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Khan-Tengri Peak

Published: 19 may 2014
  The beautiful pyramid of Khan Tengri is without doubt the Jewel of theTien Shan. It is the second highest mountain in this most northerly and remote of the great Asian mountain ranges. Among the local people, the white peaks are known as 'The Mountains of Heaven'.

  Khan Tengri was first climbed by a Soviet expedition in 1931, via theWest Coland West Ridge. Since then, most of its ridges and faces have been climbed - all by Soviet teams.

  The West Ridge of Khan Tengri is a classic route that presents a reasonable objective for competent mountaineers. The ridge rises from theWest 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 theWest Col(6000m). TheColis narrow and heavily corniced and the top of the fixed ropes should be carefully noted. A traverse along theColleads 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.


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