Gongga Shan , also known as Minya Konka, is the highest mountain in Sichuan, China. It is situated in the Daxue Shan mountain range. While wildlife on the grasslands have been deeply affected by the changes in Tibet, remote mountain peaks and valleys often serve as refuges of isolation where wildlife remains abundant. The towering peak called Minya Konka is not part of the Himalayan range, which ends far to the west of Sichuan, this peak rises to an awesome 7556 meters (24,900 feet), making it the highest peak east of the Himalayas. Its slopes were explored by the botanist and adventurer Joseph Rock in 1929 and first climbed by a four man American team (including members of the Harvard Mountaineering Club and a Chinese-American) in 1932.
The Tibetan population in P.R.China distribute in Tibet Municipality, West SiChuan Province, South QinHai Province and Northwest YunNan Province. In geography, Da Xue ('Big Snow') mountains which dominated by the 24,179-foot Minya Konka, is part mountain of Hengduan cordillera (means “transaction”). Hengduan cordillera span in West SiChuan Province, South QinHai Province and Northwest YunNan Province. It’s similar to Himalays, Kunlun mountains, TiShan mountains. This area (HengDuan cordillera ) is the most beautiful area in China. The most of local resident is Tibetan, and other is YI nationality, Han nationality (Chinese), Qiang nationality, about 15-16 nationality.
The Tibetan exists three main filiation: Kham, Lhasa Tibetan and AnDuo Tibetan. The Kham live in Hengduan cordillera area and east Qinghai Province, they are nomad and the bridge of Chinese to Lhasa Tibetan, so they are good at business such as Horse Gang. The Anduo Tibetan live in north Tibet area “QiangTang”, the population is the least, they are the original Tibetan, all they are sheepherder (yak herder). Lhasa Tibetan live in traditional Tibet area, is the center of Tibetan culture and religion such as Lhasa and Rikaze. The economy mode is agriculture and herd.
Minya Konka area, this region of eastern Tibet, now a part of Sichuan province, is known to Tibetans as Kham. The accessibility of these mountains, coupled with their location deep in the heart of Tibet, makes the expedition a unique opportunity for trekking in a pristine area that is rich in Tibetan culture.
Minya Konka peak (This is the traditional English name, the local name is Gongga Shan, Chinese pronunciation ) , is a high snowy peak with narrow ridges, located in the far eastern end of a vast network of north-south ranges that runs through Central China (Hengduan cordillera). The mountain dominates the region in height, as few other peaks surpass 5000 meters. It is visible from Chengdu, Sichuan's capital city, 150 miles northwest of the mountain. The trek to the mountain holds spectacular scenery, winding through towns and hamlets that are seemingly as ancient as the mountains themselves . At 12,600 feet, a 600-year old Buddhist Lamasery (Gompa), rests at the base of the Minya Konka. Minya Konka was the first of two Chinese mountains to be wrongly measured in 1929 with elevations surpassing 30,000 feet. Both Minya Konka and Amne Machin (20,610 ft.) were estimated by American botanical explorer Joseph Rock to be 30,000-footers. The creditable altitude of recent science measurement is 7556 meters. Minya Konka mountain bestrow about 800 sq.km, there are one 7000M peak (main peak), 32 6000M peaks, 120 5000M peaks. About the main peak: Elevation (feet): 24790 , Elevation (meters): 7556 , Range: Tibet and Central China ,Latitude: 29.5667 , Longitude: 101.883 , Difficulty: Major Mountain Expedition ,Best months for climbing: April, May, Oct, Nov. Year first climbed: 1932 (USA NG. Convenient Center: Kanding (now Chinese name, Kham capital), China (previously known as Tatsienlu) . Nearest major airport: Chengdu (6 hours via car, the Kangding airport will be built in 2008/2009).
Being 'the king of Shu Mountains' ('Shu' means Sichuan province), Mt. Gonggashan has an elevation of 7,556 meters, covering an area of about 20,000 Square km. World-famous Hailuogou glacier is embraced inside. If visitors look at the mountain from far, it seems to float above a vast snow-sea. Here, your dream of climbing the Crystal Palace-like glaciers can become true!
Mt. Gonggashan is also called Snow Mountain. It is a mountain capped with snow all year along located in Sichuan Province, standing on the borders of Kangding, Luding and Jiulong counties. Its name came from Tibetan language, meaning the silver-snowing mountain. In that area, Tibetan people and Han people have been living together for many years.
Supreme holy mountain
Gonggashan is hidden in cloud almost all year around as if it were wearing a mysterious veil. So, it is a holy mountain with ice prays. It is a kingdom of animal and plant with above 4880 plant species and more than 400 animal species. The tongues of the glaciers stretch high from the mountain down into the forest as far as 9 kilometers, ending at as low as 2,850 meters above sea level. It possesses virgin forests, snow clod mountains, Grassland, lakes, hot springs waterfalls etc. and is worshipped by the locals as the supreme holy mountain.
What charming glaciers!
The sparkling modern glacier slides from the high and steep ravine. The quiet mountain ridge is adorned with big snowfall into the crystal domes and jade halls. A huge ice-bridge make the visitors seem to enter the Crystal Palace in a myth. All of the glacier waterfalls measure 185.98 square kilometers in size with a vertical drop of 1080 meters. It is the first in Asia, only next to the Great Glacier Waterfall in Canadian Great Glacier Park. Around it there are 71 glacier rivers. Along them, there are various types of spring cold, hot, warm and boiling.
Hailuogou Scenic Spot
Located at the foot of the snow-peak of Mt. Gonggashan, Hailuogou Scenic Spot is celebrated for modern glacier at a height below sea level (most of the glaciers in the world is at a height above sea level). Especially unique large icefall, 1,000 meters in height, over 1,100 meters in breadth. Near the bitterly cold glacier there is a thermal spring maintaining at a temperature of 90 degrees Celsius and a steaming hot thermal-spring falls. At the same time it is both cold and hot, and its range, of temperature is a great disparity. This is really marvelous spectacle of nature.
The Valley has high values of sightseeing and scientific research because it is easy to enter and stay as well as its perfect landscape of ecological system with features of virginity and diversity. The Hailuogou is being concerned by the people both home and abroad.
It may be a dream for many people to climb glaciers. Most of them think glaciers are the places being high, cold, and mysterious and far away, where only few explorers, mountain climbers or scientists can get to. However, the Hailuogou Glacier Park can fulfill their dreams. They will have changes to walk on glaciers. Since the first day of year 2000, the mysterious glacier park, Hailuogou has formally opened to the public, receiving tourists both from home and abroad. It is an important part of the national key scenic spot - Mt. Gonggashan Scenic Spot.
Special things to see
Besides, Luding Bridge in Luding County, national protected historical relic, has worldwide fame. Kangding has been famous for an enchanting song entitled Kangding Love Song. It is hometown of love songs, an important town for tea and horse trade, origin place of Guozhuang dance culture and a shining pearl of the Mt. Gongga Scenic Spot.
There are more places worth mentioning wild Mugecuo Lake, Lianhua Lake the fairy land, Xinduqiao photographer's paradise and endless Tagong Grassland. Dawu is referred to as hometown of Tibetan house art, whose residential houses are splendid and grandeur. They are not royal palaces, but more than royal palaces. Wuxuhai Lake is a jade embedded among the mountains and waters of Jiulong.
For a foreigner, the trip may be a interesting and fresh journey. The local Tibetan and Yi nationality people can speak Chinese, the Yi nationality people live in the south and east region, they have lost their YI nationality language and word. Little of YI nationalit believe of Christianity, there has a Christianity church in Moxi town in the head of Hailuo valley ( trumpet shell valley), which the Chairman Mao had been here in 1936’s Long March.
About the wildlife (I’m a 5-year volunteer of a Chinese NGO: green-river, so I pay attention to the zoology and culture protection ), the isolation of Minya Konka has protected its wildlife from the over-hunting and habitat destruction so common in other areas. But now, the bypast serenity is broken gradually via the “economy developing ”. The swallow valley and Moxi Valley is the most original valley in Minya Konka region. There have many wildlifes and original forest.
The tibetan tea and tsampa (ground parched barley, mixed into a paste with tea and yak butter) is the local Tibetan food especially in herder area. The people in and near Kangding eat food the Chinese style food which can easily done.
Gears： Backpack with water-proof cover、Tent，Sleeping Pads、Sleeping Bag(minus 10)、Flashlights or headlight,Toiletry items 、cap、sunglasses、cameral、film、Water-proof jackets&Trousers、water-proof Boots or Hiking boots、Fleece jacket or vest、Water Bottles ,clean underwear、Plastic garbage bags、socks 、Sunscream、mouth lip and so on。
Notice: Take care of your body when in a high moutain area. If you don't have enough gears,wo have some for rent.