From South Inylchek Base Camp
When I think about how I ended up in Kyrgyzstan it was somewhat by chance. Originally the plan had been to head to the Chinese side of K2 via the Silk Road, which descends into Western China from this former Soviet Republic. My tour operator cancelled however, and I was left holding a plane ticket to Bishkek and a month to figure out how to get to some big mountains. Not to despair. It turns out that Kyrgyzstan is covered with the things, and in the east of the country lie the legendary Tian Shan - which translates from Chinese as "Sky Mountains".
At the very border of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Xinjiang Province, is Khan Tengri - one of the mot beautiful mountains in the world. It is also called "Khan Too" by the locals, which translates as "Blood Mountain", in reference to the southwestern face glowing red in the evening.