Pamir Highway security Q&A

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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Re: Pamir Highway security Q&A

Post by Milad »

Just FYI: The German ministry of foreign affairs (and probably a few other EU foreign ministrys as well, they usually coordinate these stuff although I didn't check) does now advise their citizens to avoid GBAO. This should not stop you from going there, I've been to a number of places where my MFA advises not to go and I do not consider myself a "risk-taker" or "hardcore" traveler (although it's NOT an advice to go as well, I can't give that), but note that many usual travel health insurances become void if you go there while your MFA advises not to, meaning your insurer would not pay as well if you get sick for a completely unrelated reason. It's NOT a formal travel warning though, so some insurances will remain valid, it depends on your contract.
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Re: Pamir Highway security Q&A

Post by MarieEmilie »

Hi everyone !
I am in Dushanbe and want to reach Osh through the Pamir highway. My concerns are more about the safety of the road in itself in winter, I read a lot about the trip in summer but seems like not a lot of people are going in winter... If anyone has more details about it, please let me know. My plan is to take shared taxis as there is no one else to share the cost or a car with driver now. So it would be from Dushanbe to Khorog, then Khorog to Murghab and Murghab to Osh. So my question is more about the level of security regarding the driving part/car accidents than any kind of ISIS/Talibans threats.
Thank you !
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Re: Pamir Highway security in winter

Post by kgh »

Well, it depends a lot on the weather of course. November is supposed to be *mostly* a dry month, but heavy snow can still come through, so keep a close eye on the forecasts.

I went through the section from Murghab to Osh on November 6th, four days ago. There had been snow a couple of days earlier. The road up to the Ak Baital pass was clear and dry. But there was some ice and old snow after that. From the Tajik border to Sary Tash there was consistently old snow and ice, with some light snow drifts here and there. The vehicle I was in didn’t have snow chains (sigh) and we actually got stuck in low drifts a couple of times and had to dig out. I’d really recommend having chains available for that stretch right now. It’s a steep mountain road in winter, so it needs the usual care, but the surface is reasonably well maintained and I wouldn’t say it was especially unsafe.

I saw very little traffic, maybe six other cars between Murghab and Sary Tash. So it’s probably still possible to get shared taxis in places like Murghab or Sary Tash, but it make take patience.
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