Southern Slopes

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.36800°N / 50.96610°E
Additional Information Route Type: Hike
Additional Information Time Required: A few days
Additional Information Difficulty: walk-up
Sign the Climber's Log


See "Getting There".

Route Description

10 km Roodbarak to Vandar Bon (via a dirt road)
13 km Vandar Bon to Camp 3800 m in Hesar Chal
3 km Camp 3800 m to Marji Kesh
26 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, Marji Kesh and Zard Gel will be in good view. You can choose any path up the slopes to reach the summit of Marji Kesh.

If you want to follow the top of the ridgeline that connects Marji Kesh to Alam Kooh, you will have to bypass the 4533 m cliff that is known as Marji Kesh #2 and rises on the crest of this ridgeline immediately to the north of the main summit of Marji Kesh. To do so, you will have to descend the steep scree filled slopes about 50 vertical meters to go below the cliff to the west of it. You can then either go back to the top of the ridgeline or follow a faint trail below the crest of the ridgeline to Alam Kooh.

Essential Gear

In summer, nothing besides good hiking boots and camping equipment.

Miscellaneous Info

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