The God of Grassland---Mt. Nyainqen Tanggula
A huge mountain range runs for 6000km from the west to the east in the middle part of the South Tibetan Plateau. It joins Gangku Kachi in the west, and by stretching southeast, is connected with Boshula Ling of the Hengduan Mountain Range, with its center swelling northward. This is the renowned Nyainqen Tanggula Mountain Range, which serves as the watershed of the of the two big water systems--the Brahmaputra and Jujiang River, dividing the Tibet Autonomous Region into three large regions--North Tibet, South Tibet and Southeast Tibet. As early as the end of the Tertiary Periodand the Quaternary Period,controlled and preeed by the Nujiang Fracture Belt and the Brahmaputra Fracture Belt (running east-west),the area of Nyainqen Tanggula Mountain became Fractured, folded and rose violently now and then, forming the huge mountain range at 6000m above sea level. Located on a satellite mountain range, which is at 7126m above sea level, the main Peak of Mt. Nyainqen Tanggula is in the mass of high peaks towering most sharply in the middle of the west Mt. Nyainqen Tanggula. At 90°6’ E and 30°4’N, it lies
in Damxung county of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Neighboring it are four peaks which are arranged east-westward closely to one another.
They are respectively at 7162m, 7111m, 7117m and 7046m above sea level, with the 7048m Mt. Qiongmu Gangri at the south end. Nyainqen Tanggula, means The God of Grassland in Tibetan language, expresses the reverence and hope of the Tibetan people. The perfectly Straight lie of the precipitous mountain reveals a grand view. Looking just like an eagle’s beak and abundant in precipices, the summit of the main peak is wrapped in clouds and fog in the day time and covered by heavy snow all the year round. It has produced three main ridges—the West Ridge, the East Ridge and the South Ridge while two glaciers lie across the valley on both the south and north sides, extending straight down south. In addition, lots of ice wall and open and hidden crevasses are
extremely perilous, magnificent and wonderful.
At the northwest foot of the main peak rests the second largest Salt lake—Namtso Lake, meaning Heavenly Lake, which is the highest located vast lake in the world—at 4716m above sea level. Extending into the center of the lake is Zaxi Peninsula with its Zaxi Temple, where the pious followers of Lamaism make nothing of the hardships
for pilgrim and pay homage to the divine Nyainqen Tanggula Mountain and the holy Namtso. In the lake area, one can enjoy the pleasure boats and accommodation inns of Tibetan style for a short rest. At the south foot of the main sits the beautiful Yangbajan Valley which is on the gigantic geological fracture belt between Mt. Nyanqen Tanggula
and Gangdise Mountain. Rich in terrestrial heat, it owns not only the common hot springs and fountains, but also jet-air hole, hot-water rivers, hot-water lakes, hot-water swamps as well as the Heat Museum, rare in the world. Since the smooth and resilient bathing water makes it the ideal place to refresh travelers and to cure diseases, tourist
conservatories and bathing spas as well as terrestrial heat station, the largest of the kind in China, are built.
Nyainqen Tanggula Mountain has characteristics in the Obvious inland arid climate as it lies in the hinter—land of the continent and is screened by mountains and held back from the cold current in the northwest and the warm current from the the India Ocean. The precipitation of this area each year generally differs From 200 to 400mm, centering in the rainy season. In spring, however, the melted snow often gives rise to disasters.
Thus, mountaineering activities are usually focused in the months from May to September which prove to be a rather good time for It.
On may 8,1986, three persons from the Mountaineering Team of Japan’s Northeast University, made the successful ascent of the Summit. They started from the south slope, went on to the Southwest branch of the ridge and finally turned to the west ridge for the summit.
The route line to the mountain--a 10-kilometer drive brings you from Lhasa up to Yangbajan and then Banuco. The base camp site may be erected at the exit of Banuco River of 4800m above sea level.