Peak Lenin is the Perfect 8,000m Prep Expedition
Climbing a 7,000m peak is an important step in a mountaineer’s preparation to reach 8,000m, and the Peak Lenin climb offers everything one could want in a 7,000m climb. Multiple camps, glacial climbing, an acclimatization rotation, and fun climbing at high altitude. Peak Lenin itself is a stunning peak that rises high above the valley floor, rewarding climbers with not only stunning views, but also the experience necessary to take the next steps in their climbing careers if their eyes are set on 8,000m peaks.
Peak Lenin Expedition Itinerary
- Day 1
Arrive in Bishkek
After arriving in Bishkek, our team will meet you at the airport and transport you to our hotel. We’ll get some much-needed rest and start to get over our jet lag.
- Day 2
Travel to Base Camp
We’ll start our morning with a short flight from Bishkek to Osh. From there, we’ll drive across the Pamir Highway to BC. The drive will see us cross the Taldyk Mountain Pass, where the Alay Valley will open up before us. The towering peaks of the Zaalay Range of the Pamirs will loom in the distance a grow ever closer as we make our way to Base Camp. After our stunning drive, we’ll reach the Peak Lenin Base Camp on the Edelweiss Glade, resting at (11,800’, 3,600m).
- Day 3
Trek to Advanced Base Camp
Today we’ll head out from base camp and make our way to Advanced Base Camp. The trek will see us climb over the Puteshestvinnikov Pass (4,200m) and descend to the moraine of the Lenin Glacier. We’ll follow the glacier the rest of the way to Advanced Base Camp at 14,400’, 4,400m.
- Day 4
After a long day of trekking yesterday, we’ll spend the day resting and acclimatizing in ABC.
- Day 5
Climb to Camp 1
Today we’ll start our acclimatization rotation bright and early, leaving ABC for the gradual snow slopes on the Lenin Glacier until we reach the foot of the North Face of Peak Lenin. From here we’ll make a traverse across a steep slope that is often covered in deep snow, working towards a plateau that is known as the “Frying Pan”. We’ll cross the plateau and reach Camp 1 at 17,400’, 5,300m.
- Day 6
Leaving C1 behind, we’ll start making our way up the 25-30 degree snow slope before traversing towards the summit of Razdelnay Peak, a sub-peak of Lenin that will be the high point of our acclimatization rotation. At 20,300’, 6,200m and the top of Razdelnay Peak, we’ll have also arrived at Camp 2. We’ll stick to the age old tactic of “climb high, sleep low” and descend from there back to ABC.
- Day 7
Advanced Base Camp Day
We’ll spend the day resting and recovering at Advanced Base Camp and get psyched for the next round of climbing!
- Day 8
Climb to C1
Having allowed our bodies to recover from our acclimatization rotation, we’ll start our summit bid by re- climbing the gradual snow slopes of the Lenin Glacier before making our way across the Frying Pan to C1. We’ll make quicker work of this terrain having seen it before and being well acclimatized.
- Day 9
Climb to C2
Today will see us cover familiar ground once again as we climb the steeper snow slope to the top of Razdelnaya Peak and C2. Tomorrow we’ll take off into new terrain once again as we make a short move to Camp 3 at 21,000’.
- Day 10
Climb to C3
Today we’ll have a short and easy day moving from C2 to C3, as we climb 650’ and just over a mile to reach the high camp of the mountain. This short and easy day will best set us up for success on our summit bid the following morning. We’ll get some much needed rest and prepare for our summit bid the next morning.
- Day 11
An early morning will see us start our bid for the summit of Lenin Peak. Traversing across the plateau that C3 rests on, we’ll continue up the ridge. From here, it becomes more steep as we follow the “knife” ridge for nearly 1,000’ before reaching a large snow plateau. After crossing this plateau, we’ll rejoin the ridge to the summit of Peak Lenin, 23,400’, 7,134m. At the summit we’ll be met with spectacular views of the Pamirs, reaching across to Mustagh Ata and Kongur in China and to the Hindu Kush and the Karakoram of Pakistan.
We’ll have a quick celebration on the summit, fist bump the small statue of Lenin that sits atop the peak, and then start our descent back down to C3. It will be a big day, taking us 8-9 hours total.
- Day 12
C1 to ABC
After a successful summit of Peak Lenin, today we’ll make the descent back down to Advanced Base Camp.
- Day 13
Descend to BC
Today we’ll finish our descent off Peak Lenin and make our way to back up and over Puteshestvinnikov Pass to Base Camp.
- Day 14-15
We use these days as extra days in case of weather
- Day 16
Drive to Osh
Today we’ll leave base camp and make our way back to the city of Osh where a warm shower and a clean bed awaits.
- Day 17
Fly from Osh to Bishkek
Today we’ll take a short flight from Osh to Bishkek, making the end of the expedition. From Bishkek, you’ll depart for home
Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim – the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding.
Recommended: Alpenglow Hat
A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet.
Recommended: Black Diamond Levels Beanie
We recommend a tight-fitting balaclava that is worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible, but is comfortable enough to wear for hours.
Recommended: Black Diamond Coefficient LT Balaclava
Neck Gaiter (Buff)
A multi-purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy.
Recommended: Alpenglow Buff
Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies).
Recommended: Vaurnet Ice Rounds
These will be worn on stormy or windy days. Make sure you are getting a snug fit with lenses for bright sun. Ventilation and anti-fog features are desired.
Recommended: Vuarnet Everest Goggles
These gloves keep the inside of your mitts or other gloves from accumulating sweat on the inside and turning inside out when you take them off, as well as provide additional insulation.
Recommended: Black Diamond Lightweight Wooltech Gloves
All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm.
Recommended: Black Diamond Tour Gloves
These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, and insulated. These will be the workhorse glove for any expedition.
Recommend: Black Diamond Mission MX Gloves
These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, with a removable fleece liner (so you can take the liner out and dry it at night). These gloves are used at higher altitudes and are needed to keep your hands dry, and warm. Over the cuff style is desired.
Recommended: Black Diamond Guide Gloves
A super-thin wicking sock that repels moisture. Liner socks help to reduce the likelihood of blisters. The socks should be thin wool, nylon, or Capilene®. NO COTTON
Recommended: Ice Breaker Merino Liner
Your everyday sock, good for day hikes, trekking, and in-town. It’s good to bring several pairs of these socks. NO COTTON.
Recommended: Darn Tough Hiking Sock
A wool synthetic blend. Pure rag wool socks are not nearly as effective in wicking moisture or retaining their shape and reducing blisters. Bring a few pairs of these socks. NO COTTON.
Recommended: Darn Tough Mountaineering Sock
These light to mid-weight shoes are for everyday use. The ideal shoe is comfortable to wear for multiple days and scrambles decently on rock. A Gore-tex lined shoe stays drier when hiking in rain or snow.
Recommended: La Sportiva TX Guide
Mountaineering Boots (6,000m – 7,000m)
Should be double boots that have a stiff sole and accept a step-in crampon. The boots should be comfortable, have adequate wiggle room for your toes, and your heel should not lift more than 1/8th of an inch when walking.
Recommended: La Sportiva G2 Evo
You’ll love having a warm, comfortable shoe to slip into when tent-bound. These are optional, but nice to have.
Recommended: Western Mountaineering Flash Down Booties
Ultra-light base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from your body and is breathable. Quick-dry is important as well. One light-colored shirt is recommended for extremely sunny days.
Recommended Men’s: Black Diamond Lightwire Short Sleeve
Recommended Women’s: Black Diamond Lightwire Short Sleeve
Mid-Weight Puffy Jacket
Hard Shell Jacket
Expedition-Weight Base Layer
Fitted, light-weight and quick drying. The mid-weight will be a base- layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Bring multiple changes of layers.
Recommended Men’s: Black Diamond Mens Solution 150 Merino Bottoms
Recommended Women’s: Black Diamond Women’s Solution 150 Merino Bottoms
Full-length side zippers are recommended, for throwing on top of all of your layers.
Recommended: Black Diamond Stance Belay Pant
2 Duffle Bags – At least one bag should be extremely durable, waterproof, and big – between 90L and 120L. You should feel comfortable leaving it in a puddle for several hours. Remember dry clothes are hot commodities in the mountains! Large enough to fit everything you own, plus what you anticipate buying. Two duffel bags are necessary to fit all your equipment for travel (we don’t recommend checking your backpack, best is to put all gear and backpack into your duffle). Once in country, you can consolidate your gear into one duffel and your backpack. It’s common to leave the second duffel with city clothes and other non-necessary items behind in a locked and secure location that your guide will arrange for you.
Note: For ski expeditions such as the Ecuador Ring of Fire, you can replace one of these duffle bags with a ski/splitboard bag.
Recommended: Black Diamond Stonehauler 90L
Mid-size pack for city days and trekking. Streamlined, neat and lightweight (10-20 liters).
Recommended: Black Diamond Bullet 16 Pack
Climbing Pack: 50-60L
Internal frame pack that is between 50 and 60 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body.
Recommended: Black Diamond Speed 50L Pack
Sleeping Bag (-20°)
Rated to -20º F. Choose an 800+ Fill Premium Goose Down bag. Make certain that the sleeping bag is the right length. DON’T FORGET A COMPRESSION SACK FOR THE SLEEPING BAG.
Recommended: Marmot Col -20°
Inflatable Sleeping Pad
72-inch long inflatable pad required. Make sure you also purchase and bring a repair kit + bag for the sleeping pad.
Recommended: NeoAir Xtherm
Foam Sleeping Pad
Foldable foam sleeping pad for sleeping and using as a sit-pad.
Recommended: Thermarest Z-Lite Sleeping pad
Make sure that they are durable, lightweight + easily adjustable.
Recommended: Black Diamond Pursuit FLZ Trekking Poles
L.E.D. headlamps are required. Make sure they have 3+ bulbs. Bring extra batteries. We highly recommend a tilting lamp.
Recommended: Black Diamond Storm 450
Should carry 70-100 ounces. Must be durable and have a reliable closure system. Recommended: MSR Dromlite 2L with Hydration Tube
Two 1L Nalgene Bottles
Two 1 Liter Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles.
Recommended: Nalgene 1 L wide mouth
Compressible 1-1.5L Bottle
Wide mouth compressible 1-1.5 liter bottle. Optional but strongly recommended. Often used as a designated pee bottle.
Recommended: Nalgene Flexible Cantene
A fully insulated thermos is optional but recommended for warm drinks that help with comfort, hydration, and safety on cold days in the mountains.
Recommended: Thermos STAINLESS KING™ DRINK BOTTLE 24OZ
Plastic Bowl, Mug, and Spoon
A lightweight and compact cookware setup. You’ll want a plastic bowl, mug and spoon.
Recommended Kit: MSR 2-Person Mess Kit
An easily adjustable lightweight helmet that fits with hat and Balaclava. Make sure this is a climbing-specific helmet. *Climbing helmets are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Recommended: Black Diamond Vision Helmet – MIPS
Must have belay loop, gear loops and adjustable leg loops so that you can layer up underneath it. Easy to pack, lightweight + comfortable. *Harnesses are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Recommended: Black Diamond Couloir
Steel crampons with anti-balling plates are required (so that snow does not build-up in the base of your foot). Make sure that crampons have a heel bail and that they fit snugly on your ski or snowboard boots. Crampons are available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Recommended: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons
General Mountaineering Axe
One non-technical climbing axe. The tool should be approx. 55cm- 65cm long and comfortable to hold. *Ice axes are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Recommended: Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe
Locking Carabiner (2)
Small, lightweight locking carabiners are best.
Recommended: Black Diamond LiteForge Screwgate
Non-locking Carabiner (2)
Small, lightweight small carabiners are best, wire-gates are fine.
Recommended: Black diamond HotForge Carabiner
Pear Shaped Carabiner (x2)
A Pear Shaped HMS carabiner.
Recommended: Black Diamond RockLock Screw Gate Carabiner
Light, easy to use + simple. Should have teeth/grooves for skinny ropes.
Recommended: Black Diamond ATC Alpine Belay Device
7mm Accessory Cord
7mm Accessory Cord used to create a personal anchoring system to use in technical terrain.
- Passport (with visa, if necessary)
- 2 luggage locks (TSA compliant)
- Non-cotton underwear
- Wag bags, 1 per night camping as to leave no trace
- Stuffsacks: assorted sizes, for organizing your clothes and gear
- Sunscreen: SPF 30 (or higher)
- Lip balm with SPF 15 (or higher)
- Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, Ibuprofen, Cough Drops, Moleskin, Pepto-bismol, Imodium, Personal Medications)
- 3-4lbs of Snack food (a variety of snack food, some whole food, some bars, some gels)
- Hand Warmers
- Face Mask
- Hand Sanitizer
Alpenglow is the best
“I’ve been climbing with Alpenglow for over ten years. After my first expedition, I knew I’d found the best team. I feel like I’m a member of the Alpenglow family, and have come to know and love many of their guides, office staff, and programs. Alpenglow is truly the best!”