Namcha Barwa
Namcha Barwa is a mountain in the Tibetan Himalaya. It forms the eastern anchor of the Himalayan chain, and is the easternmost mountain in the world over 7,600 meters.
Namcha Barwa is located in the Nyingchi Prefecture of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China. It sits inside the "Great Bend" of the Tsangpo River, the main river of southeastern Tibet. This is a very obscure region, rarely visited by outsiders. Its sister peak Gyala Peri (also over 7,000 meters) lies across the Tsangpo to the north. Between 1976 and its first ascent in 1992, Namcha Barwa was the highest unclimbed independent mountain in the world.
Distinct Feature---Undulating Terrain
In addition to its role as the eastern anchor of the Himalayas, Namcha Barwa is distinct for its undulating terrain It towers over the Tsangpo gorge, which curves from the west, through the north, and then to the east side of the mountain. For example, the drop from the summit to the river on the west side is 5,000 meters in 12 kilometers, while the drop to the river on the east side is 6,800 meters in about 30 kilometers.
Legend about Namcha Barwa
In the Tibetan language, Namcha Barwa literally means 'burning thunders', while in The Epic of King Gesar, Mt. Namcha Barwa was described as a “spear pierced into the sky”. It is venerated as one of the residences of gods, rich in myths and legends. The best known myth tells the story about Namcha Barwa and his younger brother, Gyala Peri, both of whom were formerly sent by god as guardians of southeast Tibet. Since Gyala Peri later turned out to be the more talented, the jealous Namcha Barwa was driven so mad that one night he killed his brother and threw the head away. As punishment, Namcha Barwa was turned into a guarding mountain of his brother while the latter prolonged his existence as Mt. Gyala Peri, a round-peaked mountain north to Mt. Namcha Barwa over the Yarlung Tsangpo River.
Climbing History
Namcha Barwa was first accurately located in 1912 by British surveyors. The area saw little activity by outsiders between 1913 and the 1980s. In the 1980s, several Chinese teams made serious efforts on the peak, and scouted multiple routes, but did not succeed in reaching the summit.
In 1990 a joint Japanese-Chinese expedition reconnoitered the peak, and another joint expedition made an attempt in 1991, which reached 7460m but resulted in the death of one member, Hiroshi Onishi, in an avalanche. The following year, a third Japanese-Chinese expedition succeeded in reaching the summit. They established Base Camp on September 14, and reached the summit on October 30, after placing six camps. Their route followed the South Ridge, over the intermediate Naipun Peak. Eleven members of the expedition reached the summit, all but the expedition co-leader, Tsuneo Shigehiro.
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