Fann mountains - download topographic map set
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Fann Mountains (the Fanns) are part of the south-western Pamir-Alai mountain system. The Fann Mountains are conventionally bounded by the Zeravshan Range in the north, by the Gissar Range from the south, by the river Fandarya in the east and by the Archimaidan River in the west. The area of Marguzor Lakes is also often considered part of the Fanns.
Relief. The Fann Mountains are the highest part of the Zeravshan Range. They boast hundreds of beautiful peaks, located on the spurs of the Gissar and Turkestan ridges, in the south-west of Pamir-Alai. Eleven peaks are higher than 5,000 m. These include Mount Bodkhona (5,138 m), Mirali (5,132 m), Energiya (5,105 m), Zamok (5,070 m), Chapdara (5,050 m), Bolshaya Hanza (5,306 m) and Malaya Hanza (5,031 m). The highest summit in the region is Chimtarga (5,487 m).
Rivers. The closed hollow of the Fann Mountains, surrounded by mountain ridges, has its only drain in the valley of the Fandarya River, slotted in the Zeravshan Range. All the rivers in the Fann Mountains flow into the Zeravshan River. The left tributaries of the Zeravshan, the Voru and Fandarya Rivers, play an important role because they supply water for the Samarkand and Bukhara oases.
Lakes. There are about 30 lakes in the Fann Mountains. The best-known are Alaudin lakes situated in the valley of the Chapdara River. Kulikalon lakes and Lake Allo are also quite popular. Lake Iskanderkul is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in Tajikistan and is visited by tourists from neighbouring and faraway countries every year.
Tourism. The Fann Mountains are of great interest to climbers. There is a lot of snow here and rocky peaks averaging four or five thousand meters in height – an attractive target for climbers. Some peaks have not yet been conquered. The mountains are slightly covered with snow, the glaciers are steep and short, and the rocks severely destroyed. The most popular climbing routes are: the way up Mount Energiya from the Chimtarga Pass, the way up Mirali from the Chimtarga Pass, the way up Bolshaya Hanza from the Saddle Hanzy Pass and the way up Malaya Hanza along the slope from the Gusev-Mukhin Pass. Other popular sights are the Anzob Wall, Zamin-Karor and the Dugdon massif, the southern slopes of which go down to the valley of the Karakul River.
Flora and Fauna. There are a lot of orchards in the lower valleys of the Fanns, which include walnut-trees, poplars, birches, willow-trees, hawthorns as well as many kinds of bushes: buckthorns, barberries, dog-roses and currants. There are juniper forests at an altitude of over 2,200 m, which extend up to the glacier belt. Many juniper beds are found particularly in the Sarymata, Archamaidan, Arga, Chapdara, Karakul and Sarytag valleys. At an altitude of over 3,200 m, there are no more wood trees and plants and the mountain slopes are covered with alpine meadows. The animal life of the mountain forests includes a lot of hares, wolves, bears, foxes, marmots and water ermines. The lynx and the argali are rarer breeds.
Climate. The climate of the Fann Mountains is continental. Winters are usually mild and have plenty of snow. In the period from January to May, there is a danger of avalanches on the mountain slopes. From June to October, dry, warm weather sets in. The best time of the year to trek and climb in the Fanns is from the end of June to the beginning of September.