Central Tien Shan. Khan Tengri peak (7010 m) climbing from North side.
Pass hopping (heavy trekking) and climbing fotoreport.
Tien Shan - "The Celestial Mountains" is one of the world's biggest and highest (up to 7,439 m - Peak Pobeda) mountain land on the south of Central Asia where virtually all kinds of mountain outdoors are possible - from easy trekking to extremely difficult mountaineering. The entire area keeps ecological purity and untouched wild nature so far.
The marble pyramid of Khan Tengri (7,010 m high) attracts the people's attention for thousands years - it is seen from the ancient Silk Road (exactly the North Face is visible!), which is crossing so-called "Junghar's Gate" on the present-time Kazakh - Chinese border. The climbing of Khan Tengri from North Inilchek glacier via Western Col (5B CC mountaineering) is perfect adventure and requires good physical conditions of participants, previous climbing skill is also strongly recommended.
You can also climb some other interesting peaks at the area (as solely objective or as acclimatization ascent for Khan Tengri) - Semenov Peak (5816 m), Bayankol Peak (5841 m), Marble Wall (6400 m) and some others.
There are 5 different approaches to North Inilchek glacier BC covered here:
Slides by: Nikolay Gonenko. Scanning, image processing and comments: Igor Fedyaev.
to enlarge picture click on thumbnail image
|If you starts from Almaty (the former capital of Kazakhstan), after long (about 7 hrs) army truck driving you get in the Akkol BC site in Bayancol gorge on the China border. Your papers should be checked at the border checkpoint (on the photo)...|
|It is recommended to stay in Akkol BC at least for 1 day to obtain proper acclimatization. You can make simple above 4,000 m climbing out there.|
|This is how Khan Tengri marble pyramid is seen for thousands years from the Silk Road (and Akkol BC of course ;-)...|
|Then, you go aboard helicopter (powerful Mi-8MTV) and in approx. half an hour you get to one of South Inilchek BCs - jump to next step.|
|If you decide go on foot, be prepare for heavy trekking (pass hopping). There are 2 basic approaches there: via Opasniy pass ("Dangerous", 3A CD, 5200 m, ice)- recommended because you can relatively easy climb Peak Semenova (Semenov Peak, 5816 m) from the pass's col, and via The Pass of 11s (Pereval Odinnadtsati, 3A CD, 4850 m, ice). The common part for both passes begins in Bayankol river gorge (you go 1st near old mines). The 1st serious obstacle en route could be the crossing of Bayankol river- follow the "Tadjik way" of river crossing as shown on the photos!|
|Next, you begin gentle climb up to the Bayancol glacier with the Bayancol and Semenov peaks in front of you...|
|The glacier itself is relatively flat with few only crevasses. Keep right before walk on the glacier! The author is sitting at the left corner (editorial note ;-)|
|Then, you go straight forward to the Bayankol Pass (Pereval Bayankolskiy, 1B CD, 4400 m, ice) if your goal is Opasniy Pass or turn left to the Pass of 11s. The Semenov Peak's ridge is seen on the background, at the left corner.|
|The Bayankol Pass is seen as the clearly defined saddle on the glacial hill. The ascent is relatively easy with the only obstacle - small bergshrund near the saddle.|