Highs and lows in the Pamirs

 A new Mosque in Sary Mogol ,beneath the Pamirs - religion has made a small comeback since Soviet times and almost all the Mosques and church's I saw were very recently built. However on the whole neither the Kirghiz or Russian's populating the country seemed particularly interested in religious activities. The Uzbek population on the other hand seemed more inclined to visible participation.      Kyrgyzstan land of mountains     Seemingly endless mountain ranges cross the country of almost every alpine variety. The greater ranges of the World are also represented with the Tien Shan that borders China to the North East and the Pamirs known colloquially as the roof of the World that border China and Tajikistan to the South east.  Both ranges have seven thousand meter peaks and the Tien Shan boasts both the beautiful Khan Tengri, one of the classic symmetrical peaks of the world and Pobeda peak one of the worlds more difficult major climbs. However the Pamirs are far more extensive as far as high peaks go and form a huge mountain wall between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Approaching them one see’s this icy white wall stretching from horizon to horizon.  Peak Lenin at 7140 meters is the highest point on that border wall and the dominant feature. Its easy to access , and has the reputation of being an easy major climb – it has a rather more sinister reputation of being one of the most dangerous , indeed in 1990 the worst mountaineering disaster in history  happened here on its slopes when 45 climbers died in an avalanche. That not withstanding hundreds , indeed thousands will attempt the climb every year especially as it has no peak fees.  I spent a week in the area around Lenin but found the crowds rather off putting - I expected some people up there but it was my first experience of mass's on the mountain rather than mountain mass's. Fortunately if one stayed away from the main route towards Lenin peak which acted like a human magnet one had the whole place to oneself. Given the extensive glaciation it was sometimes rather difficult to travel alone and a partner or two would have been nice. Eventually I ran out of food and headed back to Sary Mogol to continue visiting Kyrgyzstan by bike.

A new Mosque in Sary Mogol ,beneath the Pamirs - religion has made a small comeback since Soviet times and almost all the Mosques and church's I saw were very recently built. However on the whole neither the Kirghiz or Russian's populating the country seemed particularly interested in religious activities. The Uzbek population on the other hand seemed more inclined to visible participation.

 

 Kyrgyzstan land of mountains

   Seemingly endless mountain ranges cross the country of almost every alpine variety. The greater ranges of the World are also represented with the Tien Shan that borders China to the North East and the Pamirs known colloquially as the roof of the World that border China and Tajikistan to the South east.  Both ranges have seven thousand meter peaks and the Tien Shan boasts both the beautiful Khan Tengri, one of the classic symmetrical peaks of the world and Pobeda peak one of the worlds more difficult major climbs. However the Pamirs are far more extensive as far as high peaks go and form a huge mountain wall between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Approaching them one see’s this icy white wall stretching from horizon to horizon.

Peak Lenin at 7140 meters is the highest point on that border wall and the dominant feature. Its easy to access , and has the reputation of being an easy major climb – it has a rather more sinister reputation of being one of the most dangerous , indeed in 1990 the worst mountaineering disaster in history  happened here on its slopes when 45 climbers died in an avalanche. That not withstanding hundreds , indeed thousands will attempt the climb every year especially as it has no peak fees.

I spent a week in the area around Lenin but found the crowds rather off putting - I expected some people up there but it was my first experience of mass's on the mountain rather than mountain mass's. Fortunately if one stayed away from the main route towards Lenin peak which acted like a human magnet one had the whole place to oneself. Given the extensive glaciation it was sometimes rather difficult to travel alone and a partner or two would have been nice. Eventually I ran out of food and headed back to Sary Mogol to continue visiting Kyrgyzstan by bike.

 First view of the Pamirs was Peak Lenin from the top of the Taidyk pass (3600m)

First view of the Pamirs was Peak Lenin from the top of the Taidyk pass (3600m)

 Sary Mogol

Sary Mogol

 Climbing a high point of 4100m above Lenin B/C to look into the range

Climbing a high point of 4100m above Lenin B/C to look into the range

 The ease of acess is evident here , a vechile track runs right to the base of Putasestvanikov pass - the gap in the middle of the picture. This pass leads over to the Lenin glacier.

The ease of acess is evident here , a vechile track runs right to the base of Putasestvanikov pass - the gap in the middle of the picture. This pass leads over to the Lenin glacier.

 Peak 5120m from Lenin Advanced Base camp site - in fact the real base camp. I ended up climbing this peak 3 times by different routes, a straightforward walk with a rather loose ice cap on top.

Peak 5120m from Lenin Advanced Base camp site - in fact the real base camp. I ended up climbing this peak 3 times by different routes, a straightforward walk with a rather loose ice cap on top.

 Ice cream peak 4695m , this summit afforded beautiful views to water sheds both East (LeninGlacier) and West.

Ice cream peak 4695m , this summit afforded beautiful views to water sheds both East (LeninGlacier) and West.

 Dawn , the Temp at ABC was just above freezing so snow never settled.

Dawn , the Temp at ABC was just above freezing so snow never settled.

 Looking West from the summit 5120m

Looking West from the summit 5120m

 Looking South from summit 4695m

Looking South from summit 4695m

 Northern view from 4695m

Northern view from 4695m

 Lenin Glacier 

Lenin Glacier 

 Lenin summit at dusk

Lenin summit at dusk

 trying to access most of the 5000/6000 meter peaks around the area proved too daunting for me alone over fragmenting glaciers

trying to access most of the 5000/6000 meter peaks around the area proved too daunting for me alone over fragmenting glaciers

 Looking north down the Lenin glacier

Looking north down the Lenin glacier

 Favorite campsite was by these glacial pools.

Favorite campsite was by these glacial pools.

 all done, leaving Sary Mogol and heading back to Osh

all done, leaving Sary Mogol and heading back to Osh

 The last views of the Pamirs were as I headed up Jiptick pass , an old Soviet jeep track , now trekking track .

The last views of the Pamirs were as I headed up Jiptick pass , an old Soviet jeep track , now trekking track .

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