MORE LAKE AND MOUNTAIN hiking opportunities than you can poke a titanium walking stick at, limited only by your level of fitness and preparedness. We managed a 3655m pass, while others were training for some serious 5000m assaults.
The village mosque in Artush, where we began our 3 days hike ove Alaudin Pass.
Artush is served by battered buses from the city of Penjikent.
Artush is largely undeveloped and a traditional agricultural village.
Lakes and wetlands on the route up to Alaudin Pass.
On the first day of our hike. At this stage, we were coping pretty well with the altitude.
This girl on her donkey was one of the last people we saw after leaving Artush.
The clear blue skies didn't last long. Snow was not far away.
We hiked under blue skies, but quickly made camp and were soon getting snowed on.
Kulikalon Lakes, camp day one.
After two nights on the mountains behind us, the road out involved lots of walking, a few lifts, a visit to somebody's house and finally some hard bargaining taxis. But mostly walking.
Looking back on the track, visible on the left.
We don't have mountains in Australia. Europeans take these slopes like a flight of stairs. One fellow we met climbed Australia's seven highest peaks in one day.
Dog tired! Sorry, couldn't resist. Alaudin Pass, 3650m.
The colour of some of the lakes in Tajikistan must be experienced to be believed.
Reward for two days slog, our camp on day two.
After leaving Alaudin Vertical, there were a few obstacles still to be tackled.
Alaudin Vertical campground serves as a base for cashed up European climbers who come for the big peaks in the area.
Our first sign of the mdoern world, a small resort village on the route out.