Kyrgyzstan – Lenin Peak
Lenin Peak or Ibn Sina (Avicenna) Peak (7134m) is a border mountain between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the Trans-Alay Range and Pamir Mountains. The peak is also one of the three 7000m mountains in Kyrgyzstan. The other two are Pobeda Peak (7439m) and Khan-Tengri Peak(7010m).
Lenin Peak (7134m), Peak Pobeda (7439m) and Khan Tengri (7010m), together with Peak Communism (7495m) and Korzhenevskoy (7105m), are the five 7000m mountains in the former USSR. Together, the five mountains formed the renowned and prestigious Snow Leopard Trophy. To climb all five admits you to the elite group climbers known as Snow Leopards, which are predominantly made up of Russian climbers.
Generally Lenin Peak is the starting point for climbers attempting the Snow Leopard Trophy. It is also considered one of the least technical 7000m mountains to climb and has by far the most ascents of any 7000m mountains in the world. Because of its reputation of being one of the easiest 7000m mountain and the hospitable culture in Kyrgyzstan, it has become one of the most popular peaks in the world and annually receive hundreds of climbers from all over the world. The only contender of being the most popular 7000m mountain is perhaps Muztagh Ata (7509m) in China.
About The Climb
The ascents from the Tajikistan side are very uncommon due to Tajikistan's history of brutal civil wars and still has a bad reputation of being a dangerous place. Easier access and routes and hospitable surroundings are the main practical reasons why a vast majority choose to climb from Kyrgyzstan side.
There are several routes for climbing Lenin Peak and the classical route is from the north side. The classical route is generally straightforward, though with glacial crevices between Camp 1 and Camp 2, steep ridges after Camp 3 and potential avalanche danger.
The climb typically starts with a long drive from Osh to Achik-Tash Base Camp (3600m), situated in the alpine meadows dotted with nomadic families on the grasslands.
Before heading up to the high camps, climbers usually stay at the base camp for around 2 days and go for acclimatization hikes to up to 4000m nearby to the waterfall and the ridge Petrovsky Peak.
There are 3 high camps - Camp 1, Camp 2 and Camp 3. Climbers will, as part of the critical acclimatization phase, do a sweep up from base camp to Camp 3, before descending to base camp to recover and prepare for the actual summit attempt, repeating the climb from base camp to Camp 3.
Camp 1 (4400m) is located on a moraine with comfortable accommodation and facilities similar to the base camp. The start of the trek from the base camp to Camp 1 is on a flat pasture known as the Onion field. Beyond Onion field, the terrain is a gradually ascend through alpine meadows, the Puteshestvennikov Pass, and along the slope of the ridge of the Lenin Glacier. This segment of the trek is a fairly easy and pleasant walk of about 6-8 hours, typically snow-free or with little snow.
At Camp 1, climbers will stay for 2 days. During the 2 days, climbers can go for a climb in the nearby peaks like Home Peak (4700m) or Yukhin Peak (5100m) and go through basic ice and snow skills - movement across glacier, work in a rope team, climb and descent on a fixed rope and ice axe self-rescue etc.
For Camp 2 (5300m) and Camp 3 (6100m), the accommodation and facilities are bare with only sleeping tents. Climbers are expected to be self-sufficient to carry own personal gear, including food, cooking equipment, sleeping bag and mat etc, as well as, prepare and cook own meals and boiled own drinking water etc. Some climbers also opt to carry and pitch own tents.
The trek from Camp 1 to Camp 2 can be said to be the hardest and longest of the high camps' segment. Mountaineering/double boots and crampons are required from this segment onward. The ascent is along the northern slope of Lenin Peak to the left of the icefall and require rope up to cross the multiple glacial cracks. The upper part of the route goes to the right, before the big ice plateau named “Skovorodka”. It is necessary to cross the plateau from the left to the right to reach Camp 2, which is located on the upper moraine at the foot of the Northern-West crest. It is necessary to cross the plateau from the left to the right. It can take easily 9-10 hours to reach Camp 2 from Camp 1.
From Camp 2 to Camp 3 is short but steep climb of around 5-7 hours on snow slope to the North-Western crest. The route takes to the left before the steep ascend to the top of Razdelnaya Peak. Camp 3 is located on the wide dome of the Peak. After a night in Camp 3, climbers will descend to the base camp to rest, recover and prepare for the summit attempt.
The repeat climb from base camp to Camp 3 will take less time and efforts after the acclimatization phase.
The summit attempt will start before dawn. The route descends to the col, followed by a sharp ascend to the wide western crest of Lenin Peak, before coming to a wide ridge to a steep snow-ice rise known as the "Knife" at 6700m. From here, it is a fixed rope section to reach a vast, flat and icy plateau (named Parashutist) where the route is a section of flat rocky hills to the top. The turn around time is 2pm. Climbers who do not reach the summit before 2pm must turn back and descend to Camp 3.
After the summit and a night rest at Camp 3, climbers descend to Camp 1 to stay another night before finally descend to the base camp for a well deserved rest and celebration!
The best months to climb Lenin Peak is in summer from July to mid August. The temperature are the warmest, weather most stable and best snow conditions.
While the mountain can be climbed in the other seasons, it is rarely attempted. Winter is too frigidly cold and spring sees sudden violent storms and deep snow which make attempts very hard with avalanche danger. In autumn, the snowfalls hide dangerous crevasses and makes progress on the peak harder.
Experience in climbing 6000m mountains and basic mountaineering skills (crampons, rope up, fixed rope and ice axe self-rescue etc) are essential. There are no easy mountains and certainly no easy 7oooers. You will require excellent stamina and determination to cope with long arduous days. You will be carrying a load of 16-20kg from Camp 1 to Camp 3, wearing mountaineering/double boots and crampons in a rope up team, in harsh and extreme mountain conditions, from 5100m to 6100m. You are also required to cook your own meals and boil your own drinking water at Camp 2 and Camp 3.
Equipment and Gear
Alpine climbing clothing (thermal base layer, down mittens, down jacket, insulated outer shell pants and outer shall jacket etc) is required.
You will also need the following climbing equipment:
- Mountaineering or double boots
- Climbing harness
- Walking ice axe
- Sewn slings
- Ascender & abseil devices
- Locking karabiners
A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.
- Dates listed are for open international group
- You can also form a private group. For enquiry, send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Day||Description||Meals||Altitude at Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive Bishkek||-/-/-||800m|
|Day 2||Flight to Osh. Transfer Osh-Achik-Tash (Lenin Peak Base Camp)||B/L/D||3600m|
|Day 3-4||Spend the next 2 days acclimatizing with hikes around the base camp to 4000m and sorting out gear/equipment for the climb||B/L/D||3600m|
|Day 5-7||Approach trek to Camp 1. After arriving at Camp 1, spend the next 2 days at Camp 1 with hike to Domashniy Peak (4700m) or Yuhin Peak (5100m) and skills training on rope up, fixed rope, ice axe self-rescue etc||B/L/D||4400m|
|Day 8||Approach trek to Camp 2||B/L/D (self carried/prepared meals in Camp 2)||5300m|
|Day 9||Approach trek to Camp 3||B/L/D (self carried/prepared meals in Camp 3)||6100m|
|Day 10||Descend to base Camp||B/L/D||3600m|
|Day 11-12||Rest days at base camp||B/L/D||3600m|
|Day 13-15||Approach trek to Camp 1, 2 and 3||B/L/D (self carried/prepared meals in Camp 2 and 3)||Camp 1-4400m
Camp 2- 5300m
|Day 16||Summit day. Return to Camp 3||B/L/D (self carried/prepared meals in Camp 2 and 3)||6100m|
|Day 17||Descend to Camp 1||B/L/D||4400m|
|Day 18||Descend to base camp||B/L/D||3600m|
|Day 19||Spare day in case of bad weather. If not used, stay at base camp||B/L/D||3600m|
|Day 20||Transfer to Osh||B/-/-||950m|
|Day 21||Flight to Bishkek||B/-/-||800m|
|Day 22||Depart Bishker||B/-/-|
- Return airport transfer in Bishkek and Osh
- Retun domestic flight Bishkek-Osh ( 15kg baggage. Extra load at about USD1-2per kg)
- All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Boiled drinking water in base camp and Camp 1
- High altitude food for Camp 2 & 3 (self cook)
- Accommodation: local hotel in Bishkek and Osh (twin/triple sharing) and in tent (twin-sharing) in Lenin Peak
- Base camp facilities: First aid and consultation of doctor, electricity and hot shower
- Trek support: mountaineering guide(s)
- Climbing group equipment: Rope(s)
- Cooking equipment: gas and gas stoves, cooking set.
- Permits & fees: Registration with rescue team, ecological fee and climbing certification
- Visa support (if needed)
- International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Visa Fee (if any)
- Single Supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- Drinking water in Camp 2 and 3 (self collect to boil)
- All tipping
- Personal porters*
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover travel agent insolvency and climbing to 7500m. The amount of coverage for emergency evacuation must be at least USD10000)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal travel & climbing gear/equipment
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Prices for person porters (per way) :
BC - C1: USD3/kg
C1 - C2: USD6/kg
C2 - C3:USD8/kg
C1 - C3: USD14/kg
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the climb:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local partner is the biggest and most established Lenin Peak local ground operator in Kyrgyzstan.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good six-ten months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.