Mountaineering in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Lying in the northwest frontier of China, The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is called “Xin” for short. With the Tianshan Mountians spanning its east and west as its watershed, the topographical contour of the Region can be divided into the “South Xinjiang” and “North Xinjiang”, which enjoy their salient difference in natural conditions and are enclosed respectively by the great mountain ranges into two giant basin areas. The Altay Shan and Tian Shan in the north Region from a roughly triangular Junggar Basin with Gurbbantung gut Desert in the center of it, while Tarim Basin is an inland Bbasin, encircled by the Pamirs in the west section of east Tianshan and Tibetan Plateau in south Xinjiang. The dry climate brings about the Great Talimarkan Desert expansing above 320,000 square kilometers in the middle of the basin. The Tianshan Mountain Area, generally at the altitude of 3000 to 5000 meters above sea level, is composed of the parallel mountains running east-west, and the basins and valleys are formed by the subsidence of the faults among it, the west end of Capped in snow all year round, the high peaks have produced a lot of glaciers. The main peak of the Tian Shan mountain range is the 7435.3 meter Tomur Feng near the nation boundary. The famous basins and valleys in the mountains, such as Turpan Basin, Yanqi Basin and Ili Valley, claim to be the important cente3r of agriculture and animal husbandry. Lying in the east section fo Tian Shan, with the lowest altitude at 155 meters, Turpan Basin is the lowe4st located in inland China. Its middle section being in China, Altay Shan Range runs northwest-southeast along the north boundary and has an ordinary altitude of 2000 – 3000 meters above sea level. From the west to the east of South Xinjiang are Karalorun Shan, the Kunlan Shan and Altun Shan which are generally 5000 -6000 meters in height.
All over Xinjiang, the alpine snowfields, the gobi deserts, the grassland and oases scatter here and there, producing losts of peculiar natural landscapes. In ancient times, Xinjiang is called “Xiyu” – the Western Region which is a Han Dynasty term ofr the area west of Yumengguan, including what is now Xinjiang and parts of central Asia. In the past, the Silk Road, beginning from Gansu, stretched west along the two different route4s – the south and north after going into Xinjiang. On the raod, many historical remains characteristic of the Han and Tang dynasty civilization in ancient Chinba are left over. As multinational region, Xinjiang, in its long course of historic development, enjoys lots of itts distinctive national customs and scenic beauty and leaves over many precious cultural relics, in which numerous archaeologists and tourists take a great interest.
With rapid development of transportation, a railway system leading to every place all over the country has been built up. Lanzhou – Xinjiang Line being the mainstay, the railway line carry you to Lanzhou and Xinjiang in the easy, the city of Korla in the south. Russia and Kazakhastan in the west by passing Alataw Shan Pass. The civil aviation system is open to air service, leading to the major cities at home and abroad as well as every place of strategic importance in the Region. The traffic and convenient facilities in the south provide favorable conditions for mountain climbing, exploration, scientific investigation as well as tourism.