Peak Khan Tengri

       
Peak Khan Tengri

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Khan Tengri or Hantengri Peak is a mountain of the Tian Shan mountain range. It is located on the China—Kyrgyzstan—Kazakhstan border, east of lake Issyk Kul. Its geologic elevation is 6,995 m (22,949 ft), but its glacial cap rises to 7,010 m (22,999 ft). For this reason, in mountaineering circles, including for the Soviet Snow Leopard award criteria, it is considered a 7000-metre peak. The name "Khan Tengri" literally means "King Heaven" in Uyghur and possibly references the deity Tengri. In some other local languages, it is known as Khan Tangiri Shyngy, Kan-Too Chokusu, Pik Khan-Tengry, and Hantengri Feng.

Khan Tengri is the second-highest mountain in the Tian Shan, surpassed only by Jengish Chokusu (formerly known as Peak Pobeda) (7439 m). Khan Tengri is the highest point in Kazakhstan and the third-highest peak in Kyrgyzstan, after Jengish Chokusu (7,439 m) and Pik Lenina (7,134 m). It is also the world's most northern 7000 m peak, notable because peaks of high latitude have a shorter climbing season, generally more severe weather and thinner air.

Khan Tengri is a massive marble pyramid, covered in snow and ice. At sunset the marble glows red, giving it the Kazakh name "Kan Tau" (blood mountain). Located just across the South Ingelchek (or Inylchek) glacier, 16 km north of Jengish Chokusu, Khan Tengri was originally thought to be the highest peak in the Tien Shan because of its dramatic, steep shape, compared to the massive bulk of Jengish Chokusu. This perception was probably also due to Khan Tengri's visibility across the plains of southern Kazakhstan while Jengish Chokusu remains out of view of civilization. Khan Tengri is the highest peak in the rugged Tengri Tag subrange, also known as the Mustag, that also contains peaks Chapaeva and Gorkova. Anatoli Boukreev considered Khan Tengri perhaps the world's most beautiful peak because of its geometric ridges and its symmetry.
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