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Peak Lenin 1992

Short version of our travel report 1992
(C) Hartmut Bielefeldt 1992

Quick overview - mountains
Pik Razdelnaja6148 m
Pik Lenin7134 m

Having reached Moscow without problems - except for payment of excess baggage - we enjoy a hectical but very competent sight-seeing tour through the city.

Basil's Cathedral at Red Square, Moscow
Basil's Cathedral at the Red Square in Moscow

The Bazar in Osh
In the Bazar in Osh

The flight to Osh (Kirgisia) is an Aeroflot domestic flight, thus rather adventurous. Nevertheless having arrived well and after a good breakfast, we fly to the base camp Atchik Tash in an (as usually) completely overloaded helicopter. There we spend the first days sorting our equipment, walking around and practising (checking tents, stoves, radio...). The base camp (3700 m) is still mostly well organized from the Soviet times, including three hot meals a day.

Arrival at the base camp
We arrive at the base camp.

The fifth day our mountaineering begins with a helicopter flight to camp 1 (4500 m) with all the equipment. The tents are set up, and we descend to the base camp again. The next day, the ascend back to camp 1 is accompanied by beautifully lousy weather. We find the tents under quite some snow. Digging out the tents, preparing tea, and drying clothes takes the whole following day.

Drying clothes in advanced base camp
Drying clothes in camp 1

The eighth day begins at half past two: material transport to camp 2 (5400 m). Everything works almost perfectly, six hours. Around evening we go down again. Two rest days in camp 1; several participants are flewn out with the helicopter mainly due to lung problems.

The eleventh day, most of us go finally to camp 2; the first four are already busy setting up camp 3 at 6050 m. Again a rest day, and next morning we leave for camp 3. First the weather is stormy with snowfall, improving until our arrival. The usual small problems with the height make another rest day necessary.

Early morning on the way from camp 1 to camp 2
Early morning on the way from camp 1 to camp 2

Camp 3 at 6050 m altitude
Camp 3 at 6050 m altitude

A butterfly has lost its way to camp 3
A butterfly has lost its way to camp 3

On the 15th day, we leave for the summit as a group of seven people. The endless ascend of more than 1100 height meters and seven kilometers of distance takes eleven hours. We are very lucky with the weather: though -20°C in the morning, mostly the wind is weak. On the top, it is even calm and comfortably warm (-5°C).

Peak Dzerzhinskogo in the morning of our ascent to Peak Lenin.
Peak Dzerzhinskogo in the morning of our ascent to Peak Lenin.

On the way to the summit at 6600 m
On the way to the summit (at about 6600 m)

The Lenin bust at the summit had (unfortunately) been removed immediately with the end of Soviet Union, making it difficult to find the highest point on the big plateau.

The summit, or what is left of it.
The summit, or what is left of it.

The way back down to camp 3
The way back down to camp 3. In the center, Peak Razdelnaya, and in the saddle below (just obscured by a closer ridge) camp 3.

Nevertheless, 7134 Meters, Peak Lenin is reached. The view towards Afghanistan and China is a bit cloudy, but still impressive. The descent takes three hours. After that, camp 3 and 2 are taken down. After a long and hard walk, we reach camp 1 where we pass the material transport to the helicopter the following day.
Back in the base camp, the weather becomes bad. Anyway, we could enjoy an extraordinarily long good weather period for our Lenin. Therefore we undergo an adventurous bus trip to Samarkand, where we can see a lot of Middle Asian culture. The numerous Mosques, old Koran schools and funeral sites are hardly covered in just some days.

Registan square in Samarkand
Registan Square in Samarkand was (and meanwhile again becomes) an important religious center of the country. The three Medresses (Koran schools) enclosing the square are busily being renovated.

Dome of a mosque in Samarkand
Dome of a mosque in Samarkand. The original recipe for the unique turquoise color of these buildings unfortunately was lost some centuries ago.

From Osh, we are soon back to Moscow using one of the flying disasters called Ilyushin. Here, the west and drinkable beer have come within arm's reach.

Metro in Moscow
A metro (=subway) station in Moscow.

Basil's cathedral in the evening
Evening view of Basil's cathedral in Moscow.
Modest as I am, I have to state that this is one of the nicest photographs I ever took..;-)



We undertook this trip as participants of a 13-person Expedition of external linkHauser Exkursionen, Munich.
It was our first mountaineering trip outside the Alps. Despite some small, often maybe subjective deficiencies, it was extraordinarily interesting and worthwile.
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Last updated November 13, 1997 by Hartmut Bielefeldt