peak Khan Tengri

Tian Shan - peak Khan Tengri area discription

Where China borders on Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan and Tadjikistan the Tien-Shan mountains are lying. Khan-Tengri is one of the most beautiful summits of the Tien-Shan mountain country and of the World. Once you take a look at it you will never forget it. Its regular shape and considerable prominence allow you to recognize it from remote points. It rises up to 7010 m above sea level and has a black rock face on the North side, a silver ice slope on the East and a pinkish marble face on the South. There is the easiest access to the summit along the West ridges, where a normal route goes to the top but it is not a very simple one. On some hard plots there are fix-ropes. It takes 4 nights for an average team to reach the top.

At the foot of Khan-Tengri two glaciers — the North and the South Inylchek — glide over a length of about 70 km. Base Camp is situated on the South Inylchek, about two hours to walk from Khan foot, at an altitude of 4000 m. The place is a rock, ice and snow kingdom, and only at the end of July is it possible to find a score of tiny yellow flowers on the southern slopes.

A climate of the area is rigorous enough and very changeable. The usual time to visit the place is from the July 15 until the August 20, because it is the summer time of the most stable weather. The meteorological statistic shows, that the months of September and October are the ones of the most stable weather all over the year, but the temperature is lower. We climbed on the months there with very good climate conditions and an excellent snow state. Besides the time there is no big crowd at Base Camp and on the way. You have to understand an importance to have your mountaineering background, fitness and equipment suitable to rather severe condition of the region.

Base Camp South Inylchek will be active between 1st July and 10th September 2011!

peak Khan Tengri normal route (from South Inylchek)

Khan Tengri Normal Route (from South Inylchek) description

The West Ridge of Khan Tengri is a classic route that presents a reasonable objective for competent mountaineers. The ridge rises from the West Col, which is very enjoyable, straightforward 'scrambling' for the most part, with steep rocky steps linked with snow patches.

There are only a couple of sections which require more care; such as the vertical rock step of about 50ft at 6,800m and the knife above. In terms of equipment needed once on the route, a single ice axe is sufficient, although the addition of a ski pole might be useful.

From the snow caves (near the West Col) a short snow/ice slope of 40o, which is fixed with rope, leads up to the West Col (6000m). The Col is narrow and heavily corniced and the top of the fixed ropes should be carefully noted. A traverse along the Col leads to the mixed ground of the West Ridge where the angle steepness. The route then follows the West Ridge via a number of small bivouac sites at 6200m, 6400m and 6700m.

Almost the entire ridge is fixed with rope, but these need to be used with caution as their condition and the anchors are variable (the ropes are renewed at the beginning of every summer season by local guides). The route follows the crest of the ridge with snow and scrambling interspersed with steeper rock sections until 6,700m. Here a traverse rightwards across snow slopes reaches a steep rock step of some 20m which is severe in standard.

Above this the route climbs into a snow basin and then traverses out rightwards again to exit onto a short steep knife edged snow ridge of some 50m which is very exposed. This is followed leftwards to a steeper section of mixed ground.

Above this, the fixed rope ends and there remains around 300m of easy snow climbing for half an hour to reach the summit. The true summit is rather difficult to find, being a large flat snow dome, so the summit point is marked by a metal tripod.

The descent from the summit is very quick using the fixed ropes. The snow caves can be reached in about 3 hours.

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1 Guaranteed departure date for guided expedition: 22 July to 11 August
2 Khan Tengri expe full package cost
3 Basic programme for Khan Tengri expedition, 21 days