Every mountain lovers’ dream
The Tien Shan mountains are a large system of mountain ranges in Central Asia which is also known as “celestial mountains.” It is largest in Asia (length 2800 kms; widest section being 800 kms) which contains over 88 major mountain ranges with 40 peaks over an altitude of 6000 metres. It is not only limited to Kyrgyzstan; it lies in other countries as well however most of the portion is in Kyrgyzstan only. It lies to the north and west of the Taklamakan Desert and directly north of the Tarim Basin in the border region of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and northwest China. In the south, it links up with the Pamir mountains and to the north and east, it meets the Altai mountains of Mongolia. The Tien Shan is home to the Schrenk’s Spruce forests at altitude of over 2000 metres and the lower slopes have unique natural forests of wild walnuts and apples.
The tallest peaks in Tien Shan mountains are a central cluster of mountains forming a knot, from which ridges extend along the boundaries between China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan; these peaks are named as Pobeda Peak (Victory peak) and Khan Tengri which sits above an altitude of 7000 metres – 7345 metres and 7010 metres respectively; the highest peak in the Tien Shan is Jengish Chokusu, 7439 metres. For those who love to explore the peaks, it is the perfect one for the adventurous mountain climbers to try.
Tien Shan range offers something for every kind of climber
The looks of the Tien Shan mountains is lucrative enough for the mountain lovers to make them climb it again and again. The range is such that it is good for any kind of climber so you need not to be a professional climber or trekker to experience the beauty and glory of Tien Shan; there is something for all here. The total area of the Tien Shan glaciers is some 3900 square miles of which approximately 4/5ths is in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The glaciers are usually fed by snowfall or by snow avalanches from the surrounding slopes. The position of the Tien Shan mountains in the centre of Eurasia governs its sharply continental climate, characterized by great extremes of temperatures in summer and winter.
The characteristics of flora in the Tien Shan vary according to the distinct zones of elevation with lots of diversity. The most common landscape in the Tien Shan is steppe which occurs at elevations from 1050 metres and 3350 metres. The forests of the Tien Shan alternate with steppes and meadows; they are found on the northern slopes and range between elevations of about 1500 and 3000 metres. However the lower slopes of the outer ranges, deciduous forests are found which comprises of maple and aspen with extensive admixtures of wild fruit trees (apple and apricots).