Journey One / Chapter 16

Tian Shan & Eastern Pamirs

January 2016

Difficult travels through Tian Shan and Pamir mountains, some of the greatest and most remote mountain ranges in the world.

Tian Shan is a large mountain system located in the Central asia. Great and remote peaks are surrounded by vast steppes, deserts and other mountain ranges. China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan all border the range, while the country of Kyrgyzstan being in the heart of it - almost whole of this mountainous country is located within the range. That is travel around kyrgyztan - valleys change for mountain passes over and over. Tian Shan means heaven or celestial mountains.

Southern neighbours of the Tian Shan are Pamir mountains. While most of their territory lies within Gorno-Badakhstan Autonomous Region in Tajikistan, its Easternmost part, separated by Karakorum Highway, lies within China. It is here where it meets Kun Lun Mountain Range that borders Tibetian plateau with border peaks like Kongur Tagh (7,649 m) and the famous Muztagh Ata (7,546 m).

Both Tian Shan and Pamir mountains range to highest mountain ranges in the world, and both form major part of continuing spectrum of mountains that starts with Himalayas in India and ends with Altay Mountains in Mongolia. Passing through them are some of the most remote and difficult roads and mountain passes, but they offer spectacular, even otherworldly views for travellers brave enough to wonder through them.