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Khan-Tengri peak.

The highest peaks of Kazakhstan.

“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news” 

John Muir.

Adventures in mountains of Central Tien-Shan.

Кhan-Tengri («Lord of the Spirits”) is considered one of the most beautiful peaks of the central Tien-Shan. А picture-perfect pointed pyramid, it can be seen from almost-everywhere. Khan-Tengri is the northernmost 7000 m high mountain in the world.
The top of this beautiful mountain is completely marmoreal. 1200 years passed since the times when Khan-Tengri was for the first time mentioned in Chinese chronicles. The first man to climb it was the Ukrainian alpinist M. Pogrebetsky in 1931. He climbed along the southern slope of the pyramide.
Even nowadays this route is considered to be the classical. Khan-Tengri is locates in the distant region on the border of Kazakhstan with China and Kyrgyzstan. Many tourists come to the base camps at the foot of Khan-Tengri using helicopters.
The ascent to its top is the goal for many alpinists in the whole world. At least fourteen days are required to reach the top. The area around the mountain contains many 6000 m high peaks including Marble Wall (6400 m).
For a walking tour or for horse-riding, the areas near Bayankol Mountain are more favourable. This is the area of alpine valleys with beautiful lakes and rivers. Because this area is close to the Chinese border you require special permission for the entrance.
Similarly, to climb the mountains in this area you need a permit. The mountain has long been wreathed in legend. It is still called Tengritag (Gods mountain) and Kantau (the bloody mountain), from the red glow of the peak at sunset.
This fаmоus реаk is the highest point in Kazakhstan (7,010 m) and the most northerly 7,000er in the world The mountain sits on the border of three states - China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The summit of Khan-Tengri is difficult to reach and therefore extremely interesting to bothmountaineers and lovers of adventureholidays.
The northern part of the mountain  in Kazakhstan. It is many а mountaineer’s dream to climb the north fасе of Khan Tengri. It normally takes 6 - 14 days to reach the summit, although Kazakhstani mountaineer Denis Urubko set а world record of12 hours 21 minutes at the intemational Khan Tengri festival. 
The first ascent was made in 1931 by the Soviet mountaineer Mikhail Pogrebetsky.  The Tien Shan mountains extend for over 1,500 km in south-eastern Kazakhstan. The highest summit, Pobeda Peak (7 439 m), in Kyrgyzstan, is as challenging as an 8,000er. Looking down from а helicopter, you can see magical emerald-green tongues of ice.
These are the longest glaciers - north and south Inylchek (56 km). Lake Mertzbacher was formed where they meet; it was discovered in 1903 by the German explorer Baron von Mertzbacher. The Bayankol region (next tо Narynkol) is а land of Alpine valleys, lakes and rivers rarely visited by tourists.
А special permit is required to enter the central Tien-Shan due to its proximity to the Chinese border. In the ridge of Central Tien-Shan, between the snow-capped Shatyr peak (H-6637) and a wide trapeze­shaped top of peak Chapayev (H-6371) there stands an amazingly beautiful pyramid covered with a snow and ice blanket.
Very few mountains can compare to the snow giant of Khan-Tengri in terms of beauty. It is not easy to describe its beauty in words. It is breathtakingly beautiful at sunset, when the neigh­bouring mountains sink into darkness, and only Khan- Tengri, being the high­est among them, is reddened by sunset light, and the shadows of clouds make it look like the red streams flow down the slopes of the mountain.
From time immemorial, local people have called it Кап-Too, where "kan" means blood and "too"a mountain in Turkic. The first scientific data on the mountain was collected in the mid of the XIX century. In 1856-57, a well- known Russian geographer and trav­eller P.P. Semyenov-Tien-Shanskiy saw Khan-Tengri and described it during his outstanding trip to Tien-Shan.
He made the following entry in his diary: “When we reached the mountain of the gate at around one o'clock in the afternoon, we were flabbergasted at an unexpected sight. To the south of where we were, there stood the most spectacular mountain ridge I have ever seen.
It was made of, from top to bottom, snow giants, I managed to ac­count around 30 to the right and the left of where I was standing. The entire ridge along with the gaps between the mountain peaks was covered with one single veil of eternal snow.
Amidst these giants towered one, visibly higher snow-capped pyramid, which seemed to double the height of the neighbouring mountains. It was the peak of Khan-Tengri." The description of a highland country, made by P.P. Semyenov-Tien- Shanskiy, drew the attention of fellow countrymen, foreign researchers, and climbers.
Most climbers reach the base camp located at the foot of Khan-Tengri by helicopter. During a 30-minute flight, one can enjoy an amazing view of Central Tien-Shan. An Austrian climb­er and geographer Mertsbakher, who studied the region at the break of the century, was struck by the greatness and inaccessibility of Khan-Tengri, tow­ering almost 3, 000 meters high over the world's second highest glacier Inyl- chek.
A 1000-meter high marble pyra­mid, being almost regularly shaped, crowns the top of this giant. "A man will never set his foot here", exclaimed the famous Mertsbakher after seeing Khan- Tengri. And he was wrong.
In 1931, the Soviet climbers were the first ones to conquer the Lord of the Sky. The uniqueness of this ridge is that its 3000- kilometer northern slope is the longest among other slopes with this kind of exposition (the most difficult and rough ones to climb) among all 7000- meter high mountains of the world, including the Himalayas.
During a 77- year old history of alpinism, ten routes with the highest degree of complexity were made on the slope of Khan-Tengri. Almost all of them won gold medals in different championships. Till today, this record has not been broken.
Climbing Khan-Tengri is the goal of many climbers. It takes 2 weeks to reach the top, including acclimatization outings. Almaty is the nearest large city, from where one can get to the heart of the Lord of the Sky. Undoubtedly, climbing the mountain of this height requires good physical training.
But even visiting this region and just look­ing at the majestic peak of Khan-Tengri, the highest point of Kazakhstan, will make an unforgettable impression on anyone for the rest of his life. This fаmоus реаk is the highest point in Kazakhstan (H-7010) and the most northerly 7,000er in the world. 

Khan-Tengri peak.Khan-Tengri peak. Peak of Khan-Tengri. Sarydzhaz ridge. View from lake Tuzkol. Peak of Khan-Tengri. Sarydzhaz ridge. View of the natural boundary Dzhaman-Echkilitash. Kyrgyzstan.

Authority:
The encyclopedia of Kazakhstan, 1996. and the material for this page is taken from the printed edition."Guide to Kazakhstan". 

Photos
Alexander Petrov.