The Snow Leopard Award
The snow leopard is an elusive animal from which the name of a coveted mountaineering award was adopted. The Snow Leopard Award originated as a Soviet Mountaineering Award, which was given to alpinists who summited the five Snow Leopard peaks. These are some BIG mountains contained in a few countries of which you may not even know their exact geographic location. Tian Shan, Pamir, the Snow Leopard peaks are in these mountain ranges, amongst the highest and wildest on Earth. If you are into climbing mountains and big adventure, these mountains are probably for you.
6600m on Pik Lenin
Pik Lenin (7134m) is probably the most attainable of the Snow Leopard Peaks. Over the past 2 years I have led a pair of Mountain Madness expeditions to this Pamir peak. The mountain is often used as training for other higher mountains and as a stepping stone to 8000m. As such, Lenin is often compared to Aconcagua though, make no mistake, Lenin is a much different experience. On Lenin, there is a bit of a trek to get into Base Camp at 14,000 ft. After that however, the climb is entirely climbing through snow and ice. The first section, particularly strenuous, from Advanced Base Camp to Camp 1, weaves through massive crevasses with snow bridges that will raise your eyebrows and drop your stomach. Check out my Lenin Trip Report and the Mountain Madness Expedition Page for more information about that climb. From high on Pik Lenin, on a clear day, you can view many high mountains including a couple of the other Snow Leopard peaks - Pik Korzhenevskaya and Pik Communism.
Tino on the summit of Lenin with Lenin himself
|Pik Korzhenevskaya; Photo Credit 1|
Pik Communism (left) and Pik Korshenevskaya (right) in the background (as seen from Pik Lenin)
|Pik Communism; Photo Credit 2|
|Mi8 Helicopter; Photo Credit 3|
|Khan Tengri; Photo Credit 4|
|Pik Communism; Photo Credit 5|
If this massive undertaking is something that interests you let me know and let's make it happen together.
1. By AlpenEast - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51867732. Pik Communism (wikipedia)CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=553053
3. By Vsevolod Aladyshkin -http://www.airliners.net/photo/Baltic-Airlines/Mil-Mi-8/1342729/L/, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16397364
4. By Chen Zhao - originally posted to Flickr as 云开现真容 / cleared, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8723891
5. CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=553053