Snow Leopard award
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The Snow Leopard award (Russian: Снежный барс) was a Soviet mountaineering award, given to very experienced climbers. It is still recognised in the Commonwealth of Independent States. To receive this award, a climber must summit all five peaks of 7000m and above located in the former Soviet Union.
In Tajikistan's Pamir Mountains there are three Snow Leopard peaks, Ismail Samani Peak (formerly Communism Peak) 7,495 m (24,590 ft), Peak Korzhenevskaya 7,105 m (23,310 ft), and Ibn Sina Peak (formerly Lenin Peak) 7,134 m (23,406 ft) on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border. In the Tian Shan there are two Snow Leopard peaks, Jengish Chokusu (formerly Peak Pobeda) 7,439 metres (24,406 ft) in Kyrgyzstan (divided by the border with China), and Khan Tengri 7,010 m (22,998 ft) on the Kyrgyzstan-Kazakhstan border.
Khan Tengri's geologic elevation is 6,995 m (about 22,950 ft.) but its glacial cap rises to 7,010 m. For this reason, it is considered a 7000m peak.
In order of difficulty, Peak Pobeda is by far the most difficult and dangerous, followed by Khan Tengri, Ismail Samani Peak, Peak Korzhenevskaya, and Lenin (Ibn Sina) Peak.
There are more than 600 climbers, including 31 women, who have received this award since 1961 till 2012.
- Boris Korshunov (Russia, Moscow) - 9 times Snow Leopard (1981 – 2010).
- Boris Korshunov (Russia, Moscow) - last Award at the age of 69
- Denis Urubko (Kazakhstan, Almaty) - all 5 ascents in 42 days of one year (summer 1999).