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Chimgan Mountain Area (Uzbekistan)

Chimgan Mountain Area

Any journey in Uzbekistan would not be complete if one does not get acquainted with the unique natural resources and peculiarities of this country. You find yourself among soft shapes of the mountains, winding courses of the rivers, carrying their crystal waters through oases and deserts, bright green valleys and blue lakes. Only here, under the hot Asian sun the tastiest fruits and vegetables grow ripe and get filled with juice.

One of such unique natural places of Uzbekistan is Chimgan Mountain Area. In April of this year, we conquered the Smaller Chimgan Mountain. It rises over 2,100 meters above sea level. The ascent to the Smaller Chimgan Mountain left an indelible impression in our memory.

Our ascent to the Smaller Chimgan was inspired, organized and led by Gennady, who is none the less than the director of the largest meat factory in Uzbekistan. While we were climbing up the mountain, Gennady was telling us many interesting and eye-opening stories related to mountain climbing, but the most astounding one was the story about how he was struck by a lightning as he was ascending the Smaller Chimgan; but in some mysterious way he survived and was left unhurt.

Smaller Chimgan Mountain

Chimgan Area is situated in the spurs of the Chatkal Range of the West Tian-Shan, and it is part of the Ugam-Chatkal National Wild Nature Park with recreation zones «Chimgan-Charvak-Beldesarai,» being around 80 kilometers away from Tashkent.

For its unique beauty and healing characteristics Chimgan is rightfully called the Uzbek Switzerland. The mountain slopes here are overgrown with relict archa (juniper) groves. Mountains and hills are cut through by quick rushing mountain streams. They are simply called here sai. By the way, the rivers of Chimgan thrive with various kinds of fish, which circumstance attracts enthusiastic anglers here and those, who just like to spend time fishing.

Chimgan is one of the most unique and beautiful nooks not only in Uzbekistan, but, probably, in the entire western Tian-Shan.

At the foot of the main peak of the Chartkal Range – the Greater Chimgan (3309 meters), there is the village of Chimgan, which is only 12 kilometers away from the Charvak water reservoir – the largest artificial water reserve in Uzbekistan, and is located at the altitude of 1,620 meters above sea level. The territory is cut by the Chimgan and Beldersai Rivers.

Chimgan has rich plant life: juniper forests; different shrubs; many kinds of flowers – tulips, poppies, eremuruses (desert candles), as well as vulnerary herbs. You can meet mountain rams, bears, groundhogs (marmots), eagles, partridges, owls, nightingales and many other animals and birds.

The climatic conditions of Chimgan are determined by the mountainous section of Ugam-Chatkal National Park. The climate is continental, with seasonal and day-and-night temperature fluctuations. During the light hours it is warm, at nights – it gets colder. Spring comes to the foothills in April, but high up in the mountains it stays cold and snowy until the middle of summer.

The highest temperatures are registered in June-July and in the beginning of August. The temperature of the hottest month (July) varies between + 20 and + 35 degrees Celsius. The average annual amount of precipitation is – 650 mm. It snows a lot in winter; the snow stays on the ground for 4-5 months, which allows developing mountain skiing tourism here. The cold season lasts one hundred and thirty days.

Chimgan and its surroundings are characterized with great variety of landscapes: mountains (Greater and Smaller Chimgan), plains, gorges with waterfalls, Charvak water reservoir, Black waterfall (40 meters) at the foot of the Greater Chimgan – are the most interesting places indeed. Magnificent view is opened from the mountains overlooking the mountain rivers of Ugam, Pskem and the Kardjantau mountain range. Caves full of mysteries hide in the mountains’ cliffs. On precipitous rocks one can see some petroglyphs – ancient rock paintings of animals and hunters.

Another geological peculiarity of Chimgan is the red colour of its hills, explained by the rich concentration of iron in the rocks. There are also signs of the residual volcanic activity.

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