Khan Tengri is a mountain of the Tian Shan mountain range. It is on the China—Kyrgyzstan—Kazakhstan tripoint, east of lake Issyk Kul. Its geologic elevation is 6,995 m (22,949 ft), but its glacial icecap 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 7,000-metre peak.
Khan Tengri is the second-highest mountain in the Tian Shan, surpassed only by Jengish Chokusu (means Victory peak, formerly known as Peak Pobeda) (7,439 m). Khan Tengri is the highest point in Kazakhstan and the third-highest peak in Kyrgyzstan, after Jengish Chokusu (7,439 m) and Avicenna Peak (7,134 m). It is also the world’s most northern 7,000-metre peak, notable because peaks of high latitude have a shorter climbing season, generally more severe weather and thinner air.
Although it is almost 430 m (1,500 ft) lower than its neighbor, Khan Tengri was believed to be the highest peak in the range until Jengish Chokusu was surveyed in 1943 and determined to be higher.
Peter Semenov was the first European to see the Tengri Tag and its peak, the colossal Khan Tengri (in 1857).
The first ascent of the peak was made in 1931 by Mikhail Pogrebetsky’s Ukrainian team through a route from the south (Kyrgyzstan side), then along the west ridge. M. Kuzmin’s team made the first ascent from the north (Kazakhstan side) in 1964. Khan Tengri is one of five peaks that a Soviet mountaineer needed to scale to earn the prestigious Snow Leopard award.
Anatoli Boukreev achieved the first solo speed ascent in 1990.
A team from Kazakhstan made the first winter ascent of Khan Tengri on February 7, 1992; the team included Valery Khrichtchatyi, Viktor Dedi, Yuri Moiseyev, Valdimir Suviga, Aleksandr Savin, Igor Putintsev and Malik Ismetov.
Austrian mountaineer and expedition leader Toni Dürnberger died while descending after having climbed Khan Tengri on 17 August 1992.
In 2004, more than a dozen mountaineers were killed in a large avalanche on the Pogrebetsky route, the most popular route on the mountain.
The peak appears on the Kyrgyz 100 som bill.
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