Yes, #snowLeopard, it is a big cat in the mountains but it is also a title given by the
Russian Mountaineering Federation to those who have climbed all 5
peaks above 7000m in the former Russian republics.
Outside the #Himalayas and #Karakorums there are only 5 peaks above 7000m in the world. They are all in the former Soviet Republics.
There are no mountains outside Asia higher than 7000m.
Originally there were only 4 peaks but one, #KhanTengri was 6995 m but with snow cap it is 7010m so it is included.
I was trying to do some of the 7 summits peak and I met a Polish/British climber who introduced me to this series/list.
We planned a climb together of #PikLenin which is considered the easiest of the 5. Note the communist sounding name of the mountain.
After the breakup of the Soviet Union, most of the mountains were renamed to local names, some went through several naming rounds.
See dashburst.com/cozylaye… for a similar exercise in #Alaska which coincidentally was also part of Russia.
While we were there a #skyrace was organized there.
It is a race where runners adjust to altitude for several weeks and
then try to climb the peak in one day. The winner usually running it
in 5 hrs or less. An impressive feat.
Due to weather, we didn't summit, also the race was diverted to a nearby peak. So, I was introduced to the term #skyrunning and the groups that do it. Something for me to try in future :)
The Sky Running association had wanded the trail with their flags which made our job easier :)
I love Pik Lenin and Kyrgyzstan. The trek from #baseCamp to #advancedBaseCamp the #landscape turns from green lush fields to red rocks to gravel to mud and finally to snow.
The first picture has all the elements plus a rainbow.