Peak Lenin 1992
Short version of our travel report 1992
(C) Hartmut Bielefeldt 1992
|Quick overview - mountains
|Pik Razdelnaja||6148 m|
|Pik Lenin||7134 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 the Red Square in Moscow
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.
In the Bazar in Osh
We arrive at the base camp.
Base camp Atchik Tash (3700 m). In the background, some 20 km far, Peak Lenin.
The whole valley around the base camp is completely covered with
Edelweiss over many square kilometers. A "nightmare" for us
coming from the Alps: You can not cross the meadow without trampling some of them
with every step.
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.
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.
Drying clothes in camp 1
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
Camp 3 at 6050 m altitude
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).
A butterfly has lost its way to camp 3
Peak Dzerzhinskogo in the morning of our ascent to Peak Lenin.
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.
On the way to the summit (at about 6600 m)
The summit, or what is left of it.
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.
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.
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 was (and meanwhile again becomes)
an important religious center of the country. The three Medresses
(Koran schools) enclosing the square are busily being renovated.
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.
Dome of a mosque in Samarkand. The original recipe for
the unique turquoise color of these buildings unfortunately was lost
some centuries ago.
A metro (=subway) station in Moscow.
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 Hauser 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