Wakhan Corridor - Solo trekking to Chaqmaqtin Lake (report & guide)

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jacoblab1
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Wakhan Corridor - Solo trekking to Chaqmaqtin Lake (report & guide)

Postby jacoblab1 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:56 am

Hey everyone - I just got back from two weeks in the Wakhan Corridor.

I did the trek to Chaqmaqtin Lake (low route both ways). I hiked completely solo, no donkeys or anything. I did some meal planning in Dushanbe and made sure that I'd have enough food for the days where I'd be alone on the low route.

It's totally possible to do the trek without any donkey if you're comfortable hiking with a decent amount of weight on your back. I'd still probably recommend a pack animal for most people. The trek for me was a bit of a warm up for climbing Pik Lenin next week, so I wanted to make it tough.

The trail itself is easy to follow. The hardest part for me were the river crossings. On my trip to the Little Pamir it was okay, but when I was returning (first week of July), the one near the Showr campsite was particularly sketchy. Took me 30 minutes to find a way to cross, and the fast flowing water was still above my knees.

In Bozai Gumbaz the locals were a bit weird, but I managed to find a guy named Hassan and stay in his guesthouse. He was friendly. At Chaqmaqtin Lake, I stayed in the village of Itchkili with a lovely family (father named Belak).

I had no issues finding shared cars along the way to Sarhad-e-Broghil. On my return trip, I got very lucky and found a dude who was planning on driving from Sarhad to Ishkashim in a single day. He asked only 3000 Afghani and I got the front seat in the jeep.

However... in Khandood, the local "transport boss" saw me and started yelling at me and my driver. I couldn't understand what was going on - the transport boss has no uniform and was just a frail old man. He made us go to the governors office and then him, the governor and my driver argued for about 10 minutes. In the end, my driver paid the transport boss 1000 Afghani and we were allowed to go. So I had to pay my driver 4000 Afghani in the end :/

From what I understood, the transport boss was trying to get me to pay the full 300 USD tourist price for the car, even though there were other locals in it. Stupid.

Other than that transport boss experience, I had a great time. I met some incredible people (stay at Zarik Guesthouse in Sarhad, so amazing!) and got to trek in an incredible part of the world.

I've written a full guide with photos and stuff on my personal website, if you're looking for more info.

Here's my Wakhan Corridor Travel & Trekking Guide

Hope this helps people plan their trips!
Last edited by jacoblab1 on Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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My solo-travel blog: On The Way Around
Covers destinations such as China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and more!

blakep76
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Re: Wakhan Corridor - Solo trekking to Chaqmaqtin Lake (report & guide)

Postby blakep76 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:43 am

Great info and photos on your blog post - thanks, Jacob!
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jacoblab1
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Re: Wakhan Corridor - Solo trekking to Chaqmaqtin Lake (report & guide)

Postby jacoblab1 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:12 am

blakep76 wrote:Great info and photos on your blog post - thanks, Jacob!


Thanks Blake! Glad you like it :)
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My solo-travel blog: On The Way Around
Covers destinations such as China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and more!

togreiser
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Re: Wakhan Corridor - Solo trekking to Chaqmaqtin Lake (report & guide)

Postby togreiser » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:54 am

I agree. Fantastic guide :-)
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netllama
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Re: Wakhan Corridor - Solo trekking to Chaqmaqtin Lake (report & guide)

Postby netllama » Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:40 am

Thanks for sharing, this trip report is fantastic!
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