Baysun Tau: hight altitude caves and mountain chains of Uzbekistan

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Endless desert plains and high steep mountains: a series of parallel limestone ranges showing karst features in a high altitude desert environment, with cave entrances between 3,000 and 3,900 m a.s.l.

Baysun Tau is located in the State of Uzbekistan, currently an independent Republic but which was part of the Soviet State. The region is located within the boundary of Baysun-Tau and Surkhan-Tau, the southwestern spurs of Gissar Range, in the Surkhandar’inskii region. The Baysun-Tau mountain range stretches 50 km from southwest to north-east. Absolute altitudes of its sub-ridges are 3,500–3,900 m. Baysun-Tau consists of two main mountain chains, Ketmen’ Chapty and Hodja Gur Gur Ata.

Both Ketmen’ Chapty and Hodja Gur Gur Ata are monoclines dipping 10–25 ºC to the NW. Hence, north-west slopes are gently descending and plateau-like, while south-east slopes are steep with walls up to 400 metres high at the top. Caves in this area are among the deepest in the World, but the difficulties do not end here. In fact, in Hodja-Gur-Gur-Ata, cave entrances are placed in the cliff at different heights and cavities are cut by tectonic processes and erosion. The entrances of caverns open between 3.200 and 3.800 m above sea level.

Logistics and transports
  • helicopter
  • ropes
  • tent
  • animals

Points of interest

  • The cave of Dark Star and its galleries and ice formations
  • Brown bear mummies, markor and snow leopard
  • The cave of Ulugh Begh, in the heart of the vertiginous wall of Hodja Gur Gur Ata
  • Boy Bulok, the infinite meander


In this remote area the logistics is very complex and difficult. We can say it is almost a challenge. However, it is possible to reach this extreme location walking there with mule support from Boysun Tau or by using helicopter.