Page Type Page Type: Fact Sheet


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).
Grade NC
Saryshah Pass (Fan Mountains)Saryshah Pass (Grade NC)
Grade 1a
Ascent to Surkhob PassSurkhob Pass (Grade 1a)
Munora Pass (Fan Mountains)Munora Pass (Grade 1a)
Grade 1b
Walking up to Chimtarga Pass (Fan Mountains)Chimtarga Pass (Grade 1b)
Dvoinoi Pass (Fan Mountains)Dvoinoi Pass (Grade 1b)
Descent from Kaznok Pass back to Mutnyi LakeKaznok Pass (Grade 1b)
Grade 2a + 2b
Jubileiny Pass, Zindon PassJubileiny Pass (left) - Grad 2a; Zindon Pass(Grade 2b)
Grade 3a + 3b Sorry no image