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Routes : Asia : Kazakhstan


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About Kazakhstan:

Kazakhstan is a very large country - the 9th largest in the world. The population is currently about 15 million and slowly shrinking. This means that most climbing areas will not be packed with people and many of the more difficult to reach places remain pristine, but there are few resources for climbers. Mountaineering is much better understood than climbing, in Russian both are referred to as "alpeeneezim". There are 14 oblasts (states) in the country. Each oblast is further seperated into regions (counties) and cities and villages. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the Kazakhstan government has slowly been changing Russian names of cities, streets, parks, etc. to Kazakh names. Maps will always vary in spelling. To make locating anything even more difficult there is none-to-poor signs throughout the country. Transportation in Kazakhstan is slow and slower. Trains cover most of the country because they stop very often. Driving, yourself or hiring a vehicle, is always possible but roads are typically in bad condition. Don't expect to get anywhere fast or rely on distance as a measure of travel time. All that said, Kazakhstan is a beautiful country, rarely visited by people. Tourism remains in its infancy so you can have a huge impact on sound, environmentally friendly tourism and travel. It is also a wonderful opportunity to share the sport of climbing with locals who will often be awed and eager to be of assistance in finding lodging or food or anything else you might need.