The Pamir-Alai mountains
Kommunizma Peak (7.495 m)
Korzhenevskoy Peak (7 105 m)
Lenina Peak (7,134 m)
The Pamirs are the highest upland in the ex-USSR. Roughly rectangular in shape, they are 280 km long north to south and about 420 km from West to East, totalling 90,000 square kilometres. The Pamirs are located mainly in Tadzikistan, the northern slopes of the Trans-Alai stretching to Kyrgyzstan, and its southern and Eastern outskirts continuing to Afganistan and China.
Mt.Zamok, Pamir region
Its natural borders are the Trans-Alai ridge, with Peak Lenin (7134 m) and the valleys of the Kyzyl-Su and Surkhob rivers to the North, the Sarykol ridge to the East, the Pamir and Pyandzh rivers to the South and again the Pyandzh river and Western spurs of the Darvaz and Peter the First range to the West.
The Pamirs are divided in two halves by naturally occurring mountain features. The Eastern Pamirs are a mountainous upland of Tibetan type, with broad flat high - altitude deserts at 3500 to 4500m. Above these are sloping ridges, such as the Muzcol ridge, reaching hights of about 6000m. Most of the year they covered with snow and ice. The Western Pamirs are characterised by deep gorges, rough rivers and high ridges averaging 5000-6000m and above. Normally they are covered with snow and glaciers.
The Pamir ridges run predominantly West-East and include: the Trans-Alai ridge with pik Lenin (7134m) as its highest summit, Peter the First ridge with Pik Moskva (6785m), Darvaz ridge with Peak Arnavad (6083m), Vanch ridge and Yazgulem ridge with Pik Revolutsii (6974m).
The snow line rises from 3860m in the west to 5240m in the east. Nowadays glaciers covers 11% of the Pamir's territory. There are more than 7000 glaciers here, the main ones being the Fedchenko glacier (77 km long), Grumm-Grzhimailo (about 37 km), Garmo (30 km).
The Pamirs are the real paradise - an "Elysium" for mountaineers and trekkers.
The north-western Pamirs is the district preferred by climbers because it contains three of the four seventhousanders of ex-USSR, 110 of the 135 sixthousenders, endless summits over 5000m and lots of unclimbed routes. There are over 600 classified routes here, mainly of mixed character, from grades 2 to 6.
In the 1970s the first International Mountaineering Camp was established at Achik-Tash on the Northern side of Peak Lenin. Further camps were opened on Fortambek glacier for tackling Peak Kommunizma and on the Moskvina glacier for Peak Evgenii Korzhenevskoy.
The optimal period for climbing in this region is July-August. Russian climbers did the winter ascent, usually in February, since the mid-1970s.