Route Planning- Pamir Highway in Kakakorum

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Tob.y
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Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2024 11:42 pm

Route Planning- Pamir Highway in Kakakorum

Post by Tob.y »

Hello,
I was planning a ride from Osh to Gilgit on the Pamir Highway into the Kakakorum highway on the route below route. I have some questions.
https://www.komoot.com/tour/1471229470? ... sI&ref=wtd

1. Is the route possible as I have searched high and low and not seen many people do it.
2. Kulma Pass open status?
3. Is October/November a good time to go?
4. Is there an exact date each year the Kunjerab Pass closes?
5. Safety on Kyrgyz/Tajik border?
6. Restrictions imposed in China? ie. no wild camping, warmshowers etc.? (I have heard of this from people with similar routes but not in writing.

Thanks!
Toby
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AreWeThereYet
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Re: Route Planning- Pamir Highway in Kakakorum

Post by AreWeThereYet »

Hi Toby, that looks like an awesome ride, the kind of I'd like to do if I were to convince my wife to bankroll me for a few months!
  1. I think your route is technically possible. I've not ridden in the Pamirs, but I've travelled the roads you'd be going on - with one notable exception. I'd personally have a gravel setup with at least 45mm tyres. The notable exception is the Bartang Valley, which I haven't visited, but I encourage you to check out this great article on Bikepacking.com: https://bikepacking.com/routes/bartang- ... ajikistan/
  2. Don't know. Have you checked here? viewtopic.php?f=9&t=439&start=90 reports dating back to '23 showed it as open
  3. October/November? An emphatic no. I went at the end of May and I got snowed in at the Kyzylart pass (see here: https://www.there-yet.com/blog/the-fron ... ir-highway). There's even higher passes, going to 4,680 metres. If I were to return to the Pamirs, and one day I will, I'm going to go in the dead of the summer. And even in July '19 I arrived in Sary Tash after a storm had dumped a big dollop of snow on the mountains. I was going to Xinjiang, but a guy trying to drive over into TJ was turned back because the snow hadn't been cleared yet.
  4. Can't help, sorry
  5. Have you seen this thread? viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13652 and this great page on the main site? https://caravanistan.com/border-crossin ... r-crossing
  6. Have you seen this thread? viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5360&start=10 In my experience in Xinjiang I was definitely followed and wasn't allowed to enter specific cities (I later found out they were demolishing mosques and cemeteries). But I wasn't on my bike. Oh, and staying with locals was a big no-no. Non Han Chinese were even scared of crossing eyes with me.
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bwv812
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Re: Route Planning- Pamir Highway in Kakakorum

Post by bwv812 »

1. You should be able to find answers for most of your subquestions here on the forums.
2. Yes.
3. No.
4. No, but I believe it's pretty much always in October.
5. Safety is fine, but you need permission.
6. I believe special permission/permit is now needed to enter the Tashkurgan area, and in Xinjiang the police generally keep a very close eye on foreigners and make sure they stay in registered accommodation.
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Tob.y
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Re: Route Planning- Pamir Highway in Kakakorum

Post by Tob.y »

Hello,

Thanks for everyone's replies- they have helped me out enormously.

I have managed to change me schedule around to be going in around July/August. I believe that is more appropriate.

On staying in registrable accommodation in Xinjiang, I fully understand and would be more than happy to, but I simply cannot find the website to book anything. Do you have any ideas?

Toby
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bwv812
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Re: Route Planning- Pamir Highway in Kakakorum

Post by bwv812 »

If you are on a bike the police will most likely follow you in a car and direct you to a place that can take foreigners (or will manually register you at a place that does not normally take them). There are many such reports of this on the forums here.
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lealala
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Re: Route Planning- Pamir Highway in Kakakorum

Post by lealala »

Hi Toby, we have exactly the same idea for the upcoming summer! Let me know what you find out :)
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AreWeThereYet
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Re: Route Planning- Pamir Highway in Kakakorum

Post by AreWeThereYet »

bwv812 wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2024 12:47 am
If you are on a bike the police will most likely follow you in a car and direct you to a place that can take foreigners (or will manually register you at a place that does not normally take them). There are many such reports of this on the forums here.
Totally agree. Most of the 'western' websites weren't of great help when I was in Xinjiang, and not having the likes of WeChat I was seriously at a loss. In Urumqi I traipsed across town to find a hotel that'd accept me and, in the end, I found a cop who put me in his squad car and drove me to the one hotel that was certainly open to foreigners.

The Hilton. Bit of a steep shock, but hey ho.
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