Muztagh-Ata Peak and Lenin peak

Ascent to the two Pamir seventhousanders


Country of destination: Kyrgyzstan, China, Pamir Mountains
Tour itinerary, cities: Bishkek - Balykchy - Naryn - Torugart - Kashgar - Subashi - Base camp
Tour duration: 33 days / 32 nights
Best time to travel: July - August

Muztagh-Ata Peak and Lenin peak expedition

Muztagh Ata Peak (7546 m) and Lenin Peak (7134 m) are the two most popular summits of the Pamirs, annually attracting dozens of climbers from around the world. For many, these summits become the first high-altitude experience. Why do we offer them in such a tie?

  • Both Muztagh Ata Peak and Lenin Peak are technically of the most simple and “easily conquered” seventhousanders on the planet. Classic routes do not require technical rock climbing, but they belong to the extreme sport - high-altitude mountaineering. These peaks should not be underestimated - the weather, altitude, appropriate physical training, equipment and competent acclimatization of the participants play a crucial role in the expedition’s success or failure.
  • Muztagh Ata Peak is located in China, while Lenin Peak is located in Kyrgyzstan, however both peaks are located in the Pamir mountain system and have convenient logistics between each other. Both regions are famous for good transport accessibility and, accordingly, relatively low cost of the expedition.
  • After climbing Muztagh Ata, participants will have sufficient altitude acclimatization, which will make it possible to make a subsequent ascent to Lenin Peak faster and easier.

This program of high-altitude ascents is definitely not for everyone - it is for resilient climbers who are ready to spend a whole month high in the mountains and make ascents to two 7000+ peaks in one season.

Program of the tour:
Day 1 Bishkek - Balykchy - Naryn.

Arrival to Bishkek. Meeting at the airport. During your first travel day you will accomplish a transfer along the Bishkek - Balykchy - Naryn route. This part of the road passes by picturesque mountain landscapes, through beyond-the-clouds passes, along fast-flowing rivers and amazingly beautiful Kyrgyz lake Issyk-Kul. Upon arrival to Naryn you will be accommodated in a guest house or a yurt camp.
Day 2 Naryn - Torugart - Kashgar.

Today Naryn - Torugart (Kyrgyz-Chinese border, 3752 m) transfer is planned for you early in the morning. The road passes through the At-Bashi valley, where quite often part of the landscape is the flocks of yaks. Besides, you way is passing along the scenic lake Chatyr-Kul (3500 m) and the mineral spring famous with its medicinal characteristics.
Transition to China via Kyrgyz-Chinese border point Torugart. Customs procedures. Transfer to Kashgar. Hotel 3* check-in.
Day 3 Kashgar - Subashi.

Today active rest lovers and extreme seekers will be transferred from Kashgarа to Subashi village along the Karakoram highway (approx. 200 km, 5 hrs.). Despite a long transfer time you won’t be bored as there are a lot of things to look at: the route is quite beautiful as it passes through the narrow picturesque gorge of the Gez river.
In a while we will cross a conditional border where Kunlun and Pamir mountain systems are said to join.
Certainly, you will have meal while on the way. For lunch you will taste perfect Uyghur laghman and excellent “tandyr kabob” (which is shashlyk cooked in a closed national-type clay oven).
Upon arrival to Subashi you will be accommodated in either tents or yurts. Food: full boarding.
Day 4 Subashi (3600 m) - Muztagh Ata Base Camp (4450 m).

After early breakfast we head to Muztagh Ata Base Camp. Don’t worry that you have a lot of luggage of a considerable weight as you don’t have to transport it by yourself. At our starting point in Subashi you will be provided with camels to carry the luggage. So, don’t forget to take a picture of our “caravan” and then move forward. Passage from Subashi to the Base Camp with take approx. 4 hrs. The most suitable shoes for this part of the route are running shoes or light hiking boots as the route is quite simple and do not require any special physical preparation.
In 4 hours we will see Muztagh Ata Base Camp at last.
Base Camp is located on a quite wide picturesque glade under the moraine terrace not far from the starting point of the ascension route. In Muztagh Ata Base Camp you are guaranteed to have three hot meals a day. Also there are shower tent and field-type toilets there.
The territory of the Base Camp has mobile phone network coverage, thus you will be able to connect to the world. However, there is no internet connection.
Connection between upper Camps and the Base Camp is carried out using walkie-talkies. The only thing you must remember - there is no possibility to rent either walkie-talkies, or gas-tanks and whatever else equipment you need in the Base Camp. Therefore, all issues concerning the rent of equipment and gas-tanks purchase have to be discussed and settled down beforehand, during the correspondence process.
Day 5 Muztagh Ata Base Camp.

Rest day in Muztagh Ata Base Camp.
Today you will be able to take a look at the location and acclimatize. We advice you to spent this day actively. For better acclimatization, acquaintance with the locals and their life style and possible purchase of quite tasty yak milk we advice you to go down to a small village seen from the Base Camp.
Day 6 Muztagh Ata Base Camp.

Today we continue our acclimatization walks around Muztagh Ata Base Camp. Those who go in for bouldering will have a great opportunity to train as there are many boulders around the Base Camp.
Day 7 Muztagh Ata Base Camp (4450 m) - Camp 1 (5350 m).

After some rest and passive acclimatization we are ready to ascent to Camp 3. In order to accomplish the ascent to the peak we have to use the system of 3 high-altitude camps.
So, let’s start! Today you will ascent from Muztagh Ata Base Camp
(4450 m) to Camp 1 (5350 m). There is a good trail along the ridge of the rocky mountainside to ascent. Usually there is no snow at the mountainside (up to 5000 m), thus, it is possible to wear trekking shoes for this part of the route. Camp 1 is situated in a snowy zone open to winds, therefore, it would be better to dig the tents around and to put a snow wall around as well. It will prevent your tent from being damaged or blown away.
Overnight in Camp 1 for better acclimatization.
Day 8 Camp 1 - Base Camp.

Descent from Camp 1 (5350 m) back to the Base Camp (4450 m).
Day 9 Base Camp - Camp 1.

Along the familiar path we ascent from the Base Camp (4450 m) to Camp 1 (5350 m). Overnight in Camp 1.
Day 10 Camp 1 (5200 m) - Camp 2 (6200 m).

Today we are in for the ascent from Camp 1 (5200 m) to Camp 2 (6200 m). Distinctive feature of this part of the route is walking through the icefall. There are many visible and invisible crevasses in the icefall. They are usually well marked, but early in the season and after a fresh snow fall, be very careful. Sometimes there are quite steep snow and ice walls along the trail. We recommend you to take ascenders, snowshoes and crampons. Picturesque views of the valley and the Karakoram highway won’t leave anyone indifferent.
Day 11 Camp 2 (6200 m) - Camp 3 (6800 m).

Ascent from Camp 2 (6200 m) to Camp 3 (6800 m). This part is a wide snow and ice ridge. In the beginning of the route there are some hidden crevasses. General direction of our passage is to the north-east. Here it is better not to deviate to the left of the ridge as it can be dangerous.
Day 12 Camp 3 (6800 m) - Base Camp (4450 m).

Descent from Camp 3 (6800 m) to the Base Camp (4450 m).
Day 13 Base Camp.

This is a rest day. Today you can visit ancient city of Tashkurgan for a city-tour. It is a beautiful and colorful place. The city has got more than 3 thousand year long history. Distance from Muztagh Ata Base Camp to Tashkurgan is about 90 km. Another 10 km forward and you are in the valley of the hot mineral springs, where you can enjoy bathing in a natural “Jacuzzi”. This pleasure will cost you 80$ per person (for the group of no less than 4 people).
Day 14 Base Camp - Camp 1.

Ascent from Base Camp (4450 m) to Camp 1 (5350 m).
Day 15 Camp 1 - Camp 2.

Ascent from Camp 1 (5350 m) to Camp 2 (6200 m).
Day 16 Camp 2 - Camp 3.

Ascent from Camp 2 (6200 m) to Camp 3 (6800 m).
Day 17 Camp 3 (6800 m) - The Peak Muztagh Ata (7546 m) - Camp 2 (6200 m).

Today you are about to accomplish the ascent to the peak, that is to reach the ultimate goal of you coming to Muztagh Ata!
So, we have an early morning today as the peak is waiting for us! We start at 5-6 in the morning. The ascent to the peak is done through a wide and gentle snowy ridge. Here you will feel the altitude. And it’s a real luck that we didn’t forget to take with us our snowshoes and skis! And finally, here it is - the Peak! HURRAH!!!!!!!!!!!!! The entire Kunlun is at your feet!!!!!!
The highest point - Muztagh Ata peak is a small “island” of black rocks; behind it steep slopes gradually go down to the north, towards the Koksel glacier.
Useful hint: if there is bad weather and low visibility don’t risk without a need. In the end good alpinist is alive one! Anyway, you can reach the peak on the other day.
Overnight in Camp 2.
Days 18 Camp 2 - Base Camp.

Descent from Camp 2 (6200 m) to Base Camp (4450 m).
Day 19 - 20 Reserve day.

Reserve day for bad weather.
Day 21 Base Camp - Subashi - Kashgar.

In the morning our drovers will organize you a camelcade, we’ll put the luggage onto the camels and start hiking with no luggage to Subashi enjoying wonderful surrounding views.
In Subashi the transport is waiting for us to transfer us back to civilization towards evening. Then we’ll proceed to Kashgar, where we are accommodated at a cozy hotel.
Overnight at a hotel 3* in Kashgar.
Day 22 Transfer Kashgar - Irkeshtam - Base Camp (3600 m) under the Lenin peak (Kyrgyzstan).
Day 23 Rest day.

Today you have a great opportunity to walk around and explore the picturesque environment, making friends of the local marmots and snapping reams of envy inducing photos for the folks back home. There are so many lakes around in Achik-Tash valley’s grassland that it seems like once upon a time, long ago when the Gods of these harsh lands had been in something of a good mood, they ventured to decorate these cheerless areas with something bright and joyful. The divine bowl capsizing high above, the refreshing blue water gushed out spreading from green hills to lowlands, deluging all the carols and cavities of this landscape. You can even swim here now!
Day 24 Ascent to Camp 1 (4400 m).

Our Camp 1 is set up on the moraine of the Lenin Glacier and truly is most comfortable camp of the area. Three spacious and comfortable yurts provide nice and constant warmth.
The yurt is the place you can get a delicious meal, cup of tea or brewed coffee. Listen to music, guitar playing, or use your PC to look through your photos or maybe even organize a party for a special occasion: completion of a successful assent, for instance!
You are accommodated in the same kind of comfortable base tents.
Day 25 Ascent to Camp 2 (5300 m).

First uphill along the Lenin Glacier to the foot of the grandiose North Face then further up across menacing crevasses on the steep slope, covered in very deep snow (80m-long stretch, gradient 35-40 degrees) using fixed ropes or climbing in a zigzag. Do not forget to stock your backpacks with sufficient amount of water and UV-protection cream (factor 25 and higher)! We then traverse the slope keeping to the right aiming at the plateau colloquially known as “Skovoroda” (Frying Pan). Cross the “Skovoroda” to reach Camp 2 (6 to 7 hours).
If you are a solo climber then you would better off finding a partner or hiring a guide for the day - we would certainly highly recommend this as over the years the snow cover situation on the slope has been changing dramatically, and not to the better.
Day 26 Ascent to Camp 3 (6100 m).

From Camp 2 we ascend along the 25 to 30-degree steep slope to the adjacent ridge (2006’s season marked the path for a number of new big crevasses). Then, we carry on along the lengthy and nearly level slope, traversing it towards the last upward swing before the top of Razdelnaya Peak (6,200m, deep snow). From the top descend to “peremychka” (“saddle”) at 6,100 m. For the last two years the Camp 3 (6,100 m) has been positioned just at the foot of the Razdelnaya Peak.
The ascent normally takes about 5 to 6 hours. In case you feel nausea or suffer from a headache you should have appropriate the first-aid gear with you - you are at 6,100 m above sea level, you know!
Day 27 Ascent to the summit of the Lenin Peak (7134 m) and Descent to Camp 3 (6100 m).

Early start at 5-6 AM, the summit is waiting for you! From “peremychka” keep on the steep 300m-long stretch that flattens out onto the so called “Nosh” (“knife”- a steep narrow ice ridge) - be extra as careful on this stretch! Carry on along the stony ridge towards the snow plateau (6,900 - 7,000 m) and finally continue on up to the summit.
And there we are - at the top! Woo! The whole of the Pamir lies at your feet!!!!!!
Take a souvenir photo, a 20 to 30 minute break (subject to good weather) and set off downhill along the same path as before towards Camp 3.
A useful tip: in the event of inclement weather don’t take unnecessary risks. A good mountaineer is a mountaineer who stays alive and a plateau at 6,900m can be exceptionally deceptive…Descend as fast as possible!
Day 28 Descent to Camp 1 (4400 m).

Good food in a warm yurt - bliss after such a gruelling ascent. Luckily enough there’s some ready and waiting for you at Camp 1! A successful climb is the perfect excuse for a drink or two with your new found companions tonight. Camp 1 is famous as a venue for all the many mountain folks from different corners of the world meeting together under the same felt roofs - those who have just descended from the top and those who are about to start. Certainly a place difficult to become/remain bored in. The warm yurt is more than conducive to presenting an atmosphere of camaraderie... One may well take the motto hanging from the yurt flap t heart: “YURT - CONNECTION PEOPLE”. There is but one pressing limitation unfortunately - time. The yurt closes at 23:00 PM as the superintendent marches up to send all present back to their tents, although perhaps for the best given many will be facing an all too early tart in the morning.
Day 29 Descent to Base Camp (3600 m).

Upon arrival why not have a vapour bath followed by a traditional special dinner set in the Kyrgyz yurt to celebrate your glorious return to BC. Upon preliminary agreement your dinner could include a very nicely done hunk of lamb. Indulge yourself in oriental exotics! Relax sitting on the traditional Kyrgyz “kurpacha” (mattress) and have a delicious piece of freshly cooked lamb. This is the essence of the international culture of the nomadic peoples and what a culture it is.
Days 30 - 31 Reserve day in case of bad weather.

In the case that the weather was fine for you then feel free to use this reserve day for exploring Osh town. Most likely a day to remember!
Day 32 Drive from Base Camp to Osh.

Accommodation in hotel. Feel the charm of an almost forgotten civilisation. Walk around the town at night for a spot of quiet reflection.
Day 33 Departure from Osh.

That’s it. Full stop. All the adventures from the last few potentially harrowing days are over. Tomorrow you won’t have to stress your mind with the detailing of your ascent plan, hectically packing your rucksack or exposing your body to the shrill Pamir winds. Tomorrow your normal routine recommences but even amidst the daily grind there may well appear a new whisper within inevitably pulling your mind back to those events of the past summer. The feeling that tickles the line into your ear: “Hey, let’s head back, we’ve left our friends behind in that nice warm yurt …”.

The cost tour includes:

  • Meeting/seeing off at the airport;
  • All transfers according to the program;
  • Lunch boxes for transfers to Base Camps;
  • Accommodation in hotels with breakfast:
    • Osh (1 night);
    • Naryn (1 night - guest house or yurts);
    • Kashgar (2 nights);
  • Arrangement of all needed documents including:
    • Registration in OVIR (Department of Visa and Registration);
    • Ecological fees;
    • Ascent permits;
    • Invitation letters and visa support to China;
  • Base Camp services (4350 m) at Muztagh-ata peak - not more than 10 days:
    • Accommodation in tents for two or three seats;
    • Full Board of meals treatment (3 times of hot meals);
    • Attendant guide from company (at the group from 10 persons);
    • Shower facility;
    • Porter’s service and pack animals (camels) for transportation equipment and luggage from Subashi to Muztagh Ata Base Camp and back;
  • Electricity 220 В; 50 Hz at BC and C1;
  • Using washstand and toilet at BC and C1;
  • Consultation concerning the route.
  • Using storage-yurt at BC and C1;
  • Rescue party registration;
  • Services in Base Camp and Camp 1 at Lenin peak - in terms of the itinerary:
    • Accommodation in Base Camp (3600 m) in spacious camping tents per 1-2 members.
      Facilities of camping tents in BC:
      • heating;
      • beds, mattresses, coverlet, and pillows;
      • changeable bed linen: flat sheets, bedsheets, and pillowcases;
      • electrical outlets and individual lighting - desk lamp;
      • clothes hangers;
      • chair;
    • Accommodation in Camp 1 (4400 m) in spacious camping tents per 1-2 members. Facilities of camping tents in C1: wooden decks, thermal isolation, foam mattresses;
    • Meals: Full board (3 times hot meals made by professional cookers, including vegetarian meals under request);
    • Yurt - companion cabins (decorated in national style) with heat in Base Camp (3600m) and Camp 1 (4400m) for the rest and entertainments (music, guitar, table-top games, etc.);
    • Sauna and shower facility in Base Camp (3600 m);
    • Medical services in Base Camp (3600 m) and Camp 1 (4400 m);

Cost of the packages does not include:

  • International airfare;
  • Visa invitations and visa fees to Kyrgyzstan;
  • Visa fees to China;
  • Medical expenses and insurance;
  • ICE fees (rescue team working, helicopter flights, medicines and medical service in Osh hospital, drawing of supporting documents, repatriation);
  • Excursion program in Kashgar.

Addional Services at Muztagh-ata peak expedition:

  • Personal guide’s service during all period of active part - 4950 USD;
  • Porter’s service - price is negotiated; approximate price:
    • BC - C1 - 5.5EURO/6USD per kilogram
    • C1 - C2 - 17EURO/18USD per kilogram
    • C2 - C3 - 28EURO/30USD per kilogram
  • Rent of 1 high mountain tent - 150 USD, deposit 200 USD;
  • Gas stove - 30 USD / 1 piece + 50 USD deposit;
  • Gas can 230g (propane-butane) with screwed connection - 10 USD / 1 piece;
  • Rope Ø8÷10mm, 30 - 50m - 25 USD / 1 piece + 25 USD deposit;
  • Snowshoes (number is limited!) - 60 USD + 100 USD deposit.;
  • Set of high-altitude food - 200 USD.

Additional services at Lenin peak expedition:

  • Personal guide’s service during all period of active part:
    • 1 guide for 1 person - 900 USD / per person;
    • 1 guide for 2 people - 500 USD / per person;
    • 1 guide for 3 people - 400 USD / per person;
  • Overnight in installed high altitude tents at Camp 2 and Camp 3: 60 USD for tent / 1 night;
  • Fixed set of high altitude food from storage of Base Camp - 100 USD;
  • The full list of additional services for Lenin peak you can look here.

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