You are to arrive in Osh early in the morning so that all the members of the group could depart from Osh together at 9 a.m. To transfer from Osh to the Base Camp (280 km) takes from 6 to 7 hours. Before leaving Osh we shall call at a supermarket, so that everyone could buy whatever they may need during the trip or in the mountains. We shall provide each participant with a lunch box and a bottle of mineral water, so that they could have a snack on their way, while at the Base Camp you will have a nourishing hot meal made by professional cooks.
The road from Osh to the Base Camp runs across two mountain passes - Chyyyrchyk (2,408 m) situated near the village of Gulcha and Taldyk (3,615 m) near the village of Sary Tash forming ‘gates’ that mark the end of the downhill into the Alay Valley.
The Kyrgyz portion of the M41 Pamir Highway, which it was once so difficult to construct at such high altitudes, has recently been renovated, and now you will surely enjoy driving on its perfectly smooth asphalt.
Gradually driving up along the M41 road to the Taldyk Pass, then down to the bottom of the Alay Valley and then again up to our Base Camp in the Achik Tash Valley, you will make the first acclimatization steps.
Our Base Camp is located on the Edelweiss Meadow (3,600 m); however, we recommend that you reach the Lukovaya (Leek) Meadow (3,800 m, +200 m) to minimise the symptoms of the altitude sickness. Some may have a walk down the Achik Tash valley to lakes, which are in numbers scattered around the hilly area. They are highly picturesque and even allow for swimming.
Upon arrival at the Base Camp (3,600m) you will be accommodated in comfortable in four- berth base tents per 2-3 members. Tents feature with electrical outlets, individual lighting - desk camp, wooden deck flooring, mattresses, covers, pillows and furnishing: blanket cover, pillowcases and bed sheet.
The acclimatization walking trip to the Puteshestvennikov Pass is an amazing Pamir trekking and an important stage in the preparation for the three ascents. Very soon you will get accustomed to breathing at a high altitude, your organism will begin working properly, your heartbeat will stabilize and your eyes will become open to the incredibly beautiful ragged surroundings.
As we leave the Lukovaya (Leek) Meadow behind us we walk along a beaten path to a waterfall and further to the saddle of the pass. It takes from 2 to 2.5 hours to get there, so there is no need to hurry. On the pass we shall have a rest, a snack and a photo session on the background of grandiose panoramas.
We shall then walk on up along the ridge, as high as possible, following the guide’s advice and trying to breathe regularly.
By the evening we shall return to the Base Camp.
Distance covered during the day: 14-15 km.
Altitude difference: +1,130м; -1,130m.
Altitude of the lowest point (Base camp): 3,600m according to the GPS
Altitude of the highest point (Petrovskiy Peak): 4,730 m according to the GPS
Category of difficulty: I (F)
Step 1: Departing from the Base Camp on the Edelweiss Meadow; traversing the Achik Tash River Valley crosswise; crossing the numerous broad branches of the Achik Tash River; approaching the foot of the grass-covered slope, on which we shall go up to the ridge.
Step 2: Starting to climb the slope towards Petrovsky Peak; the steepness of the slope reaches 35° in some places; getting onto the ridge and further along it on a long path; the relief consists of grassy slopes, which then pass into a mixture of grass and scree and then scree alone.
Step 3: As you reach the portion of the route consisting of mixed rocks and snow, you must put on belay systems, crampons and high gaiters and make your ice-axe ready at hand; the guide carries the main rope; attention: the slope’s steepness reaches 50° in places.
Step 4: As soon as you reach the snow-and-ice portion of the slope, you must make rope teams (if the guide regards it necessary to do so); from this moment on you must set the pace by the weakest member of your group; all the members of the group must climb close to each other; as the team reaches Petrovsky Peak, all must stay together, no one is allowed to detach from the body of the group; the group may stay on the summit for 20 to 30 minutes, in case there is no wind; in windy weather people must not remain there for more than 10 minutes; climb the mountain in thunderstorm or snowfall is strictly prohibited.
Step 5: The group will descend the mountain along the same route as they climbed it; the descending technique consists in doing what you did when you were ascending, only in reverse order.
Congratulations on your First Summit of the Pamirs!
Altitude difference: 3,600-3,600 (~12 km).
Today we begin a trek that will end in ascending Yukhin Peak (5,130 m).
As we cross the Achik Tash River, we go up to the crest of Petrovsky Peak - an easy climb onto the familiar ridge - and then walk down into the green, warm and fantastically beautiful valley of the Tashkungeysay River. There we turn southward and move along a series of grassy, gently sloping hills - a very light walk made even easier by the small amount of things required for the journey (see the bonuses below):
BONUS NO. 1!!! During this trek and ascent of Yukhin Peak you will only have to carry the equipment and clothing you may need on the following three days - days 4, 5 and 6! We shall transport the rest of your things (clothes, equipment and food), which you, assisted by the guide, prepare and pack in advance for the next ascent of Mount Razdelnaya, to Camp 1, where you will arrive as you descend from Yukhin Peak!
BONUS NO. 2!! Your backpacks with the clothes, equipment, food and whatever is necessary to set up a camp during the following three days - 4, 5 and 6 - will be carried on horseback to the advanced base camp! From the advanced base camp the horses are sent back to the Base Camp in the Achik Tash River valley, and you will carry your things for yourselves for the rest of the trip - on days 5 and 6.
We set up the advanced base camp on the bank of the river for the easy access of water, as close to tomorrow’s climb as possible. The travellers themselves put up the tents and prepare meals from the food they were provided with in advance.
The Tashkungeysay River valley is much warmer than the Achik Tash valley, so you will hardly feel cold during the night
Altitude difference: 3,600 - 4,300 (~6 km).
Today we are to get up early, as we have much to do. As we cross the stream that rises from the glacier, we approach a steep uphill, which will bring us onto the ridge leading to Yukhin Peak. Thus we have to climb some 500 vertical metres. Apart from the steepness (about 45°), we shall face no particular difficulties during the trip; however, in some places we may have to work the route, depending on the relief conditions for the moment. The guides will do their best to make the climbto the assault camp as smooth, stable and confident as possible.
As we reach a suitable site at an altitude of about 4,300 m, we set up the camp. As on the previous day, the participants cook their supper for themselves. Water can be obtained from a nearby glacier or snow accumulations.
After breakfast we break up camp, put on crampons and belay systems, including helmets, and make a rope team. We are to climb the snow-covered and corniced north ridge sloping at about 30° to Yukhin Peak. The guide will select the climbing technique, depending on the weather and the condition of the snow cover. You must follow strictly the guide’s instructions. The climb takes about 4 hours. At the beginning of the last fifth of the route the snow-covered ridge is intersected by a narrow crosswise crevasse, which you will have no special difficulties to overcome. So here we are on the summit!
Congratulations on your Second Summit of the Pamirs!
We first descend to Camp 1 set up on the moraine of the Lenin Peak glacier along the west ridge covered with snow and numerous cornices. In about 40 minutes we come up to the start of a steep downhill to Camp 1 (4,400 m). Instructed by the guide, you will quite soon get to Camp 1, where you will find your things and equipment for the ascent of Razdelnaya Peak, which we deliver there in good time, as we have already mentioned.
Accommodation in four- berth tents in Base Camp per 2-3 members. Hot delicious dinner in the Yurt.
In the middle of the tour you will have a free day, which will enable you to have a rest after the two summits and prepare for the third one.
After breakfast we shall ice training near Camp 1.
If time permits and if we have enough aspiration, we can climb the ridge leading to the peak to an altitude of 4,750 metres assisted by the guide. This gently sloping ridge runs up parallel with the glacier, and it seems to be begging us to try it on our free day.
Today it is just the time to hold a discussion among the group of the plans concerning the forthcoming ascent of Mount Razdelnaya: preparing and setting the equipment, repairing and adjusting the footwear, clothes and backpacks, receiving the guide’s instructions in climbing tactics and warnings about possible dangers on the route, assembling and packing food and common equipment, distributing the whole load of things to be carried among the participants, checking personal first-aid kits. Today you must solve all the problems with your personal equipment, footwear and clothing that have arisen before, as tomorrow they may delay both you and the rest of your group.
This day is very similar to the summit day of those attempting Lenin Peak: early wakeup and breakfast, with all the participants departing together as a single group at the time appointed by the guide.
First uphill along the Lenin Glacier to the foot of the grandiose North Face then further up across menacing crevasses on the steep slope, covered in very deep snow (80m-long stretch, gradient 35-40 degrees) using fixed ropes or climbing in a zigzag. Do not forget to stock your backpacks with sufficient amount of water and UV-protection cream (factor 25 and higher)! After leaving the camp we climb up the North Wall (mind that in case of much snow on the slope there is a threat of avalanches), then traverse the slope keeping to the right aiming at the plateau colloquially known as “Skovoroda” (Frying Pan). Carry on across the scree slope to Camp 2. Roping up is highly recommended on the whole stretch.
Preferable departure time is before 06:00 A.M. Climb time: 5-8 hours. The participants are to carry the equipment and cook meals for themselves.
BONUS NO. 3!! You will not need to hire alpine tents and then carry them to and put them up in Camps 2 and 3! You would sleep in tents that our team had brought to and erected in these camps in advance, before the mountaineering seasonbegan.
Ascent to the slope of 25-30-degrees steep keeping to the left of the rocks aiming for the ridge. The wind may be very strong on this section. Turn left and carry on along the level ridge towards the top of the Razdelnaya Peak (6,148m, deep snow). Climb time: 4-7 hours. Congratulations on your Third Summit of the Pamirs!
Camp 3 (6,100 m) is located right under the summit; however, you will descend directly to Camp 2 (5,300 m), as at a lower altitude you can sleep better and feel less cold in the night. It takes you about 2 hours to descend to Camp 2 (5,300m).
In case you are caught by bad weather Camp 3 will serve as a security camp to sleep in. In the case of forced overnight stay at Camp 3 you would sleep in tents that our team had brought to and erected in these camps in advance, before the mountaineering season began).
Just as you were climbing up, only in reverse order: moving in rope teams, the members must keep close to each other. Before we start descending, the guide will provide you with instructions, which you must follow strictly as you are going down. You must never relax and lose concentration during the descent.
You must be particularly careful, when walking through areas with crevasses, and thrice as careful, when you overcome these crevasses on ice bridges. However, the strain will soon be replaced by plenty of positive emotions, when the doors of the heated yurt will open before you in Camp 1 on the moraine of the Lenin glacier! There you will have a short rest with tea/coffee and biscuits and proceed further down to the Base Camp following the familiar path across the Puteshestvennikov Pass.
Congratulations! You have made three ascents and conquered three summits in the Pamirs during one tour!
What next? As you have partaken of the pleasures of high-altitude mountaineering, are you ready to taste something more exciting next year and attempt on Lenin Peak climb or is it just what you wanted and you are quite satisfied? In any case, you are the Winners today! And the prizes are a ceremonial cake and a red-hot sauna!
We should take into account the Pamirs’ ill temper and put one day in reserve, which we can use if the weather be bad. An advancing cold front can bring ample precipitation, cold wind and low temperatures, which would make any ascent impossible. On these days the participants have to stay in tents or gather around a heater in a yurt and talk and sing songs to a guitar accompaniment.
However, the unpredictable Pamir Mountains may bestow upon us perfect weather throughout, and our tour will go smooth from beginning to end. In this case we can spend our day doing whatever we want: our Base Camp offers a volleyball pitch, and we can organise a friendly; we can hire bikes and ride in the hills covering the Achik Tash valley; our camp also provides badminton and darts; we can visit a shepherd’s house in the neighbourhood and familiarise ourselves with the traditional nomadic life and the crafts nomads are engaged in; or right at the camp we can order a master class in cooking authentic pilaf from a professional cook. Or you can simply rest, doing nothing!
In Osh you can walk about the city, visit the Sulaiman-Too Mountain and the Museum organized just within the hill or call at the Osh bazaar to buy a couple of souvenirs. The most popular souvenirs are handmade felt items, which vary greatly in type and color and are nice to the eye and heart.