See "Getting There"
10 km Roodbarak to Vandar Bon (via a dirt road)
13 km Vandar Bon to Camp 3800 m in Hesar Chal
4 km Camp 3800 m to Shakhak #1 via Marji Kesh
27 km Total
From Roodbarak (elevation 1400 m) hike or drive a dirt road (passable by most/any car) about 10 km to a “village” known as Vandar Bon (2300 m) where the stream branches. Turn left and follow the banks of the Sardab Rood River to Hesar Chal. A Four Wheel Drive road follows the river from Vandar Bon to the “Tange Galoo” Narrows (3250 m). If you hire a vehicle to take you to “Tange Galoo” (available with the tour mentioned on the main page), you will significantly decrease your hiking time. When we were there in late June, the road could be driven up to about 3050 m only. Patches of snow blocked the rest of it.
At “Tange Galoo” you will have to hike up relatively steep snow banks in a somewhat rocky area. This should not be too difficult for a hiker but in early summer, a pack-mule may have a hard time going over the deep snow. At about 3600 m, the valley opens up and the slopes become very gentle. This is the beginning of the Hesar Chal Plain. The peaks that surround Hesar Chal begin to come into view. You can camp anywhere in Hesar Chal. We found a nice spot by the stream, at just below 3800 m, where rocks had been piled into a wind breaker wall.
From Camp 3800 m, you will not be able to see Alam Kooh or its Shakhaks but the 4580 m Marji Kesh Peak will be in good view to the N/NW. Aim for Marji Kesh going up its slopes to the west of a yellowish lower rocky summit known as Zard Gel (4231 m). These slopes eventually go to form the eastern wall of the Khersan Glacier. You can climb to the summit of Marji Kesh but if you do so, to continue to Alam Kooh, you will have to bypass cliffy areas (see Route on Marji Kesh Peak
Bypass Marji Kesh to the southeast of it about 150 m below its summit and continue on a trail over the scree slopes that form the eastern wall of the Khersan Glacier Valley below the ridgeline that connects Marji Kesh to Alam Kooh. These slopes gradually merge into the southern slopes of Alam Kooh. Exit the trail below the summit of Shakhak #1 and do some Class III scrambling up the rocky slopes to the top of #1.
For the return trip, you could go down the scree covered southern slopes of #1 to the bottom of the Khersan Glacier and follow the bottom of the valley back to Hesar Chal. This will give you a change of scenery. Going down the scree slopes will not be too bad but I do not recommend attempting to go up these slopes.
In summer, only good hiking boots and camping supplies.
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