Unknown peaks in Tibet documented by Japanese expedition

Membership, Mountaineering

A Japanese expedition lead by mountaineer Tamotsu Nakamura has photographed and documented little-known peaks and ranges in the Deep Gorge Country of South East Tibet and Sichuan, China.

Between October 23 and November 30, 2008, the expedition travelled 4,000 kilometres. Leader Nakamura was joined by mountaineers, guides and other support staff from Japan, Tibe and China.

The first goal of the expedition was to explore Dungri Garpo, a 6,090m mountain in Deep Gorge Country. They encountered problems in Yangjing, where they had to stay for four days, since rock falls had closed the roads, but was then able to continue. “Our plan was (…) to approach Damyon and Dungri Garpo from the north. But villagers told us that there was no trail to Damyon and also that deep snow would make it impossible to cross a high pass of 5,300m to enter the valley of Dungri Garpo,” says Nakamura.  Instead they drove to Bake village (3,320m) in the Yu Qu basin, and used this as a base to explore Dungri Garpo from the western side.

After three days of travel in a caravan with ten horses and five mules, the expedition got their first view of  the west face of Dungri Garpo. The mountain has three peaks and a hanging glacier. The expedition members took pictures of Dungri Garpo, a 6070m peak north of Dungri Garpo and of the Damyon massif. The group also came across several unclimbed peaks of 5,800-6,000m close to Damyon on the Mekong-Yu Qu Divide.

The second goal of the expedition was to explore a 6,079m peak south of Minya Konka and peaks in Sichuan. The 6,079m peak is tentatively named as Ren Zhong Feng. “Access is very easy, but only a few climbers have paid attention to this peak till today,” says Nakamura.

The expedition travelled from Chengdu, Sichuan’s capital, to Caoke hot springs, where they had to wait for the weather to clear. On the fourth day it was possible to take photos for a couple of hours in the morning. “We were in a hurry to go up the valley to Ren Zhong Lake. The  valley was deep and it was  difficult to see the peak.  But we were lucky to avail ourselves of a narrow chance. The photos thus taken must be of much value,” says Nakamura.

The group then moved northward along the Dadu River in order to explore Xiaqingla, a 5,470m peak in the Daxue Shan range. “A beautiful pyramid towering to the sky, the peak undoubtedly allures climbers,” says Nakamura. During the last two days of the expedition the team took pictures along the route from  Danba to Chengdu via Ja-ra (5,820m), Kangding, Laoyuling hot spring, the Xuemenkan pass between Lamo-she 6,070m/Baihaizi Shan 5,924m and the Minya Konka massif. “Among others, photos of the east face of Mt. Edgar 6,618m are particularly important, as weather is always bad in this area of Minya Konka massif,” says Nakamura.

You will find more information of the expedition in the full report and a collection of photos in our photo galleries section. Tamotsu Nakamura is a renowned mountaineer, explorer and dedicated editor of the Japanese Alpine News. He is the leading authority on the so-called Alps of Tibet.