Lenin Peak - the best way of wintering the summer!
Poor people are said to exhaust with the heat in hot Asiatic summer, seeking an escape in swimming-pools and in small green oases, drinking all their reserves of cool water and eating any cold food in their way… It can be simple untruth!
Actually, it"s much simpler, than you"ve just imagined. To manage being frozen in real unbearable Asiatic heat conditions you need just find yourself there, where there isn"t any heat. Where? Well, for instance, in snow, that is hereabout … on Pamir …
From of old Pamir has been attracting attention of climbers with complexity and tremendous variety of it"s known and not yet known routes. Verdure, stones, waterfalls, narrow and perilous mountain paths, streams, snow, vast and menacing glacier - all of these are covered with the vault of heaven. And all together they form the extraordinary and magnetic world, which forever attracts as mountain fans as amateurs from all over the world. And I"m not an exception…
An idea to go there, to test my own strength hasn"t been left me from last winter. I said “I"ll be there!” and this phrase represented the most important one - my aim. It remained only to solve some formal problems. For the beginning I should to clarify the main thing - HOW to get there? Certainly , there is somebody , who is occupied with it.
We can get the answer to any question from our best friends - computer and Internet, as there is a great number of traveling firms" sites, which offer the full account of their services. Now all depend of your own demands and wishes. “Central Asia Travel” firm site has interested me the best of all.
At last, June came. June is not the best month to mountaineer, but I couldn"t wait any more. I was introduced to people who went the same way; we were placed into a comfortable car and… “Oh summit, welcome us!!!”
However, step by step. At first, we should arrive to Kyrgyzstan…
Osh is good-natured, hospitable, bright and lively town, where there are a host of side-streets, cozy open-air cafes and restaurants, bazaars and the main point of interest - “Sulayman-Mountain”.
This “mountain” rises straight in the middle of the town and looks very effectively against a background of town"s boisterous life, reminding us of immediate proximity to its majestic brothers - the Pamir-Alay Mountains.
If you have a choice - to get Lenin Peak by helicopter or by truck, surely choose the second one. You"ll see such marvelous beautiful nature, that even the best photos wouldn"t show you the same. In spite of 7-8 hours" way from Osh to the Base Camp, you won"t be tired. Why? You"ll have a wish to look through the window all the time: villages with ordinary houses imperceptible give place to single yurts, and small green hills - to mountains of imposing magnitude. You don"t want to drink any more. Now you want to eat. By the way, what about eating?
One of the most impressive sights on your way is the sight of ascending Taldyk Pass ( 3615 m high): you see several tiers of serpentine road downstairs, where you"ve just been, and imposing mountainsides against a background. At the time of recurrent stops you have a chance to photo that glory, but as a rule tourists try to do it right through the truck window. The road is very bumpy and has many turns, therefore you should try to hold your springing camera in your hands. The fresh mountain air crisps and wind becomes colder. You realize it is a time to put any overcoat on. And feeling of summer is slowly leaving you…
It is getting dark. Windows are closed and you don"t know what the temperature is outside. You enjoy panorama of Zaalayskiy Range - a giant 5000m-6000m high natural barrier separating 135km-long and up to 22km-wide Alay Valley (300m above sea level) from Pamir . You don"t believe that as recently as 6-7 hours ago it was hot and you wanted to drink.
It"s getting dark… The day is ending and we are near to picturesque"Edelweiss Glade"(3600 m ), which is situated in Achik Tash area. … at last, here it is! That"s all, your trip by truck is over. From this place you"ll have to go on foot.
Base camp (3600 m)
Friendly team is greeting you. You are little bit surprised with such hearty welcome. Smiling, you jump out of the truck to green ground. Now you don"t even remember feeling of summer. Cold and gusty wind brings you a wish to get into your sleeping-bag…
One of the first men, who"ll come up to you, will be tall and sunburned young man…
You"ll take place in big and comfortable tent, which is given you for use while you are in the camp. Then you can go and have a dinner in yurt (National Kirghiz round-shape house of felt laid upon wooden framework; it can be very warm there, especially when a stove is lighted, and a foul weather is outside). You"ll be certainly offered rich dinner and dessert. On yurt bar prop you always can find cool and strong drinks. If you are bored, take a look around! You can see argali on the wall and take a photo with it, maps, national Kirghiz souvenirs and guitar. If you are able to play it - you can do it, otherwise it is better to listen to music.
When you went to “bed” last evening, you could see only starry sky above you. But next morning you are surprised with raving beauty around you! Sun is shining, fresh wind is blowing, water in wash-stands can get cold if you don"t use it; pit toilet waiting for you and breakfast has already prepared. You can carefully look around. To stay at the camp became impossible for you - there is a great wish to go for a walk, to gladden your eyes with wide variety of gay flowers (edelweiss put down to Red Book is among them), to seize immensity…
Snowy summits attract you with their grandeur and independent. And standing here, right in the heart of Pamir , you just recognize again who is more chief in the world - mighty and willful nature or jumped-up, proud man. You recognize you are just a guest here, and it means you must live according to rules of this place, the rules of nature. In spite of big number of civilization signs (such as toilet, bath, computer, phone, … people after all), you feel all nature domination anyway. It is important to find a necessary balance between “civilization” and “unsociableness”, not to step over a thin line between simple human comfort and needless conveniences. People wittingly come here from cities as far as possible from dins and bustles. Nevertheless, without any water, food and light long stay in mountains turn from rest into a misery. That"s why in “Central Asia Travel” camps there are all necessary condition of comfort without any excesses. But outside the camps you"d be under the squall wind that carries away all your obtained warmth. But what"s a pleasure to find yourself in a coziness, satiety, warmth and mirth, at the same time mountain conditions are not abolished.
You feel sure and foolproof if you know you can come back to the camp any moment, that tired and hungry you always would be fed, given to drink and warmed. If you are missed home you can use satellite phone any moment, and at your service there always is the rescue team. Outside the camp you are at full nature"s disposal. The summit promises you many adventures on the path to it. And that attracts climbers.
Not everybody can understand why, for what people wittingly come to this beautiful, but very dangerous area to run the risk of their lives. There is something more great than a daring wish to conquer the nature. You just recognize you can"t live without mountains…
Let"s return to our trip. You are going to prepare for your first ascending. You should not only equip rucksack with all necessary equipment, but decide if you want to use services of high-altitude guide and porters…
Strong and experienced men can organize rescue team if it would be necessary. As a rule rescue services are rendered to climbers who are ascending alone. There are more than enough persons like them, and guys from rescue team often run risks their lives due to someone"s unjustified decision. But what"s the pleasure to see just have been rescued man alive!
The Base camp was called like this because of all necessary equipment for you to have the most comfortable sojourn. Toilet is said to be an exterior of any organization. For example, in this Camp the best toilet you can find at this altitude is situated. It is always kept perfectly sanitary clean (daily cleansed with antibacterial agents) and there is no lack of toilet paper there.
You can descend to the Base Camp and take a rest here after a long stay at high altitude or reaching the summit.
You remember the feeling after long stay at extreme conditions when you want to throw off your dirty clothes, to wash yourself and recall the feeling of freshness and neatness. Such your wish is also provided here. In the Base Camp you have a chance of full value bathing in real steam bath. After visiting that bath you feel yourself anew born and spick and span. These complete your pleasant rest with cheerful mood and vivacity. It is a pleasure to stay tidy and clean person even in real mountain conditions.
First ascending to the Camp I (4400 m)
It’s time to ascend the Camp I (4400 m). It takes you about 4-5 hours (8 km). First you ascend over the Puteshestvennikov pass (4200m) on a good mountain path; it can be snow and strong wind there, but you see an magnificent moraine of the glacier. This Pass is a boundary of your way"s first section. Getting the moraine of glacier you see another view without yellow and green colors. Now here is another beauty. There is ice underfoot, sun overhead and Lenin Peak in front of you. Ski sticks will be your best friends and helpers in overcoming of different widths and depths fissures.
It is difficult not to look around and to look only underfoot. You see and can"t see enough of great beauty on the left, on the right, in front of you - in short, everywhere. You think particular that moment will never repeat. That"s why you try to memorize as much as possible not only different details (for instance clouds, wind, air, smells, tiredness in your feet, thoughts, feelings, associations), but the picture as a whole. You attempt to seize something unbounded and realize you have managed to memorize or to photo just insignificant piece of something huge that is around you in fact. That is the place for getting great impressions!
While you are walking you don"t feel any cold, but you have only taken your rucksack off and your back finds strong wind at once. It will be much colder if the sun disappears behind the clouds.Then you see tents and yurts in a distance. That means you have arrived. Camp I (4400m) meets you with hot tea…
Camp I (4400m)
Camp I is on the moraine with a stupendous view of Lenin ridge.
It is especially beautiful on sunsets when the white moon has already appeared from behind the ridge but the sun paints it into orange. Lenin ridge is also beautiful on dawns when specific morning lighting forms some mystic figure, like a frame from a special effect movie. It seems the summit is very close, but there is many hours way to it. Each camp has its own beauty. Edelweiss Glade attracts with its green and flowers, but Camp I presents you the glacier with all its advantages and disadvantages, amenities and dangers.
The weather differs from the same one in the Base Camp. It could rain in the mornings there, but it is snowing here. And if the hot summer sun has warmed you in the morning it doesn"t mean you wouldn"t find yourself in a winter blizzard in the evening. At Edelweiss Glade (you can see four seasons a day, but here you can see only two ones: either summer or winter. And it looks very strange when a girl can acquire a tan in the middle of snow. The only one enemy of good tan is cold wind that compels you to get dressed again.
There are many new things you haven’t seen in the Base Camp. For instance, after a great snowfall you can often see avalanching and ice fallings. To be sure, you can only hear them due to sound delays. If you look at the mountain while the heavy wind is blowing, you’ll see “flags” like clouds. In fact, the wind has just picked snow up with a great speed to several meters from the surface. It is during a day, but at night you can awake due to deep, muffled noise. That means the glacier is cracking… All those facts make you stay here more interesting.
Motor-generator gives you a chance of recharging batteries for your cameras and videos. There is a computer in the yurt (you can look your photos and record disks on it) and nice sound (often real parties with dances are realized). Later you can boast of your dancing at the altitude of 4400 m! Near there is a bar with bear, tea, coffee, stiff and cool drinks, snacks and so on that make your party more festive. Such holidays you have very seldom, do you? Furthermore, the tables are laid with many tasty meals. Members of Camp’s team always can tell you about current information on weather forecast and give you some advices.
The team consists of many different characters and personalities, but it is a single whole. There is no one useless person and the absence of any one is felt immediately. Sometimes you are amazing - how can they get along together? Actually, for such short period of time like one season people become not just close to each other, but kin. And the team is not just a team, but a family. In such extreme conditions people know each other better and faster and insincerity is evident at once. Life passes very fast and events develop headily here.
You haven"t enough time to comprehend the last. In your usual life to know a person well you need long period of time. But here it’s enough to walk from one camp to another to understand what a man he is. It is another world; there are another problems, another gladness and trials and tribulations here.
Not only the insurance is tested here, but friendship and love, will-power and character are also tested. It is very difficult to conceal something here, that’s why genuine nature of a person becomes apparent.
It is early morning. The snow is sparkling and glittering underfoot, cold wind is blowing vestiges of sleep out and you are waiting by the SUMMIT. Will it let you ascend to it? Will you see the world from that almost the skies altitude (7134 m)? Who knows! It is time to continue your way, ascend firstly to Camp II, next to Camp III… However, wherefore to talk any more? You should go there by YOUR OWN feet, look with YOUR OWN eyes and perceive by YOUR OWN perception. Why should you read the most interesting? You should be there BY YOURSELF!
Photos of the «Ascension on Lenin Peak» tour:
Videos of the Lenin Peak tour:
Video about Lenin Peak, video about Base camps, video of ascension on Lenin Peak.
|Pamir Experience 2016
|Base Camp Surroundings
On The Foot Of Lenin Peak
|Lenin Peak Slideshow
Descent to the glacier’s crevasse. Lenin Peak
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