2012 Pamir

Descending Peak Korzhenevskaya’s summit ridge, Tajikistan

In summer 2012, I attempted the 3 7000m “Snow Leopard” peaks of the Pamir Mountains in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. This nine-week trip to Asia began with a month of paleoclimate fieldwork in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert and Altai Mountains. Afterwards, I flew to Bishkek, Kyrgystan and set off for Lenin Peak. After a challenging, but successful climb on Lenin, a small international group of climbers and I crossed the seldom-traveled Karamyk Pass into Tajikistan, the world’s 3rd least visited country. After a few days waiting in the small town of Jergatol, we hitched a ride on Tajikistan’s only helicopter to our base camp for Peak Korzhenevskaya and Peak Communism on the Moskvin Glacier in the icy heart of the Pamir. There, after a day climb of a neighboring peak and an acclimatization and reconnaissance trip, I pulled off my biggest climb to date, a 23-hour round trip solo of Korzhenevskaya. With just days to spare before my helicopter ride back, I made an attempt on Peak Communism but turned back due to impossibly deep snow. A huge surprise met me on the descent.

Boy herds camels at sunset, Eev, central Mongolia

Boy herds camels at sunset, Eev, central Mongolia

I’ll start with photos and narratives from the Gobi and the Altai:

Very Best of Mongolia





After paleoclimate research in Mongolia, I headed to the Snow Leopard Peaks of the Pamir. First up was Lenin Peak in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Complete photos from Kyrgyzstan:

Very Best of Kyrgyzstan





For narratives of my experience there, see:


Innocence Lost on Lenin

From Lenin, I crossed over Karamyk Pass into Tajikistan.

Complete Photos:

Very Best of Tajikistan





And trip reports:


Moskvin Glacier and Acclimatization

Korzhenevskaya in a Day Solo

Pik Kommunizma: Too Heavy


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