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the Degree Confluence Project
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Azerbaijan

9.9 km (6.1 miles) NNW of Sumaqallı, Azerbaijan
Approx. altitude: 1731 m (5679 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 41°S 132°W

Accuracy: 8 m (26 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Steep slope at CP #3: GPS screen at CP #4: Journey start at Duyma recreation center near Vandam village #5: Mid point the way along Vandam riverbed #6: Shepherds saddled horses for us #7: Night dinner in the shepherds shelter on the peak #8: Downhill kick-off in the early morning #9: View to the aimed valley, 4km to CP #10: Steep slope at CP

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  41°N 48°E (visit #3)  

#1: At confluence point

(visited by Kamran Ahmedov, Ghazi Anouti, Agaali Bagirov and Rakiz Sattarov)

28-Aug-2005 --

We evaluated two options in selection of route to reach this confluence. The first option has start point for foot path at the Qaladjiq village and basically passes along Shirvanchay river valley. The second route has start point at the newly built Duyma recreation center and passes via the adjacent Vandam river valley. It was clear from the available local maps with 1:100000 scale that the first route length is about 6km up-slope direction footway, while the second route length is about 16km and consists from 12km up-slope section to the peak as well as 4km down-slope to the confluence. After brief discussion we decided to select the lengthy route by reason of more pictorial and beautiful path to the peak of mountain. Another reason for the selection of second route was a presence of the board guard military patrol within first route area as we investigated from local farmers.

We start to a journey about 4 p.m. on 27 August from the Duyma recreation center at the Vandam village. We took with us one smart local guy as a guide. He is a shepherd on the seasonal pastures. At present time his shepherd's team maintains the flocks of sheep on the summer pasture on the peak of mountain where we should to cross within our selected route. Following the instructions of our guide we were moving in the frame of river bed on the dry strips. The distance about 7km we passed quite lightly.

Then next 3km were noticeably difficult since we left the river bed to go uphill. We all were tired and moved hardly. Our guide suggested borrowing horses from nearest shepherds to finish remaining piece of our climb. Fortunately we reached these horses soon. The shepherds saddled five horses for us and we were ready to continue our journey on horseback. It was the really funny to see how some of us clambering up to the horse first time in the life. The last part of our climb of the peak was very unusual due to equilibration on the horsecloth saddles. In some places in the narrow path with the precipice we were forced get off and pass these dangerous parts on foot leading the horse by rope. All around was fogged in. It was really adrenalin generation part of way.

The time was so late about 9 p.m. and night was falling when we reached peak of mountain on the elevation of 2260m with alpine plants/grass, a huge number of sheep, terrible patrol dogs and a small self-made jute shelter as night quarters of shepherds. These shepherds met us very cordially and prepared for dinner nice kebab and boiled mutton lamb. The night inside of sleeping-bag on the earth floor seemed very long.

Early morning on 28 August after short breakfast we continue our journey to down-slope direction to reach the aimed confluence. The distance to the confluence along straight line was 2km. Elevation drop was 800m. But really we went down on serpentine path. It was the best wonderful piece of our trip, particularly on the top of mountain. The amazing panoramas compensated our unusual recent efforts. Our downhill was not easy as we expected before due our tiredness on the yesterday's uphill. The last two kilometers we moved through luxuriant forest. The confluence has been reached short time after 11 a.m. We carried out required GPS records/photos and then followed to Qaladjiq where our driver waited our return.


 All pictures
#1: At confluence point
#2: Steep slope at CP
#3: GPS screen at CP
#4: Journey start at Duyma recreation center near Vandam village
#5: Mid point the way along Vandam riverbed
#6: Shepherds saddled horses for us
#7: Night dinner in the shepherds shelter on the peak
#8: Downhill kick-off in the early morning
#9: View to the aimed valley, 4km to CP
#10: Steep slope at CP
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)