A trip to Fedchenko Glacier offers an opportunity to explore one of the most iconic wonders of the Tajik National Park. The vast icy landscapes amidst the deserted mountains create a surreal and supernatural ambiance, attracting adventurers seeking new challenges. While trekking on the glacier is possible, it demands proper physical fitness and experience with glaciers and similar mountain terrain to ensure safety.
The experience of being amidst such immense nature, devoid of human presence, allows travelers to focus on the moment and appreciate the grandeur of the glacier’s existence. The silence and solitude offer a chance to connect with the greatness of the natural world, making Fedchenko Glacier a remarkable destination for those seeking unforgettable adventures.
Location of Fedchenko Glacier
Fedchenko Glacier is located in the Central Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan. It spans a length of 77 kilometers and ranges in width from 1,700 to 3,100 meters, covering an area of approximately 992 square kilometers. The glacier flows northwards from the ice field of Revolution Peak, which stands at a towering height of 6,974 meters, forming the headstreams of several significant rivers, including the Amudarya, Surkhob, Vakhsh, and Muksu.
Characteristics of Fedchenko Glacier
The Fedchenko Glacier is an awe-inspiring natural wonder, being the largest continental glacier outside of polar regions. The thickness of the ice in the middle of the glacier is around 1,000 meters, and it moves at a rate of approximately 66.8 centimeters per day. The highest point of the glacier reaches an altitude of 6,280 meters, while the lowest point is at 2,900 meters, with the snow line starting at 4,650 meters.
Discovery and Exploration
Fedchenko Glacier was first discovered in 1878, but it remained relatively unexplored until a Soviet-Germany expedition, led by Willi Rickmer Rickmers, fully explored it in 1928. The glacier was named in honor of Alexei Pavlovich Fedchenko, a Soviet scientist and explorer. Despite not being the first to discover the glacier, Fedchenko’s contributions to exploration and science were recognized through this naming.
Trekking on Fedchenko Glacier
The immense wilderness and icy expanse of Fedchenko Glacier make it a dream destination for adventure enthusiasts. The glacier offers breathtaking views of peaks towering above 7,000 meters, including Tajikistan’s highest peak, Ismoil Somoni (previously known as Communism Peak) at 7,495 meters.
Trekking on the glacier requires a good level of physical fitness and prior experience in crossing glaciated mountains. Travelers must be prepared to face challenges, including navigating snow-covered passes over 4,000 meters and crossing fast and cold mountain rivers.
Trips and Expeditions
Pamir Trips organizes various treks to and around Fedchenko Glacier, offering short and long-term expeditions. Treks start from different valleys, including Vanj and Yazgulom valleys (Academy of Science range), Bartang valley (routes from Pasor and Roshorv villages), and Tanimas valley (Kok jar) and Belandkiik valleys. The organization provides camping gear, transportation, catering, and pack animal services upon request.