Mount Namcha Barwa

namchak Barwa

“Namcha barwa” in the Tibetan language carries several meanings, of which one goes as “the burning thunder and lightning” and another “the spear that shoots upright to the heaven”. The main peak of Mount Namcha Barwa is 7,782 meters high and famed as “the father of icebergs”. The foot of the peak abounds with a host of hot springs and exuberant vegetation, which is an ideal resort for both leisure and exploration.

The 7,782 meter high Namcha Barwa Peak is the highest in the Prefecture of Nyingchi and the 15th highest in the globe. The 14 higher peaks are all above 8,000 meters; therefore Namchak Barwa is the No. 1 in all the peaks below the latitude of 8,000 meters. Its colossal triangle body is covered with deep snow and mists all year around which makes people hard to see its real face. It was not until 1992 that the Sino-Japan Mountain Climbing Team conquered Namcha Barwa. Today it has become a very hot and challenging destination for professional mountain climbers from both home and abroad.

The west slope of the peak is a bluff that goes down to the floor of the valley. A long mountain ridge, which consists of several peaks over 7,000 meters above the sea level, winds its way northwestwards. The whole ridge resembles a huge iron saw with its sharp teeth mantled with thick ice and snow. Between Namchak Barwa and the Peak of Naipeng in the south three colossal glaciers grow downwards and finally disappear in the lush green forest. The 7,234 meters high Gyala Pheri Peak in the north, shaped like a horse saddle, is also permanently mantled with fog and snow.

The snow land scenery on the peak top (7,782 meters above the sea level) and the tropical views can all be seen between Namcha Barwa and Bacuoka of Methok County (the distance between is only 200 kilometers). In this land one sees bananas and Borneo growing in the tropical area; the camphor normally found in the subtropical area; cedar, azalea of the temperate zone as well as many unnamed plants seen merely in the Frigid Zone. In a word you can never see such marvelous spectacles in other places Tibet.

Viewed from afar the peak hides behind floating clouds; and observed closely it may scare away any climbers for its height of over 5, 000 meters. The locals often say that it is standing in the human world but hardly shows its true face to the human beings. The only difference between the peak and the heaven is that Namcha Barwa is a part of the mundane world.

Legend about Namchak Barwa

Namcha Barwa has a few meanings in Tibetan language: one is “the flaming thunderbolts” and another “the lance that stabs straight to the sky” which is derived from the description of the chapter “the Menlin Battle” of the Legend of King Gesar. These Tibetan meanings reveal the features of the peak: steep, dangerous and unconquerable. As a matter of fact, due to the complex plate formation and structure of the Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon where the peak is located, earthquakes and snow slides has always haunted Namcha Barwa. Consequently it had been a “virgin peak” that had never been conquered by human climbers for a long while.


The Yarlung Tsanpo River originates from the western side of the Himalaya Mountain and flows eastwards down the northern steep for more than 1,000 km to the eastern end of the Himalaya Range and makes a huge horseshoe-shaped turning in the bordering area of the four counties of Nyingchi, Milin, Methok and Bomi. Within the area of east longitude of 95.0°and north latitude of 29.6° There stands the 7,782 meters high Najiabawa Peak, the 15th highest in this planet.

The distance from Lhasa down the Kham-Tibet Highway to Bayi is about 404 km. If one goes down the southern bank of the Niyang River and crosses the Ganga Bridge to the Milin County, the distance will be 75 kilometers. Going from Milin eastwards along the Yarlung Tsanpo River for 91 km, one will get to the Pai District at the latitude of 3,100 meters. From there down the temporary highroad northwards for another 18 km, passing the Daduka Village to Gega, one may walk to the Namcha Barwa mountain climbing camping ground which is about 3,512 meters above the sea level.

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The Tibetan Travel website's creator, hailing from Lhasa, is a cultural enthusiast. They promote responsible tourism, connecting the world to Tibet's beauty and heritage. Awards recognize their contribution.

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