, I’ve not heard of that before…
Well, that’s because it’s not quite a thing yet. But, thanks to the efforts of Jan Bakker and his colleagues, it soon will be. The Pamir trail is an interconnected network of trekking routes starting around the Fann Mountains in Tajikistan and ending roughly at the Afghan border, spanning over 1000km. Basically, it’s a superhighway under construction with routes, views and challenges to satisfy any kind of expedition you want to lead.
Let’s start with a little background info on Tajikistan, and why it’s such an incredible place for mountaineering and trekking. Takistan is about 92-93% mountainous… Let that sink in a little… 93% of the entire region is considered mountainous, with the highest peaks tickling 7000m, and it’s longest glaciers rubbing up against 78km. This basically makes Tajikistan a super-playground for mountaineers and other big kids who love discovery and the great outdoors. Unfortunately though, the country hasn’t quite earned the same reputation for mountaineering as Nepal, which is what makes the creation of the Pamir Trail not only interesting, but potentially significant to the local economy and the World view of Tajikistan as a destination.
As Jan, Author of Trekking in Tajikistan and professional explorer, says “The trail comprises 70 stages, made up mostly of trails used by local shepherds. This means the trail passes through and directly supports local business, including over 50 homestays”. As we’re talking about true remote wilderness where very few other non-locals ever visit, The Pamir Trail is a genuine source of real exploration and wonder, which could potentially invigorate the local communities with new foreign traffic.
So how long would it take someone to trek The Pamir Trail?
Well, the Appalachian Trail is about 2.5x the length of the proposed route for the Pamir Trail, and takes about 5-7 months to complete. So if this is anything to go by, we’d reckon about 2-3 months for the Pamir Trail. But, it’s not quite finished. Jan and his colleagues are currently plotting the second half of the route and are planning recon missions to the region in mid 2021 and 2022 to finalise things. You can find out a bunch of info at Pamirtrail.org.