About Lenin Peak and preparations
Let's talk with one of our guides about Lenin Peak, preparation and equipment. But first, let’s get to know Ivan Mysiv better and find out how his love for the mountains appeared in his life.
Ivan, how long have you been going to the mountains? Where did it all start?
I started hiking in the mountains since moving to Almaty in 2018. I started walking actively, no matter how strange it may sound, from the beginning of 2020, just when quarantine was declared in Almaty, and throughout the world, due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Tell us about your ranks.
At the moment I have a 2nd sports category with an excess in Mountaineering; in November 2023 I plan to graduate from a school of mountaineering instructors in Almaty. In the season 2022, 2023 I worked as a guide on Lenin Peak.
Which peak was the most memorable? Why?
The summit of Lenin Peak in 2022 was remembered most of all; I was struck by the scale, grandeur, complexity, and people.
Let's talk about Lenin Peak.
Which peaks are best to go to before Lenin Peak to understand what awaits you?
This could be the same Elbrus in the summer, or lower mountains, but which you can go to in winter, for example, the mountains in Almaty or Bishkek whose height is about 4000 meters, in winter you can experience all the conditions of winter mountaineering on them, just such conditions are waiting for you at Lenin Peak.
How to prepare for climbing (training, nutrition?
The best training for being a good climber is to walk in the mountains. But not everyone has this opportunity. Seriously, any activity related to cardio is suitable (running, swimming, cycling, gym, climbing wall, etc.), it is important that these workouts are constant, not a month before the expedition, but constant physical activity for several years.
Nutrition is also a very important issue, and a very individual issue, the main point in my opinion is that you need to try to eat more protein foods with low fat content, balance is important here - you need to eat so much food so that the energy it gives you completely spent throughout the day and did not accumulate excess energy as fat, since it is very difficult for people with excess body weight on such expeditions.
Basic set of equipment. What should you buy before climbing?
Everything is standard here:
What to eat during the ascent? Your recommendations.
Usually in the base and first camps you are fed very well and the issue of food does not arise. Above, in camps 2 and 3, everything can be very individual, some get freeze-dried food, some live on sweets, some cook porridge, some carry sausage and lard with them. I would recommend taking a little bit of everything and already on the first trip to understand what suits you best. This is precisely why it is recommended to have experience in mountain climbing before Lenin Peak, so that a person already knows what he will eat at altitude.
We are often asked: Why is the program 21 days, can I go in 7-10 days, I’m a sports person, I run marathons? Is it possible to reach such a height in a week?
21 days is the standard number of days for normal acclimatization of rest and climbing; the body needs time to readjust to new living conditions. You can climb in a week if you live in the mountains at altitude, train and climb all year round. Otherwise, any athlete who comes to Lenin Peak needs time to adapt to the conditions, the loads, and the altitude.
Where does the hardest part begin when climbing Lenin Peak?
The hardest part, in my opinion, begins on the day of the summit assault, usually a very early wake up at an altitude of 6100 m. I think there is nothing more difficult to get dressed, get ready, have breakfast and get out of the tent in cold and windy weather from a warm sleeping bag.
What are the main difficulties when climbing?
From my experience, if a person trains and prepares, then the main difficulty is 90% psychological in nature; people often refuse to climb because it is difficult for them to be in extreme conditions for a long period of time.
What is the reason for not to get to the top.
There are several reasons. The first and probably the most uncontrollable thing is the weather, Lenin Peak is still a high mountain and the weather sometimes deteriorates, and deteriorates for a long period of time. You can wait for weeks for a window of good weather, but never get it. The second one depends more on you, you may not be prepared physically, psychologically, or the reason could be some minor defect in the equipment, for example, you took the wrong size boots for your feet on your first outing.
Lenin Peak turns out to be not as simple as many people think. Your advice to those who dream of Lenin peak in 2024
The first thing is, of course, to evaluate your mountain experience, your physical fitness and make the final decision that you are ready and go.
Secondly, decide on the time, the company, the guide, whether you are going in a group with a guide or yourself with a guide.
Third, check your equipment and hit the road.
Book your ascent to Lenin peak with Ivan Mysiv