Khan Tengri is a beautiful, pyramid-shaped peak on the border between China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The name translates as King Heaven. It is counted among 5 seven-thousanders of the former Soviet Union required to claim the title of Snow Leopard.
It was considered to be the highest peak of the Tien Shan until Peak Pobeda (Jengish Chokusu) was measured. Its altitude is controversial, some sources do not take into consideration glacial cap on top lowering its altitude from 7010 to 6995 m. If we accept the higher value it is the northernmost seven-thousander in the world. As such it is rather cold and thinner air compared to other seven-thousanders.
Usually it is climbed from the north side in Kazakhstan along a steep ridge leading to Peak Chapayev (Solomatov route 5b – classical northern) and camp 3 where it joins the south route from Kyrgyzstan.
The last part is common to both routes and leads along a west ridge towards the summit. The north route is safer as it offer a lot more protection from avalanches.
However I chose the south route (Progrebetsky route 5a – classic south) to also have access to Peak Pobeda from the same base camp.