The Pamir Highway, Tajikistan

Crestone Needle, Colorado, USA

Ishkashim to Khorog: The Wheelbarrow & The Customs Officer

July 25, 2014

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Anyhow, I now have a scar from the time I was in a bazaar in the neutral territory between Tajikistan and Afghanistan and got run over by a wheelbarrow.

Posted in: Roadtrip, Tajikistan

Langar to Ishkashim: History & Culture on the Pyanj River

July 24, 2014

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Sailaubai would explain to me that this fort was built by Macedonians from Alexander the Great's conquest of the region, but I cannot independently verify this. He also said those who controlled the fort could keep an easy lookout on the various traders moving through the valley to Langar or Wakhan, and take what they needed by attacking caravans.

Posted in: Roadtrip, Tajikistan

Murghab to Langar: Speechless on the Afghani Border

July 23, 2014

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June 5th, 2014 was one of the most visually amazing days of my life. I rode in a taxi with Svend, Helen, and our new driver, Saule Boy, from Murghab to Langar, Tajikistan. The day started with a view of the sunrise over Muztagh Ata of China, and ended with a sunset illuminating the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan. In between, we viewed some of the most amazing lakes, rivers, and, most importantly, mountains, I have ever seen.

Posted in: Roadtrip, Tajikistan

Kara Kul to Murghab: The Highest Pass

July 22, 2014

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From the top of the pass, the road was straight and straight-forward, never far from the Chinese border fence and never quite smooth. I was far from concerned about the road, however, as I was continually gaping and the never-ending enormous landscape that surrounded us all the way into Murghab.

Posted in: Roadtrip, Tajikistan

Osh to Kara Kul: A Misunderstanding, A Sick Start, & A Closed Road

July 21, 2014

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This was also the place where my stomach had its final fight against the last of the contents consumed the day before, thanks to an involuntary olfactory response to the rather rural smell of a shop. The first and only thing I consumed that day was a liter of Sprite from Sary Tash, and I can assure you it was the best Sprite of all time.

The Road to Purgatory is Beautiful

July 18, 2014

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Osh is not exactly an exciting city. The main attraction is the bazaar, which is massive, but full of all the things you find at every bazaar in Central Asia: fresh fruit and vegetables, plastic products and cheap clothing from China, and police looking to hassle foreigners. The other main highlight, in my eyes at least, was Solomon's Throne, a craggy hill that rises above the town.

Posted in: Kyrgyzstan, Roadtrip, Running

The *Mental* Traverse: Peak Panfilov to Peak Karlytau

July 3, 2014

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We took our time on the tip of the summit, taking lots of photos and having lots of laughs. I think when you complete an exposed climb like this, there is something psychological about the summit that makes mountaineering become more than a sport or hobby, but as something one cannot live without. I had experienced an even greater relief and stronger positive energy at the summit of Komsomol Peak the summer before after free-soloing the Northwest Face, but this feeling is exponentially increased when the experience is shared with partners, perhaps because other people have overcome the same fears and obstacles, and they too have the electric feeling that only a hard-earned summit in difficult circumstances can provide.

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