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.
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:
For narratives of my experience there, see:
From Lenin, I crossed over Karamyk Pass into Tajikistan.
And trip reports: