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Peak Lenin Climb

HCG them. Lenin

(author A. Trubachev)


Expedition to Lenin Peak in August 2008, was organized by the School of Mountaineering and Climbing AlexClimb

Pamir, Kyrgyzstan, climbing to Lenin Peak


We offer you a true story about how in August last year, the school team climbing AlexClimb been made quite banal as a whole, but interesting details and beautiful in itself climbing to Lenin Peak via the normal route through the vertex separately.

So, I'll start with the fact that little talk uninitiated that over the top, we chose to climb. Pamir, Kyrgyzstan, climbing to Lenin Peak Lenin is probably one of the most popular high (above seven thousand meters) peaks of the former USSR, the ascent to which the Soviet era were widespread. In total there were four seventhousanders Union - Communism Peak, Pobeda Peak, Peak Korjenevskaya and Lenin Peak, and the most persistent climbers who managed to visit all these mountains, received the honorary title of "Snow Leopard". However, the title is preserved until now. But after the collapse of the Union seventhousanders became more - Sovereign Kazakhstan tightened their belts, and Khan Tengri peak, which is slightly did not reach seven kilometers kicked as much as 15 meters up. But let's go back to Lenin, since we are talking just about him. Top, height 7134 meters is located on the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, exactly on the border, which goes over the tops of Trans-Alay Range. Moreover, all travel and climbing activity in the area of Peak Lenin focused traditionally on the Kyrgyz side, where in Soviet times functioned International Mountaineering Camp (MAL). On this side, and the route is, and most successful ascents was done (and done) from here. Now Mala under Lenin Peak is no longer in sight, but a holy place is never empty - a wide valley with easy access, from where the trail trampled over half a century at the foot of Lenin Peak (it's called "Onion field" because of the abundance of wild onions growing everywhere) now a magnet as climbers and tourists from many countries, and many local businesses a wide variety of levels - from the host ass Lessors their quadruped vehicle, to a sufficiently developed tourist agencies represented in many parts of Asia. In general, it's pretty clear with respect to the mountains, but there is one tricky. The fact that historically formed the opinion that the alleged Lenin Peak - this is the most "simple" seventhousander. The word "simple" is used deliberately in quotes, because no mountain high seven kilometers in any way simply can not be! However, the "simplicity" of Lenin Peak - a great publicity stunt, with which many travel agencies successfully attract customers. In the old Soviet system of classification of mountain routes, climbing all seventhousanders in the territory of the USSR, had a category of not less than 5A, which implied a certain control of who comes out on these routes (to climb the route in this category were eligible only athletes with sports experience at least 1st level). As part of the system it was possible to limit access to such routes people lack of experience, and thus reduce the number of accidents. More similar opportunities to control anything not. As a result, the prevailing among professional athletes opinion about the "simplicity" of Lenin Peak gone to the masses, and now bearing fruit - money businessmen, top - human life ...

After such a boring start, try to dispel a little more lively atmosphere and tell you about how the rest of our ascent to Lenin Peak.

Part 1. Osh

Pretty preamble. The decision to fly to Lenin accepted the basic organizational issues have been resolved with the help of some Ainura Madmarov - Kyrgyz representatives of developing tourist industry, and now we have absolutely no pleasure (because of the infernal heat) stand and smoke speck in the shadow cast by some prehistoric rusty banning smoking transparency before entering the dusty construction, concise and topped with a proud inscription "Osh". Pamir, Kyrgyzstan, climbing to Lenin Peak For those who skipped school geography lessons, specify - Osh - a very small but very ancient city in Kyrgyzstan, the world famous cultural-historical and religious center of Asia. True, at first glance, the depth of culture and historicity of this city is not very well marked. A person who tends to see only the eyes seem likely that before it is hot, dusty and dirty, threw watermelon and melon gnawed crusts, built typical Soviet apartment blocks boxes small Asian country town, resulting in his time around the large Asian market. However, the way it all is. Plus a few more not-visible parts. Mount Suleiman, perfectly visible from everywhere in the city, attracting not only the form of a giant prehistoric strangeness monster strikingly stands out from the fairly flat desert landscape. Very lively and bright place, where in the evenings drained a large number of residents, weary day the heat and bustle of the marketplace, the basis of existence of the city. Location is literally steeped in a kind of religiousness, mysticism of Islam. Walking through the narrow paths trodden in marble mountain thousands of feet stepping carefully, here and there you see spread out prayer rugs and their owners, selflessly enumerating rosary, his eyes staring somewhere very far away. This activity does not seem something strange here, rather it is entirely appropriate and reasonable. Pamir, Kyrgyzstan, climbing to Lenin Peak Evening walk to Mount a positive impact on overall health and mood, and finally peaceful couple of bottles of local (incidentally disgusting) Zhigulevsk beer, we strolled to the hotel - the last place relatively civilized overnight - in the near future to sleep in beds we have not expected ...

Part 2: Onion field

Details of the day in a terrible terrible shaking on the way to collapsing on the move ancient UAZ, huddled together in one big and dusty com.

The heat is forced into a state of apathy carotid, and stronger grasping some rubber gut sticking out from under the seat, I plugged ears player and plunged into a state of half asleep. The car broke down punctually every ten kilometers, but the driver did not suffer from pessimism - such behavior miracle Soviet automobile industry was clearly not his curiosity. Diving under the hood and shook tape that has fallen off, but not yet lost and the Gulf of Pamir, Kyrgyzstan, climbing to Lenin Peak in boiling radiator bucket of muddy dirt roadside grooves, our wonderful driver calmly back behind the wheel.

During the next forced stop I went to standing on the opposite side of the road to check the yurt not forgotten their old I learned Kyrgyz, and at the same time get something thirst quenching.

- And what is there for the stuff you have in kumys floats? - I asked, noticing that she coquettishly drives the mug before her scoop of healthy beat-boiler clots some black unappetizing substance. Little girl hesitated, pondering the question, with a pair of black lumps still slipped into the neck of the bottle ... - Do not you worry, we have it in Kyrgyz "relish" called ...., if diarrhea in Russian .. .. Koumiss that in fact stored in leather bags, and there inside the bag as pomoesh ?! That accumulates all. Nothing, drink, do not poison!

With doubt I looked at the proffered plastic bottle, where white kumys openly floated the black storm clouds - a clear sign of impending bad weather gastric .... But the spirit of adventure is not allowed to refuse such a broad gesture Kyrgyz generous nature, and I took the bottle with the firm intention to taste national drink and check resistance of my digestive system.

Mining me two bottles kumys made in the monotony of the hot path element of variety and even a certain entertainment - to use all the liquid (including the driver) refused flatly, but with interest began to argue, for how long, after two drunk me mugs, the frequency of having to stop abruptly increase. So do not wait ... But UAZom unexpected happened trouble - he fell off the radiator fan blows the warm air and collapsed clogged with sand pump ... The car finally got up at dusk coming night, in the middle of the flat desert and the Alai Valley, before reaching Base Camp some 20 km. We slept on the floor ustelennom carpeted guest rooms in the house a large Kyrgyz family living in the nearest village, and was in the distant relative of our driver.

Part 3: Dawn in the Alai Valley

Feel a strange feeling, standing face to face with the harsh and eternal mountainous country, where the time is rolled surf on foot giant mountains and goes back, leaving only sand where born, grew up and went into oblivion ancient civilizations. It seems as if someone is watching you from above, because of the face, which is so close here, and you do not cross. As if not in the world, no cities, no crazed meaninglessness of human existence. Only the wind in the desert chasing tumbleweeds, and look from space, a closer and indifferent.

... Morning in the Alai Valley, a wave of icy breath of the desert with his hair curled under the canopy felt yurts dogs, cold hearth asleep woke themselves inhabitants of these yurts, unkind smile inviting them into a new day of severe and eternal struggle for existence. A light haze of the morning mist, like a mirage appear well-read outline vertices day eve densely covered with clouds.

Acute mountain .... snowy peaks clearly drawn on the background of deep ultramarine sky and beckon his deceptive intimacy and cold indifference inaccessible world of the gods ... snow peaks lighter, change the gray twilight first to purple, then a pinkish hue of dawn. This is the moment when everything is ready, and frozen in anticipation, but the sun lingers like the appearance to its output to produce the greatest effect. And he shakes this effect. Torch flashes the highest peaks, the first meeting was shining. Feeling of triumph permeates all around, even the stones start to ring a thin inaudible laughter joy the come new day. Fire on the tops down below and the whole steppe shining silver frost on burned and rarely growing tufts of grass. Fragile pattern quickly melts and begins a new day.

Part 4. Base Camp

Pamir, Kyrgyzstan, climbing to Lenin Peak in the camp we were for dinner (which, however, we are not fed). Famous Onion Glade met us bustle, hurried taxes, shmyganem some dangling suspicious characters and an abundance of different types of hiking homes - from the tents of various colors and designs, up to the present nomadic Kyrgyz yurts collected from a complex wooden frame and covered with a homemade felt. Reigned over the camp a general elation - someone was going upstairs, full of hope and optimism, someone returning home, even if no particular reason to be proud of themselves, but definitely happy again soon gain the benefits of civilization ...

In short, the camp on the Onion glade, to be precise - a set of numerous camps, is a complete contrast to the stiff and desert full of cosmic philosophy Alai valley. Soon we came plump Kyrgyz lady in a stylish straw hat. - Hello, this is because you should have come yesterday? And I'm Ainur, so I waited for you yesterday, even beginning to worry .... How to get there? Did not want to swear, and I just wondered why instead of the promised comfort of the car, we were shaking in bags stuffed with canned expiring UAZ. However, I am not the first time was in Kyrgyzstan, and was well aware that a clear answer why people do not fulfill their obligations to seek meaningless - is the specificity of local businesses. However, the temptation is great, and I can not keep from being able to say a few words "thank you" to the company Fortune-Tour and personally Ainura Madmarov neither one point our agreements with this woman and prepaid services her company was not fully implemented. Quality of service (if any were provided) was below all valid claims. And to top it all, the upper camp, where we had paid for accommodation and meals for the duration of the ascent, just removed and carried down until we were on the mountain ... In general, if you decide to repeat our journey - of the Kyrgyz service provider I strongly recommend it. And another tip - in Asia it is not necessary to pay in advance.

- Well, you do not worry, continued cheeful Aynura - you just got unlucky with the car! Let me to somewhat compensate for your inconvenience, you will find the best ass with a mahout, - but how are you heavy backpacks to drag yourself ?!

This additional service came at an opportune moment, you can not argue, cargo, we had more than enough to not feel sorry for ten dollars for shipping charges to Camp I, to which from the Onion field for at least 6 hours of walking .... Pamir, Kyrgyzstan, climbing Peak Lenin Soon they were back - Aynura proud, half-drunk Kyrgyzstan soiled white hat, and something small and disheveled. The latter, on closer inspection, turned out to be half dead donkey with buckling legs and bulging eyes. And so mournful that seemed about to pour down from their combustible graft tears ...

- Donkey ?! But he's very young, look, what legs thin as a match, you have not tried to feed him? !! - I asked the Kirghiz. - Nice ass, look, strong as two horses! A small, because the breed is such a mountain! I have it with a pack of one hundred pounds to the first camp will jump at a gallop! - It may still not have to gallop, and 100 pounds better on two donkeys to carry? - Why two donkeys, listen, you pay me for 100 kg, and I can handle it, do not hesitate!

Donkey uncomplainingly endured the process of loading, only sagged thin legs, and big sad eyes rolled out stronger and become even sadder. And the back deeper sags under increasing load of luggage, which the owner (though it was more like a friend of the owner) poor man confidently imposed from above. In short, we did not wait, it will all be over, and slowly moved up the trail toward the dazzling shining snow on the slopes of the mountain, the summit of which looked so close, although towered over us more than three miles of pure height ....

By evening, the Camp I arrived our luggage - to tired horse, accompanied by our morning Kyrgyzstan, sober and very dull way. Cause of grief became clear immediately - the unfortunate donkey could not resist the overload and after a few hundred meters from the camp fell victim to the greed of their owners, who, however, had to pay for his own cruelty and drag things on yourself back to the camp, where there was an opportunity to obtain from the other Kyrgyz replace the broken means of transport luggage.

Part 5: Climbing

Pamir, Kyrgyzstan, climbing to Lenin Peak quiet but persistent popiskivanie alarm crept into the depths of a thick down sleeping bag and ruthlessly get me out of weak, but full of bright exciting dreams of oblivion, which is usually in the highlands replaces normal sleep. Scratched finger tightened tightly inside the hood of a sleeping bag, I looked out of one eye. Over his head, like a white elephant belly hung heavy and obmёrzshy set of tents, - per night our camp with his head covered with snow ... Naughty sleepy fingers I podёrgal covered with frost locking zipper and opened the entrance, of course, poured myself a decent portion of the collar of frost from the ceiling tent. The jet of icy air breath, and for this reason, the morning silence of the mountains was not violated customary pejorative at spontaneous snow showers. The rising sun peered sleepy red eye and clearly hinted that we, too, it is time up. Ruthlessness of this obvious fact, together with the clear weather luck, leaves no chance for retreat and even confusion - burning cold, crystal-clear skies and moderate breeze force - more ideal conditions for climbing hard to even imagine. Whip up breakfast - leave the ice in your mouth dried and hard as stone pieces of chocolate bar, we got ready to leave the tent. Outside temperature at night dropped to -40 and the wind almost buried the tent under a layer of snow nametёnnogo, enhances the feeling of the cold several times.
So believe me, before the release of our cozy close mink, which after all manipulations with the burner and cooking tea temperature rose to almost -10 comfortable, dress themselves like if not all, as much as possible. Pamir, Kyrgyzstan, climbing to Lenin Peak But the space inside the celestial lodge is very limited, plus crushed by a heavy layer of snow, even sitting "full-length" does not work, that does not have a bulky dressing, although a light duvet suit. Check the process had already been there on the windswept snow dome tops separately, where at an altitude of 6100 meters to camp III, from which usually start the summit attempt. The most difficult thing - to put cats. Do it in a tent, although it would be desirable, but it is impossible for objective reasons. ... Dropped on the second, fastened to the sleeves and gloves hang flapping in the wind, and I'm trying to close the back instantly stiffening hands, frantically tugging buckle, trying to tighten the mount before the fingers permanently ostekleneyut ....

Difficult to assemble. The height of the well makes itself felt - to move, as if in some sleepy daze, any sudden movement disrupts breathing. But amazing, the ineffable beauty of waking up the mountains and the relative proximity of the goal - the top, for which already spent so much energy, forces will gather in a fist. Slowly, trying to get comfortable in the body for the tortured breathing rhythm, we start moving. By crunching under the teeth of cats or solid as asphalt, hard-packed snow wind down a hundred meters down to a small saddle between the divider and the summit ridge of Lenin Peak. Soon the trail begins to curl up a serpentine. The wind grows stronger, begins to blow in gusts. Sun, illuminating nice camp at the bottom, has not yet reached our trails, and the brutal cold of the night begins to nibble on her fingertips. Released from the camp for an hour before we deuce climbers began the descent - one of them severe frostbite feet ... Pamir, Kyrgyzstan, climbing to Lenin Peak If you ask me what's going on in my head climber, persistently wandering to the top, bent by the wind and gravity backpack okochenev from freezing cold and icy beard? To tell the truth, no romantic and lofty thoughts and impulses likely there. Few even pay attention to the beauty of incredible landscapes, to see which is given only to a few, - then we admire them, the photos sitting in a chair by the fireplace with a glass of cognac .... And now - only a stone voltage will and if really bad - counting steps. It helps to go. Doing so twenty steps, stop and tidies breath. That's all. And yet never at the top of the assault climber does not ask the question "why?". The closer the target, the less hesitation ... All questions and answers were down here - just the tip of you, what could be easier? Maybe this is one of the main components that motivate people to this strange activity - walking in the mountains ... The ability to limit the concentration on a single and clear goal.

Character climbing little change as rise. After reaching the plateau of 6700 - a huge flat space open to all the winds, we have been stomped on snow-covered and slightly eroded in the crushed rocks. The sun rose higher and higher, was "warmer", at least, ceased to grab your toes. Around unfolded endless panorama of the Pamir Mountains. Snowy peaks, most of which no one has ever been, covered space that cover the eyes with wonder - indeed, it is cyclopean view, in comparison with which one does not feel even a bug - the feeling of being lost altogether.

A huge shadow slid across the snow to the right of me. I lift my head and watch the flight of a large black alpine chough, which make a smooth circle, hid behind a rock 100 meters from the trail ... Heavy wave swept through the heart. Over the years spent in the mountains, I saw a lot and understand that at this altitude birds do .... So somewhere there, behind those rocks, lightly dusted with snow, lying stiff body of the one who did not return to camp after climbing . Automatically marks the point navigation and move on with a heavy feeling that the descent will have to go check what lies behind a rock.

But height is approaching 7,000, and a sense of intimacy goals quickly banishes dark thoughts. The path crosses the hill and rests at the foot of the next stage. Top? No .... kinks slope gets another small rise. Slowly, as the last of his money, counting steps, overcome nekrutoy rise and find ourselves at the beginning of the next take-off. Inside pumped feeling unclear who addressed grievances - well, how much you can! The height of 7050 already, and even tops in sight !! It seems that these gentle hills going to last forever! But from the middle of the route - with the notorious "snow blade" everything looked so positive - a few gentle ups and everything - a shiny bald head of Lenin! But here, the ones he had seen from below ups already long gone, and new no end in sight ... Ahead dressed in colorful sponge descending climber. Catch a glance at the equipment, I decided that this person can turn in Russian. Not mistaken.

- Good day, dear, - I mumbled chapped and cracked lips - climbing congratulate you on? Something came the affirmative answer from under the hood are tight puff. - Congratulations! And do not you rejoice me - because the vertex is not far, right? - No, no joy - already more clearly - to the top of you for another hour at least.

The stranger knocked down, lucky. And I stood there, killed on the spot information received. Well, what kind of attack ?! What this hour ?! Altimetry up to the top - what is 50 meters high!

However, some truth in the words certainly had encountered climber. Let not the hour, but still about forty minutes we slowly hobbled by wind crumbled fragments of rock and the creaking snow predvershinnoy plateau.

Pamir, Kyrgyzstan, climbing on top of Lenin Peak and seemed suddenly very close. Over the next hill, which I have already considered and tired, suddenly appeared one more, topped istrёpannymi flags and a couple of lucky people who, unlike us, no longer had to overcome the remaining hundred meters.

Part 6: Descent

No emotion at the top did not happen. No hugs and buying men's tears, no cries of delight and standing on his head. Gathering strength and crooked poulybatsya for a photo at the top, we wasted no time left for the return journey, which, judging by the length of the recovery, not going to be easy. From the crest of all the lower camps were visible on the palm - and white cell with black on the dome tents larvae separately, and crap littered with debris sypuha second camp, and even mottled, strewn with tiny colored dots moraine camp the first three kilometers at the bottom and two days' journey from the top. Among these points at the very top of the moraine could see something yellowish .... Our basic tent, here, from the height of the top, caused a rush of homesickness, and bare moraine among massive glacier seemed distant magical oasis of tropical heat and five-star comfort. But wait! Vague feeling of anxiety interfered with the idea of a holiday. And where the big green tent army base tent, where we have to feed and water, as well as to congratulate the successful ascent employees Fortuna tour?!?! Nope !! Lonely yellow stones on our palatochka, and a few more around .... But the base camp and gone. And with it all hope of comfort, warmth and full board.

Part 7. Again Base Camp

Three days later we were coming to the camp on the Onion glade that, by a happy coincidence for us not yet had time to remove. - Oh! And if I have not left yet ?! Narrow eyes widened hostess, as they could, and expressed genuine surprise and disappointment. - And we thought that you had already gone down!

I will not go into the details of what we think, and how the rest of our brief further communication with the owner of the company Fortuna Tour Ainura Madmarov - because of certain ethical reasons I keep in this case real names - the country must know its heroes!

Pamir, Kyrgyzstan, climbing to Lenin Peak Minor inconveniences had no effect on the overall impression of the route - now at the bottom, due to the excess of oxygen or some other, more complex reasons, experiences and emotions burst the dam and merged into one bright, strong, lively and very positive pattern of the strongest impressions, one of those that make up the real inner man's wealth, and for what, in the end, it all and was started!

Thank you for your attention and patience! :)

Part 8. poskriptum

Warning! Finally I will say a few words without any artistic revolutions.

First, with regard to your own safety. Lenin Peak is very long, insidious and difficult to climb top, on which there is a lot more deaths than the rest seventhousander CIS. Do not fall into thinking its simplicity and soberly assess their strength. If you do not have a high-altitude experience, try your hand at first on Elbrus - and then be able to compare - the route to Lenin Peak Elbrus long as at least 2.5 times. And above 1500 meters - information for consideration.

Second, with regard to the environment. Wild and outrageous attitude of many travel agencies, as well as some climbers turned the classic route to Lenin Peak in outright trash and toilet! Somehow this situation can change only ourselves - Please pay heed to the problem of garbage in the Highlands - not to aggravate an already hopeless situation. Do not leave trash at least in the upper camps - nobody never lift !!! Keep garbage as possible on Lukovaya glade, although it would be worth a few extra bucks ...

And third, Good luck!


Our Principles

AlexClimb Rule #1 - Safety First

From the very beginning of our activity, here nearly 16 years, the first Principle of work of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb is the Safety Priority. On the basis of this Principle all process of training is based, all programs and rounds are developed and carried out only within this main principle. We consider that at professional approach to development of programs, at personal discipline and correctly put motivation - occupations by mountaineering and rock-climbing are COMPLETELY safe. And from the return - all troubles and accidents in our sport come from nonprofessionalism, from ignorance or neglect by elementary standards of safety, from irrational motivation, from revaluation of own forces and opportunities. All these prerequisites we COMPLETELY EXCLUDE in our work - ours Rock-climbing, Ice climbing and Mountaineering are based on one Principle - the Safety Priority. In rock-climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing, the Priority of Safety of MCS AlexClimb-is your personal security and comfort irrespective of, than we are engaged - we train muscles and we work technology of the movement in the sports hall and on the rock climbing wall, we make the way through snowstorm to top or we relax on golden sand of the Caribbean beach after hot day of trainings on rocks. The Safety priority - the main credo of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb.

AlexClimb Rule #2 - Leave No Trace

Closely interacting with Nature, working with the active programs in mountains, woods, lakes and rivers, we perfectly understand the importance of carefull and respectfull bahavior towards the Nature, for its resources. From the very beginning of our outdoor-activity we adopted rules of  Leave No Trace technique - the standard of behavior of the person accepted in all the civilized world in relation to environment and especially - to the wild nature. After all on the relation of people to the nature near which they exist, itself can draw dalekoidushchy conclusions on the relation of these people to... Where and as we didn't travel - we don't reserve any garbage, we try to reduce whenever possible our influence on environment to a minimum. We clear earlier zagryazyonny tourist parking of the left garbage, we take out and we take out to utilization places that to us other people left there. We consider that only thus, at personal individual consciousness of each citizen, each tourist, climber or autotraveller, we will be able to keep the nature surrounding us in its state, natural, suitable for life, - in it pledge of the healthy future for ourselves and our children.

AlexClimb Rule #3 - Sober Concious

The position of AlexClimb Mountain and rockclimbing School regarding healthy lifestyle is quite clear - we consider that only sober consciousness is capable to fill sincere emotions,  to sympathize, to enjoy life in all its variety. Bright various enjoyable life is possible only on condition of keeping the absolute sobriety and purity of consciousness. Any way of obscuring our perception of reality is intended to do harm to our consciousness and bring harm to our physical health, to replace the true values by false ones, to destroy us physically - to turn us into flabby, weak, senseless, gray herd with empty hazy eyes. We don't force anybody to our point of view, everyone has a God's gift of making his own choice and to destroy himself if that is what he wants... But in AlexCilimb Mountain Climbing School we accept quite certain and very simple set of rules: neither alcohol, nor drugs.