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  #1  
Old 10 Jan 2008
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Crossing Pamir Highway late Nov.

Hi All

I'm looking for some opinion on crossing the pamir highway from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan in late Nov (maybe early Nov).

I know it will be cold, but what do you think the snow situation will be like (I know each year will be different in terms of snow cover, but lets assume it will be an average year snow-wise).

We will be travelling in a 4x4, not a bike.

Do you think we are being a bit ambitious. Someone I've been tlaking to did suggest that chances are about 70% to get through the pass section before Dec.

Any comments welcome

Thanks
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Old 10 Jan 2008
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50/50 question

Hi,
I am sure you realise that it's one of those 50/50 things, looking forward many months to next winter.
If you check the weather reports for that general area right now, there has been heavy snow and avalanches in mountainous areas (with associated deaths on the roads) in that part of Asia; so, does winter arrive early next year? (Even a 5 day weather forecast is not too accurate!!).

All I am saying is have a plan B in your back-pocket for when the highways are blocked; are you prepared to wait it out, or do you fly the vehicle over the obstruction?
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Old 10 Jan 2008
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I've been looking into crossing the Pamir Highway in August/September this year. I think this is the ideal timing to then cross into Kyrgyzstan, then China (Kashgar) to the Karakorum Highway. (The KKH apprently can close as early as October)

Check out Home | Foulerton.com for their Tajikistan & Pamir experience. I think they did it a bit too late in the year (though: kudos to them for getting through it, especially considering they were 2 up).

Cheers
Bjorn
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Old 10 Jan 2008
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Sorry Pumbaa.... just realized you're COMING from Kyrgyzstan...
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Old 10 Jan 2008
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Thanks

Thanks for the replies so far everyone.

Yes, it is definitely one of those 50/50 situations. I suppose in worst case scenario we'll have to take a different route to Tajik and miss out on the Pamir.

Anyone else with some experiences on the Pamir?

Thanks
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I have been in oct. 2006. Was cold in the night but no snow at all. We travelled by bike.
Report here: Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Pamir Highway, afghan border etc... - ADVrider
Ask if you have questions...
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Old 11 Jan 2008
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Sambor,

I saw your thread on ADVrider before - superb images mate!
What's the fuel situation like in Tajikistan? Leaded? Unleaded? Did you carry any extra fuel? How long was your longest bit between two 'petrol stations' (I know... it's more likely to be buckets full of fuel on the side of the road

Do you remember what modifications you had on your bikes, to deal with the low quality fuel?

Cheers
Bjorn
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Old 11 Jan 2008
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Well,
There was shortage of fuel in Tajikistan. Longest distance without a real petrol station was... 3 days. About 800 km. It was in Ishkashim. We reached petrol station and there were no fuel at all. They waited several days. People from Aga Khan foundation helped us.
But to tell you the truth it was possible to buy a fuel in Murghab from local people. Just ask. Perhaps it is also possible to buy in other villages. Quality of petrol was... bad. They said it was 80 octane. Maybe... As you know our bikes (AT) are ready to go on this fuel, so we lost power but were able to drive. One of us had 48 liters tank so we used him as an extra tank... On high altitude you should adjust carburator. I will be in this area this summer. CU in China

chris
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Old 11 Jan 2008
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Hi Sambor,

So you're saying: Fuel is available in Murghab, then next in Khorog, with no fuel in between, right?
I thought I saw a BMW in one of your images. I'll be on an F650 Dakar with EFI but Remus exhaust (to take leaded fuel).
When will you be in China? I might send you a PM to ask a few more things if that's alright with you?

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Old 11 Jan 2008
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I said: fuel WAS available in Mughab, after that we have turned south to south to wakhan corridor (very good choice!). Then we intended to fill up in Ishkashim. Then Khorog. Remember taht we travelled in seven bikes. It has to be easier to find fuel for one bike... On the other hand we speak russian...
Many of my friends ride BMW. It is not important which bike you ride... (but you have to agree that AT is a best choice!). We are going to visit PRC in August.
No problems, send PM if you have any q...

Sambor
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Old 15 Jan 2008
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I've been through the Pamirs in October 2006 (on bike). It was cold on the passes but no big deal really. A couple weeks later a couple bikers went there and hit some snow on the passes, which would be no big deal on a 4x4 of course but on a bike..

As far as fuel is concerned, I agree with the above. Fuel is no problem. Petrol stations are few and far between but my experience is that you can ask around in the villages and somebody will show up with a jerrycan (with some sort of unidentified fuel in it that my Tenere was happy with). Mind you, they do have cars there, so you just need to pay more than you would in a regular petrol station. You don't even need to know Tajik or Russian, the universal finger-pointing to your tank works just fine.

That includes Murgab, got fuel from jerrycans in a backyard.

Note that Tadjikistan has many brand new petrol stations that serve no fuel, and plenty of roadside stands selling jars of petrol (literally, in clear glass). Go figure.

Laurent

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Old 15 Jan 2008
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[QUOTE=lbendel;168487]I've been through the Pamirs in October 2006 (on bike). It was cold on the passes but no big deal really. ,
As far as fuel is concerned, I agree with the above.


Hi Laurent,
We slept in the same cheap hotel in Dushanbe Do you remember some bikers from Poland?
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Old 27 Jan 2008
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Fuel in the Pamirs

I crossed the Pamirs in late September 2005, no worries...

Fuel was readily avaialable in Sary Tash (Kyrgyzstan), and then Murghab and Khorog for me. Just ask the locals; anything is possible as long as your bike is not fussy on 76 octane or some variation. It's just over 300kms from Murghab to Khorog, so make sure you fill up!

The pamir plateau is a wonderful place, but riding in November means snow - argh. Let me know if you have more questions.

Adrian

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  #14  
Old 28 Jan 2008
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freezing

we were there in september and that was fine, but in november things will get snowy. and it will surely freeze. however the locals assured us that the road is kept open all winter, even if there is snow. in the worst case it will close for some days. spring is worse, because the clean-up is more difficult, but in a car and with time on your side i think you should be ok. none of the passes are steep, except maybe the first one (coming from kirgistan) and if you take the waghan, the altitude is a lot lower, though i'm not sure at all that that road, which is piste up to langhar, is kept open. the main road directly to khorog should be ok. fuel was no problem for us (400 km max), but i'm not sure if it will be the same in winter... supplies will go down. if i were you, i'd stock up on fuel, food and socks, and enjoy.

g&t
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  #15  
Old 1 Feb 2008
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Post Thank goodness for heated jackets!

Hello from Bangkok,

My wife and I were the pair on the GS that crossed the Pamirs in mid October and it was rather cold on the Pamir Plateau (-5 in the tent at night), I really enjoyed our new heated jackets.

Both the pass from Tajik-Kyrg and the Kunjurab Pass (China-Pak) had snow when we crossed and the Kunjarab will close at the end of October, or earlier if heavy snow appears.

Fuel could be bought in any village, in reasonable quantites (Octane 60-65%, according to our friend at the US Embassy in Dushanbe). Our bike sounded like a bag of spanners but managed at 4800m, weighting in at 500kg!

We only fell once, avoiding a run away donkey!

Nick

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