Introducing Pik Lenin & Achik Tash
Trekking possibilities in the Alay Valley are legion, but serious trekkers head for Pik Lenin (now officially called Koh-i-Garmo). The peak is known as one of the most accessible 7000-ers in the world. It is the highest summit of the Pamir Alay and lies right on the Kyrgyz–Tajik border. The snow-covered ridges and slopes are not technically difficult to climb with many ascents passing Lipkin Rocks, named after a pilot who crashed here and then calmly walked out.
Altitude sickness and avalanches are a serious problem; in 1991 an earthquake-triggered avalanche obliterated Camp II on the Razdelnaya approach, killing 43 climbers in the process. It remains the world’s worse mountaineering disaster.
For details on trekking around Pik Lenin, see Frith Maier’s Trekking in Russia & Central Asia.
At Achik Tash meadows (3600m), 30km south of Sary Moghul, IMC Pamir and most trekking agencies operate Pik Lenin base camps and programmes in summer. To get there you’ll have to fix arrangements in advance.
There are weekly farmers markets in Daroot-Korgon (on Monday), Kashka-Suu (Tuesday) and Sary Moghul (Sunday) where you can buy basic foodstuffs. Several trailer shops offer the usual kiosk fare in Sary Tash. Beyond this bring all your own food.
Last updated: Mar 24, 2009
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