KYRGYZSTAN | Lenin Peak Travel Journal n.1

In June 2019 I spent 17 days in Kyrgyzstan, a country that I didn’t even know last year, I found out about Kyrgyzstan in August 2018, while looking at some Photography website, when I saw its incredible landscape I started to research and found out that this place was still unknown by so many people, which meant almost no tourist and for me translates in a Timelapse Holy Grail.

Once I decided to visit it I got in touch with various Tour Agency, the only one that for me stood out was Visit Karakol, they had already some experience with professional photographers, in particular with Albert Dros, which was actually how I found them, through his beautiful photos, also he will be travelling with me the first week of the tour.

So, I booked everything and on the 4th of June I got a Turkish Airline plane from Madrid and I went to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, through Istanbul and from Bishkek to Osh by a local airline,

Our First Stop was Lenin Peak, a 7,100m mountain in the south of the country, we drove about 7 hours from Osh to reach the Yurt Base Camp at 3,500m. The drive was pretty spectacular, we passed by stunning valleys and gorgeous mountain formations. The roads in Kyrgyzstan are a bit tricky sometimes, basically, they have been built during the Soviet Union and some of them are maintained regularly, other not that much, so the ride was a bit bumpy at times.

Once we arrived at the Yurt Base Camp, the weather wasn’t great, very cloudy, windy and cold, we couldn’t see the peaks, but instantly I realised that the landscape was something special, before the Base Camp there are green hills full a yellow flowers, ponds and some small lakes, on the left side another mountain with snow on the top and red rocks on the sides and in the background Lenin Peak, I couldn't wait for the weather to clear up and get some unique shots.

So, that day we scouted for a bit, searching for good locations to shoot the next day sunrise and then we went to have dinner, after eating we had gifted with a snowstorm and everything turned white!

Yurt Base Camp 3,500m

Yurt Base Camp 3,500m

The next day we woke up at 4 am, the temperature was around -2C, we dressed up as warm as possible and went to the location we chose the day before. And oh man, the sky was clear, no wind, Lenin Peak all-white due to the snowstorm and the hills with a bit of frost on top. It was INCREDIBLE!

I set up my Slider at the small lake shooting at the reflection of Lenin Peak into the water and set it for 2 hours, meanwhile, I hiked up the hills to see the view to the other side and wow! You could see in the distance the mountain range starting to get some sunlight and low clouds underneath the peaks, I got my 70-200 out and start timelapse! WHAT A START!

Lenin Peak on the left at Sunrise and Albert Dros shooting the reflection

Lenin Peak on the left at Sunrise and Albert Dros shooting the reflection

In the afternoon we decided to explore a bit the valley on top the Base Camp, our guide hired some horses and we went up for few hours, the day was just incredible, from a snowstorm the day before and -2C in the morning to a sunny day and 20C. The view from the valley was spectacular, we arrived at the destination, almost at the base of Lenin Peak, after a small detour and start shooting, I brought with me the small slider (Rhino ROV Pro) because it’s easier to carry on a horse ride. I put it on the ground and found a nice composition.

The day ended with us shooting a majestic stormy cloud on the mountains from the morning location, I had to hide behind a rock to cover my camera from the strong wind to avoid big shakes. After an hour the wind calmed down and I was able to set up the slider up to the hill for sunset, unfortunately, was too cloudy and the sun didn’t go through, but still, I was very happy with the result!

Lenin Peak has been definitely one of my favourite location from this trip.

To see more of the BTS of the trip check out the Kyrgyzstan Highlight Stories and follow me on Instagram @mattiabicchi

Check out my Timelapse gear: https://kit.com/MattiaBicchi