Pamir Virgin Summits Expedition with EWP

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Tien Shan Virgin Summits

Pamir Virgin Summits Expedition with EWP

Kyrgyzstan Map | 2000 Report | 2001 Pictures | 2003 Report | 2008 Picture Gallery

The EWP Virgin Summit programmes have now been running for 18 years. Over this period many mountain enthusiast have shared with us the excitement of discovering new mountain ranges, exploring them and finding ways up to their unclimbed tops. For many this exploration provides some of the most exciting types of adventure possible. Our team of experienced mountaineers and support staff invite you to explore more of Central Asia's magnificent ranges. We have visited and reconnoitered new areas and we can now confidently offer you the opportunity to visit these new areas and share in the excitement of their exploration.

As the areas and summits in the Tien Shan are slightly lower and more accessible than the areas of the Pamir previously visited we have shortened the trip to 15 days (16 with travel from the UK). To get an idea of what we have in store please see: 2008 Picture Gallery

The summits targetted vary considerably in grade and the summit choice will depend on the ability of the team members. With bigger groups we can divide the groups by their aspirations. As a general rule we tackle summits, if possible, by safe and non-serious routes, typically of French Alpine grade PD. Most of the climbing will involve easy rock scrambling and some snow and ice. Although a fairly flexible approach is adopted throughout the programme the guides will have the final decision as regards how ascents are made and there will be at least one guide (or assistant guide) for every team of 4 climbers.

Team members will be expected to carry their own equipment in the mountains except for days where horse support will be available. If advanced camps need to be established they may also be required to help carry some communal equipment such as tents, ropes and food. The ascents are very much a team effort. Applicants should be confident about their ability to walk and do easy climbs in crampons up steep snow and easy ice and to carry their fair share of equipment*, to pitch tents in bad weather and to help with catering at the higher camps.

* In general the support staff and guides will carry a fairly large proportion of the communal equipment where this is logistically possible.

At base camp there will be a mess tent with a table and stools and a cook. At higher camps guides will organise cooking but team members may be expected to help out. At all stages of the expedition food will be prepared by the support team (though in bad weather at high altitudes you may have to help out with the cooking). Food will be mainly brought in from Bishkek. At base camp a cook will prepare meals using a wide variety of fresh ingredients. All participants are invited to make up their own personal goody-pack of snacks, additives and spices that they particularly enjoy.

Some communal equipment and food will be brought out from the UK and we request that all participants reserve some of their hold luggage weight allocation for this. This should not weigh more than about 3kg per person, full details will be sent in the predeparture information.

Accommodation will be in a small, private hotel in Bishkek. At base camp there will be a mess tent and group members will sleep in comfortable two man double skin-tents (one person per tent). On the ascent high altitude 2 or 3 man tents will be used.

Our expedition leaders will be led by Andrew Wielochowski who has experience of many first ascents on major Central Asian summits. There will be assistant guides all with high altitude experience. The group size will be limited to about 12 climbers including the Russian guides supporting our group. On the climbs there will be one guide to every group of three or four climbers. Each group will make its decisions independently and democratically as far as is possible. There are several virgin summits accessible from our base camps so it might be possible to work on two mountains independently at the same time. At base camp there will be a cook and staff trained in first aid along with emergency medical equipment.

Mountain weather is variable; bad weather and poor snow conditions are possible. Day time temperatures at base camp should be above 15°C; night temperatures may drop well below zero. Good equipment for cold conditions and snow and ice climbing is essential, i.e. well-insulated boots, duvet jacket, mitts, harness, ice axe, crampons and ski poles, 4 season sleeping bag* and a medium size rucksack (70 litre minimum). A full kit list will be given with the predeparture information.
* Or 3 season with liner.

Climbing above 4000m requires good physical fitness and health it is advisable to consult your doctor prior to booking to discuss this. Diamox may be taken as an aid on the climb. Although hygiene is good the change in diet may cause some stomach problems. No special inoculations are required.

There will be either a radio at the base camp or a satellite telephone for use in emergencies.

A visa is required and may be obtained on entry, there will be a further cost associated with obtaining this.

Virgin Summits 2007
virgin summit
A taste of things to come
virgin summit
On a virgin summit
virgin summits 2007
Day walk from Base Camp
Osh market
Spice seller
virgin summit
Unclimbed summit
Nura River
Crossing river

The following itinerary is intended as a working guide only and it is subject to variation as a result of local conditions, weather and governmental restrictions. We reserve the right to alter (lengthen or shorten) the trip at any time if necessary. Timetables are altered occasionally and it may be necessary to vary our itinerary to adapt to these changes.

Day oneArrive early in Bishkek and depart to Naryn. Night in guest house or camping.
Day twoContinue to base camp.
Days 3-12 Exploring and Climbing
Day 13 Pack up base camp and start on return journey.
Day 14 Return to Bishkek. Night in **** hotel.
Day 15 Depart.

July - early Auugust

All transport, food and accommodation. Tents, mountain guides and cook. Climbing permits.

Passport, insurance and visas.

Between 1995 and 2003 EWP groups made the ascents of 30 unclimbed summits:
3 in the Tien Shan
17 in Muzkol Pamir
10 in Kurumdy area
In total 5 virgin six thousanders have been climbed.

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