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Kyrgyzstan mountains


Kyrgyzstan is called the land of mountains because it is located between the two most massive mountain systems of Central Asia - the Tian-Shan Mountains (in the north, east and central parts of the country) and the Pamir Mountains (in the south and west of the country). More than fifty per cent of the country lies at elevations higher than eight hundred feet. Most of the territory of the mountain ranges in Kyrgyzstan is covered with snow fields and glaciers but there are several low-land areas such as the Fergana Valley to the west and the Chu Valley to the north.

There are over 88 major mountain ranges in Kyrgyzstan which criss-cross the country, dividing it into many distinct regions, each with its own ecology and microclimate. Most Kyrgyzstan mountain ranges vary in length, forming a part of two of the worlds mountain systems: the Pamirs and the Tien Shan. Kyrgyzstan has many smaller mountain ranges such as: Chatkal, Ak Sheirak, Kok Shaal, Zaalainsky, Ferghana, Keolu, and Talas.

The two great mountain ranges occupy more than 90% of the country: the Tien Shan or Heavenly Mountains stretch from east to west while the Pamirs extend in the south. The Tien-Shan is one of the largest mountain systems over Asia. It is 400 km in width and extends about 2000 km in the latitudinal direction. About 2/3 of the Tien-Shan mountains is located on the territory of Kyrgyzstan. Most of mountain ranges in Kyrgyzstan have typical mountain-glacier "alpine" relief. Kyrgyzstan covers only the most northern part of the Pamirs the northern part of Pamir-Alai and the northern slopes of the Zaalaiskii Ridge. These mountains include the Turkestan and Alai Range and separate the Tien-Shan and the Pamirs. The climate of the Pamirs is sharply continental like in the Tien-Shan but differs from the latter by a comparatively stable weather, larger quantity of sunny days and less humidity.

Kyrgyzstan mountains have three 7000 meter peaks: Lenin Peak, Pobeda Peak and Khan Tengri. Lenin Peak is the second by altitude peak of the Pamirs (after Communism Peak, 7495 m). The central portion of the Tien-Shan, the south-east of Lake Issyk-kul, contains two peaks over 7000 meters (Pobeda and Khan Tengri), 23 peaks higher than 6000 meters including 3 virgin peaks, and 80 more peaks between 5000 and 6000 meters including 14 virgin peaks. The three highest peaks of Kyrgyzstan mountains has already been conquered in relatively recent times but at the same time there are many virgin peaks yet to be climbed, and some mountains are yet to be given names. 

Kyrgyzstan mountains encompass a huge variety of wonderful landscapes: forests of elegant Tian-Shan fir and fragrant juniper and alpine valleys with noisy rivers and glistening glaciers, where birds of prey, yaks, and rare Marco Polo sheep can be found.


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