200 days until the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games: its symbol is hoisted on Dushakerikdag Peak

As part of the “Ascent” Project, co-organized by the State Information Agency (TDH) and the Executive Committee of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, the 2017 Asian Games symbol and the State Flag have been planted on the highest summits of Turkmenistan.

Devoted to the Year of Health and Inspiration, the sporting and patriotic event, is aimed to promote the upcoming major competitions in Ashgabat, in which the best athletes from Asia and Oceania will participate. The expedition members have already conquered the Airybaba, the highest peak of Turkmenistan. The peak of the Koitendag is 3, 139 meters above sea level. Now, the “Ascent” team is ascending the Kopetdag, the country’s second highest and most extensive mountain range. The expedition aims to reach the summit of the Dushakerikdag (2,482 m).

The route of the expedition goes nearby an astronomical observatory in the Dushakerikdag. According to experts, there are good prospects for reopening the observatory. Upgrading its equipment will enable to conduct astronomical observations both on the national level and as part of large international projects.

These areas are known for atmosphere stability and transparency, well-balanced light intensity, and optimal wind conditions, which make it possible to carry out highly-accurate astronomical observations over 2,000 hours per year.

... The route to the summit passed through a picturesque juniper open woodlands. Every now and then, herds of wild sheep could be seen on the rocks nearby and then disappeared from sight as soon as they saw the people. The route also crossed the native habitat of the leopard - a strong and graceful predator. However, it is not easy to catch sight of it in the natural habitat; this big cat is very cautious and moves quietly.

The Central Kopetdag is scenic, especially in high-mountain areas. Its summits reach 2,500 meters and higher – up to 3,000 meters. The central areas of the mountain range, particularly important for the conservation of ecosystems are a part of the Kopetdag Reserve.

For the overnight stop, the climbers set up a tent camp on a rocky area cleared from the snow almost under the very summit. The night was cloudless and frosty, the snow which had melted a little during the day time, turned into ice again. The beautiful sunrise made the mountain slopes sparkle and gilded clouds beneath, which hid the foothills.

An hour later, the expedition members reached the summit and planted the 2017 Asian Games symbol and the State Flag on the pea