Passes are graded differently than the Russian Alpine Grades
Backpacking (Trekking) from valley to valley is/was very popular in the mountains of the (former) Soviet Union.
- NC - (Not Classified) comfortable track
- 1a - possible a rough and steep ascent (often traversable by pack-animals), but often on a good track.
- 1b - scrambling or the use of crampons and/or ice axe is required
- 2a - easy climbing and/or an ice axe and crampons are a must
- 2b - more demanding than 2a passes (climbing background recommended)
- 3a - serious climbing passages and possible objective danger
- 3b - sustained climbing difficulties and/or serious objective danger.
I have seen and traversed passes in the Fan Mountains
graded 1a, that I would not recommend traversing with pack-animals (e.g. Surkhob Pass). On the other hand I saw donkey handlers traversing an 1b pass (Kaznok Pass) with donkeys (unpacked) and cattle (sheep, goats etc).
|Saryshah Pass (Grade NC)
| Grade 1a
|Surkhob Pass (Grade 1a) |
|Munora Pass (Grade 1a)
| Grade 1b
|Chimtarga Pass (Grade 1b) |
|Dvoinoi Pass (Grade 1b) |
|Kaznok Pass (Grade 1b)
| Grade 2a + 2b
|Jubileiny Pass (left) - Grad 2a; Zindon Pass(Grade 2b)
| Grade 3a + 3b
|| Sorry no image