Namjagbarwa Feng and Gyalha Bairi Feng Mountain
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Namjagbarwa Feng and Gyalha Bairi Feng Mountain
- Museum of Nature (Namjagbarwa Feng) and the Mountain in the shape of a fan (Gyalha Bairi Feng) in Tibet
By 20-01-2017

Namjagbarwa Feng and Gyalha Bairi Feng Mountain

Originating from the snowy peaks and mountains in the west section of the Himalaya Shan Range, the Yarlung Zangbo River travels east straight down the valley on the north slope of the Himalayas in a course of over 1000 kilo-meters and flowes to the east end of the Moun-tain Range. In the place where the four counties of Nyingchi Mainling, Medog and Bomi meet, it suddenly goes south, forming a big U- shaped fiord, in which at 95.0 0E and 29.6 0N stands Namjagbarwa Feng, the 15th highest peak in the world at 7736 meters above sea level. Surround-ing it at 90.0 0E and 29.8 0N is Gyalha Bairi Feng at 7294 meters, which, on the other side of the river, confronting Namjagbarwa Feng at a distance of 20 kilometers away from it.

Raised as a result of the collision of the In-dian plate and the Eurasian plate, the Himalayas streches west-eastward with the middle section raising southward. The 8125-meter Nanga Par-bat Feng and Namjagbarwa Feng tower aloft above the “knot” on both the east and west sides. The Himalayas extend 2400 kilometer from the west to the east, held back by the Nyainqentan-glha Shan running southeast-ward to its north and extruded by the Hengduan Shan running northsouth to its east. Thus, there appeared the Lhasa-Bomi Arcurate Fracutre-Fold Belt on the north side and the Hengduan Shan Fracture-Fold Belt on the east side. The precipitous land fea-tures were therefore formed due to the extremely complicated geological structure.

The Yarlungzangbao Jiang Fiord grows a-long series of fracture belts. The rise of the Tibetan Plateau in different parts correspondingly makes the river in a lower position. The eleva-tion difference between the peaks and river valleys reaches 5000-6000 meters, producing a rare scene of high peaks and deep valleys in the world. Moreover, the drop head of the river is almost 2000 meters from the entrence (at an al-titude of more than 2800 meters) to the exit (over 900 meters). As the river flows downward, the average gradients of the river surface is 10%. Thus, the torrential river roars with rage.

Since the south side of the Great Fiord area faces directly the Indian Ocean, the warm southwest Monsoon may spread northward along the Yarlang Zangbo River, making it rather under the influence of the oceanic climate. High peaks, valleys, abundant precipitation and the warm climate offer a good condi-tion for the vertical distribution of natural geography. Large stretches of dense tropical rain forests cover the Yarlung Zangbo River bank at the bottom of the valley. As one proceeds north along the mountain slope, he will see the uneven broad-leaf trees of various kinds, and then conifer forest groves, alpine shrubs and alpine grassy marshland. In the dense forests with all kinds of plants, there live all sorts of insects and animals of various sizes. Above the snow line there unfolds a sight of clear jade-like ice. It is not exaggerating to say that the Namjagbarwa Feng region deserves to be a rare “ Museum of Nature”, which extends across both the tropical and frigid zones.

To the mountaineers, however, Namjagbarwa Feng proves to be so brutal. Meaning “thunder and lightening burning like fire”, it belongs to synclinal Structure of a short axis slopping north in the double folds. Chiefly made up of gneiss, it consists three mountain ridges-te Nothwest Ridge, the Northeast Ridge and the South Ridg. The Northeast Ridge meanders about 30 kilometers to the Yarlung Zangbo River bank while the six hilltops of over 6000 meters on the ridge line undulate. Two kilometers away from the south Ridge lies Peak Naipung Feng of 7043 meters, the mountain pass between which is called “ the South Col”. Two man-shaped ridges extend south-east and southwest from Naipung Feng. Three snowy peaks, respectively at 6936, 7146 and 7344 me-ters, tower above the Northwest Ridge. Cut, weathered and corroded by snow, the three slope walls of Namjagbarwa Feng become steep rocks and precipices, with the west slope as the extreme. The uncovered bedrocks on the slope wall leaves over lines of gullies formed by snow avalanches while the valleys abound in huge glaciers.

Gyalha Bairi Feng runs east in the shape of a fan. On the south and north-west sides of the main ridge line, numerous tributaries of the ridge multiply, most of which are precipices. Dozens of glaciers develop in the valley. Covered by snow all the year round, the ridge tops tend to be rather open and flat.

Besides the precipitous terrain, affected by the temperature and precipita-tion, frequent snow avalanches occur because the glaciers in the area belong to oceanic glaciers and moves rather fast. The long rainy season starts generally in May and comes to an end in Septmber, in which period it rains almost every day, especially in the three months of July, August and September when the peaks are hidden in the thick clouds and fog. The dry season comes in the November and concludes in April of the next year, when clear days visit almost all the time. The best time for mountain climbing proves to be in the transitional period from the dry season to the rainy season every year from February to April and in October-November. But it should be mentioned that high altitude wind is rather strong this time of year with the occasional wind speed of over 40 meters per second. In a single day, the temperature differs from – 20-30℃.

The precipitous terrain and harsh climate make it extremely difficult to climb Namjagbarwa Feng. As early as in 1910, some English people came here to survey the peak. In the past several decades, many attempts had been made by the alpinists, but it was not until Oct. 30, 1992 that an allied mountaineering team of Chinese and Japanese climbers conquered it.

On October 31, 1986, three persons from the Muntaineering Team of the Himalaya Association, Ogata Yoshio, Hashimoto Yasuhiro, Imamura Yutaka, set the record of reaching the summit.

The route line to the mountain. First, go 404 kilomters eastward from Lhasa along the Kangding Tibet Hightway to Bayizhen. Then it takes 75 kilometers to advance southward along Niyang He to Yarlung Zanbo Jiang Gangga Bridge and reach Mainling County. After that, go 91 kilometers eastward along the Yarlung Zangbo River to Paiqu at 3100 meters above sea level. After driv-ing 18 kilometers northward along the simply-built highway through Datogka to Gegar, walk to the mountaineering base camp site at 3512 meters in Andidangar.

To climb Gyalha Bairi Feng, set out from Gegar and go north along the Yarlung Zangbo River straight to Lanei. After crossing the river, advance north to the base camp site on the south side of the foot of Gyalha Bairi Feng. Another way to get there is to drive on 19 kilometers from Bayizhen along the Kangding – Tibet Highway to reach Nyingchi County. Then go 57 kilometers northward to Lunang at 2200 meters above sea level, which is at the west foot of Gyalha Bairi Feng.

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