Located in central Asia, Tajikistan is an ideal climbing destination for climbers and hikers. Besides, 93% of the country is mountainous with high altitudes of up to 24,600 ft. This remote country has amazing rock climbing areas that will raise your adrenaline levels. To make it even better, most of the rock climbing areas in Tajikistan favor both amateurs and professional climbers.
The region offers an exhilarating backcountry experience and will allow you to climb to your satisfaction. Most of the rock climbing areas in Tajikistan offer panoramic views once you reach the top, while some areas have beautiful lakes and other natural features that will give you the thrill.
If you plan on a rock-climbing vacation in Tajikistan, let’s explore then 5 must-visit areas that you can consider adding to your list:
Rock Climbing Areas in Tajikistan
1. Boghev Sport Area
This is one of the most popular rock climbing areas in the eastern part of Tajikistan, and it is for a good reason. As the name suggests, the area is located near Boghev village of Shughnon District.
The Boghev Sport rock climbing area has everything that a climber may look for. There are two routes that you can use during your tour. What is more, the area has an amazing rock outcrop that is easily accessible.
The rocks in this area are mostly made of granite, thus making them somewhat resistant to corrosion. Plus, the rocks have coarse-grained surfaces that will provide you with maximum grip during the climb. Still, ensure that you use the right rock climbing equipment for safety purposes, around 8 bolts and anchors will be enough.
From Khorog, Shughnon Districts’ capital, you can easily get to Boghev Sport Area without experiencing any problems. Besides, it’s a short journey that will take less than twenty minutes. When it comes to transport costs, you will be required to pay less than 4 Tajikistani somonis when traveling by tangem.
The climbing route is nestled at the back of a huge rock outcrop. It is possible to get there through the village. If you see a stream that flows out of the canyon situated behind the rock outcrop, you will need to go upwards across rocky outcrops until the left wall appears in front of you. There is an overhang area under the route for approximately 4-8 feet at the bottom.
2. Zerkalo Rock Climbing Area
The rocks in Zerkalo are known for their characteristic smooth surfaces. As a result, the locals nicknamed the climbing walls mirrors. Actually, ‘Zerkalo’ itself means ‘ a mirror’.
There are two large climbing crags that you decide to attempt when choosing Zerkalo as your next climbing area. Both are found in the Varzob gorge, so you will have the chance to enjoy beautiful sceneries and be given great climbing opportunities. One of the rocks is up to 98 ft. high and has a steep wall that will test your sport climbing skills. Moreover, the area has great camping spots, so you can pitch your tent, especially during the hot season when the temperature is a bit high.
The Zerkalo rock climbing area can be accessed via the Dushanbe-Chanak highway. Moreover, the rocks are just 11 miles from the main highway. As such, you can easily get there by taxi.
3. Rock Climbing in Varzob Valley
The climbing walls in Varzob valley are some of the oldest rocks in the region. This region has a rich history, so you will be able to learn a lot of things from the locals. The climbing walls of Varzob have been popular since Soviet times or even earlier. But it was thanks to the Soviets who established a few climbing camps and climbing routes in the previous century.
This area offers up to 15 routes that you can use. Most of the routes are well maintained, thus making them easy to charter.
The rocks in the Varzob valley are not only of high quality but are also suitable for both trad and sport climbing. In addition to this, they are not as slippery and will provide you with maximum anchorage. If you do everything correctly, you won’t have a hard time ascending or descending the walls.
Climbers can get to this area by taxi and other means of transport. From Dushanbe, travel north on the Khujand-Dushanbe road. It is only a 12-mile drive, but you will have to clear most of the journey on foot since some areas are not accessible to vehicles. On the bright side, this will provide you with great views of Tajikistan’s mountainous landscape.
4. Siama Rock Climbing Area
The Siama rock climbing area is also another destination that is worth trying during your escapade to Tajikistan. Like the Zerkalo area, the rocks in Siama are very popular in the region. The fact that they are made of granite makes them even more reliable, so you won’t have to worry about anything when trying your abilities.
The bastion rock offers two well-crafted routes that will make your work a bit easier as you climb. Also, the rock is approximately 394 ft. high, making this area the go-to place for well-experienced climbers. Apart from two advanced bolted routes, less experienced climber enthusiasts will find some undiscovered spots for themselves too. The character of the routes usually requires trad style. Those who can achieve the first bolt located about 20 meters from the starting point, can move on. However, those who fail the first bolt will need to resign or try one more time.
The Siama george will provide you with stunning natural sceneries that will blow your mind. The Siama rock climbing area is situated about 33 miles from Dushanbe. You can get to this location by taxi via the Dushanbe–Chanak road.
5. Rock Climbing in Fann Mountains
Back in Soviet times, the Fann Mountains were a playground for mountaineers from behind the Iron Curtain. Some Alplagers (or Turbazas) are still preserved and in use.
The peaks in the Fann Mountains offer difficult climbs (rock, mixed, and ice), but also easy ones.
The mountains offer relatively simple climbs on their steep slopes covered with loose rocks. Most routes go along continuous ridges offering solid rock steps – which actually form if you have enough traffic – and very occasionally cracks for protection. There’s plenty of snow here in the winter and even a couple of glaciers to play on.
The Fann Mountains are also known for their weather, which means that in addition to plenty of snow (usually wet) you can also get large amounts of rain, hail, and fog. And the warm, humid valley air is always waiting for an opportunity to condense when it hits the peaks’ cold slopes. All this gives climbers enough opportunities to work on their skills both during daytime climbs and night expeditions.
The country’s capital, Dushanbe, is also home to several professional guides who could offer their services in order to take people climbing in Fann Mountains provided that climber turnout will be significant enough but only when winter conditions prevail (i.e., late December/January/early February). However, if this sport became more popular around the world because rock climbing is not as dangerous as some people might think – no matter whether they practice it indoor or outdoor, there’s no doubt that more and more local climbers will come to discover Fann Mountains and its many outstanding features and first-rate climbing grounds.
Every climber excited about the preparation for the coming climbing escapade to Tajikistan cannot forget about formalities that are to be handled before departure. One very important document, without which the Tajikistan journey can be impossible, is a visa. Tajikistan uses an online visa system that facilitates the entire process of getting a visa permit. Citizens of several dozen countries can apply online for an electronic visa and avoid the necessity to visit the Tajik Embassy.
Depending on the traveler’s needs, there are two types of e-Visa to Tajikistan that can be granted either as a single-entry or multiple-entry. Each of them can be upgraded by a permit to enter the GBAO, which is a mountainous area comprising the Pamir Mountains. Climbing enthusiasts should definitely choose the upgraded version of Tajikistan e-Visa and enter the mountainous region to experience the real climbing heaven.
Thanks to its mountainous landscape, the republic of Tajikistan attracts climbers from different parts of the world every year.
Most of the areas in this region sit at high altitudes and also offer breathtaking views. Besides, Tajikistan is one of the best trekking destinations in the world. The country has a rich history, diverse cultures, and amazing sceneries that will provide you with one of the greatest climbing experiences ever!