Namcha Barwa

Namcha Barwa or Namchabarwa (Tibetan: གནམས་ལྕགས་འབར་བ།, Wylie: Gnams lcags 'bar ba, ZYPY: Namjagbarwa; Chinese: 南迦巴瓦峰, Pinyin: Nánjiābāwǎ Fēng) is a mountain in the Tibetan Himalaya. The traditional definition of the Himalaya extending from the Indus River to the Brahmaputra would make it the eastern anchor of the entire mountain chain, and it is the highest peak of its own section as well as Earth's easternmost peak over 7,600 metres (24,900 ft).[2]

Namcha Barwa
Namcha Barwa from the west
Namcha Barwa from the west, from Zhibai observation platform
Highest point
Elevation7,782 m (25,531 ft) [1]
Ranked 28th
Prominence4,106 m (13,471 ft) [1]
Ranked 19th
Isolation708 kilometres (440 mi)
Coordinates29°37′45″N 95°03′21″E / 29.62917°N 95.05583°ECoordinates: 29°37′45″N 95°03′21″E / 29.62917°N 95.05583°E[1]
Namcha Barwa is located in Tibet
Namcha Barwa
Namcha Barwa
Location in eastern Tibet Autonomous Region
LocationTibet Autonomous Region
      Nyingchi Prefecture
         Mêdog County
north of McMahon Line
Parent rangeHimalayas
   Namcha Barwa Himal
First ascent1992, China–Japan expedition
Easiest routeSSW ridge on rock, snow and ice


Namcha Barwa is in an isolated part of southeastern Tibet rarely visited by outsiders. It stands inside the Great Bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River as the river enters its notable gorge across the Himalaya,[3] emerging as the Siang and becoming the Brahmaputra. Namcha Barwa's sister peak Gyala Peri at 7,294 metres (23,930 ft) rises across the gorge 22 kilometres (14 mi) to the NNW.

Notable features

Namcha rises 5,000–6,800 metres (16,400–22,300 ft) above the Yarlung Tsangpo.[4][5] After 7,795-metre (25,574 ft) Batura Sar in the Karakoram was climbed in 1976, Namcha Barwa became the highest unclimbed independent mountain in the world,[6] until it was finally climbed in 1992.

In addition to being one of the highest mountains in the world, Namcha Barwa is also the third most prominent peak in the Himalayas after Mount Everest and Nanga Parbat.[1][7]

Frank Kingdon-Ward described in the 1920s "a quaint prophecy among the Kongbo Tibetans that Namche Barwa will one day fall into the Tsangpo gorge and block the river, which will then turn aside and flow over the Doshong La [pass]. This is recorded in a book by some fabulous person whose image may be seen in the little gompa [monastery] at Payi, in Pome."(126-7)

Climbing history

Namcha Barwa was located in 1912 by British surveyors but the area remained virtually unvisited until Chinese alpinists began attempting the peak in the 1980s. Although they scouted multiple routes, they did not reach the summit.[8] In 1990 a Chinese-Japanese expedition reconnoitered the peak.[9] Another joint expedition reached 7,460 metres (24,480 ft) in 1991 but lost member Hiroshi Onishi in an avalanche.[10] The next year a third Chinese-Japanese expedition established six camps on the South Ridge over intermediate Nai Peng (7,043 metres or 23,107 feet) reaching the summit October 30.[11] Eleven climbers climbed to the summit. U.K. Alpine Club's Himalayan Index lists no further ascents.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d "High Asia II: Himalaya of Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and adjoining region of Tibet". Retrieved 2014-06-01.
  2. ^ Neate, Jill (1990). High Asia: An Illustrated History of the 7,000 Metre Peaks. Seattle: Mountaineers Books. pp. 1–4, 14–15. ISBN 0-89886-238-8.
  3. ^ "A river´s bend -- Trip to Yarlung Zangpo Canyon". CCTV-International. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
  4. ^ Namjagbarwa Mountaineering Map (1:50,000), Chinese Research Institute of Surveying and Mapping, China Mountaineering Association, 1990, ISBN 7-5031-0538-0.
  5. ^ High Asia digital elevation models
  6. ^ American Alpine Journal 1993, pp. 279-280.
  7. ^ "HIGH ASIA I: The Karakoram, Pakistan Himalaya and India Himalaya (north of Nepal)". Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  8. ^ Neate, 1990, op. cit..
  9. ^ "Namcha Barwa" (PDF). American Alpine Journal. Boulder, Colorado: American Alpine Club. 33 (65): 285. 1991. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  10. ^ Tsuneo Shigehiro. "China Japan joint expedition to Namcha Barwa 1992". Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  11. ^ "Shigehiro, 1992, op. cit.".
  12. ^ "Himalayan Index". London: Alpine Club. Retrieved May 18, 2011.

External links

Assam Himalaya

Assam Himalaya is a traditional designation for the portion of the Himalaya range between the eastern border of Bhutan, on the west, and the Great Bend of the Tsangpo River, on the east. The highest peak of this range is Namcha Barwa. Other high peaks include Gyala Peri, sister peak to Namcha Barwa; Kangto, and Nyegyi Kangsang. The area is still poorly surveyed in general, and little visited by outsiders.

It is located in the eastern side.

The name "Assam Himalaya" is misleading, as some parts of this range are in southeastern Tibet, while other parts are in Bhutan and the Indian regions and states of northern Assam, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.

Bailey–Morshead exploration of Tsangpo Gorge

The Bailey–Morshead exploration of the Tsangpo Gorge was an unauthorised expedition by Frederick Bailey and Henry Morshead in 1913 which for the first time established the definite route by which the Tsangpo River reaches the sea from north of Himalaya, through the Tsangpo Gorge.

Geography of Tibet

The geography of Tibet consists of the high mountains, lakes and rivers lying between Central, East and South Asia. Traditionally, Western (European and American) sources have regarded Tibet as being in Central Asia, though today's maps show a trend toward considering all of modern China, including Tibet, to be part of East Asia. Tibet is often called "the roof of the world," comprising tablelands averaging over 4,950 metres above the sea with peaks at 6,000 to 7,500 m, including Mount Everest, on the border with Nepal.

Gyala Peri

Gyala Peri (Chinese: 加拉白垒, Pinyin: Jiālābáilěi) is a 7,294-metre (23,930 ft) peak just beyond the eastern end of the Himalayas at the entrance to Tsangpo gorge. It is part of Nyenchen Tanglha Shan, although it is sometimes included in Namcha Barwa Himal of the Himalayas.

Gyala Peri lies just north of the Great Bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, the main river of southeastern Tibet, which becomes the Brahmaputra in India. It is 22 kilometres (14 mi) NNW of the higher Namcha Barwa.

Highest unclimbed mountain

An unclimbed mountain is a mountain peak that has yet to be climbed to the top. Determining which unclimbed peak is highest is often a matter of controversy. In some parts of the world, surveying and mapping are still unreliable. There are no comprehensive records of the routes of explorers, mountaineers, and local inhabitants. In some cases, even modern ascents by larger parties have been poorly documented and, with no universally recognized listing, the best that can be achieved in determining the world's highest unclimbed peaks is somewhat speculative. Most sources indicate that Gangkhar Puensum (7,570 metres (24,840 ft)) in Bhutan or on the Bhutan–China border is the tallest mountain in the world that has yet to be fully summited. Gangkhar Puensum has been off limits to climbers since 1994 when Bhutan prohibited all mountaineering above 6,000 m (20,000 ft) due to spiritual/religious beliefs.Unclimbed mountains are sometimes referred to as "virgin peaks." Many virgin peaks exist because the mountain is unreachable, due to either geographic isolation or political instability. Some mountains remain off limits due to religious beliefs of a country or region that hold such mountains are sacred and should remain inviolate. Additionally, since the endeavor to scale taller mountains of the world is usually a major undertaking, lesser peaks, while still very formidable, simply get less attention than the taller ones, and instead these taller peaks are summited by parties following a new route or perhaps during the winter when conditions are generally more treacherous.


The Himalayas, or Himalaya (), form a mountain range in Asia, separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has many of the Earth's highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest. The Himalayas include over fifty mountains exceeding 7,200 m (23,600 ft) in elevation, including ten of the fourteen 8,000-metre peaks. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia (Aconcagua, in the Andes) is 6,961 m (22,838 ft) tall.Lifted by the subduction of the Indian tectonic plate under the Eurasian Plate, the Himalayan mountain range runs west-northwest to east-southeast in an arc 2,400 km (1,500 mi) long. Its western anchor, Nanga Parbat, lies just south of the northernmost bend of Indus river. Its eastern anchor, Namcha Barwa, is just west of the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River (upper stream of the Brahmaputra River). The Himalayan range is bordered on the northwest by the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush ranges. To the north, the chain is separated from the Tibetan Plateau by a 50–60 km (31–37 mi) wide tectonic valley called the Indus-Tsangpo Suture. Towards the south the arc of the Himalaya is ringed by the very low Indo-Gangetic Plain. The range varies in width from 350 km (220 mi) in the west (Pakistan) to 150 km (93 mi) in the east (Arunachal Pradesh). The Himalayas are distinct from the other great ranges of central Asia, although sometimes the term 'Himalaya' (or 'Greater Himalaya') is loosely used to include the Karakoram and some of the other ranges.

The Himalayas are inhabited by 52.7 million people, and are spread across five countries: Nepal, India, Bhutan, China and Pakistan. Some of the world's major rivers – the Indus, the Ganges and the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra – rise in the Himalayas, and their combined drainage basin is home to roughly 600 million people. The Himalayas have a profound effect on the climate of the region, helping to keep the monsoon rains on the Indian plain and limiting rainfall on the Tibetan plateau. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of the Indian subcontinent, with many Himalayan peaks considered sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Impatiens namchabarwensis

Impatiens namchabarwensis (blue diamond impatiens) is a 40–50 cm tall plant, native to the Himalaya. It is an annual plant, although it may live for several years in mild climates that do not freeze in winter.

This new species was discovered in the Namcha Barwa canyon in Tibet in the summer of 2003 by Yuan Yong-Ming and Ge Xue-Jun.

It was growing at an elevation of 930 m in a very limited area.

Stems are much branched, slightly woody at base; lower stems decumbent, often rooting at nodes.

Flowers are bright ultramarine blue, with small white markings at center and yellow in throat.

It has explosive seedpods, like the other species of the Balsaminaceae family. Seeds are brown when ripe, ca. 1 mm.

The scientific name is sometimes misspelled as "Impatiens namchabawensis".

Japanese Alpine Club

The Japanese Alpine Club (日本山岳会) (JAC) is a mountaineering and climbing organisation based in Tokyo, Japan.

Kangri Garpo

Kangri Garpo (Chinese: 岗日嘎布; pinyin: Gǎngrì Gābù) is a mountain range in eastern Tibet, located primarily in Nyingchi Prefecture as well as a portion of Qamdo Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China. The mountain range lies to the east of the Himalayas and to the west of the Hengduan Mountains. The mountains are geographically a southern extension of the eastern Transhimalayas.

List of Himalayan peaks and passes

Overall, the Himalayan mountain system is the world's highest, and is home to 10 of 14 of the world's highest peaks, the Eight-thousanders, and a further 50 peaks over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). The Karakoram and Hindu Kush are regarded as separate ranges. In the table below sorting by coordinates sorts by longitude (i.e. West to East) and "HP" = High point.

List of Ultras of the Himalayas

This is a list of all the Ultra prominent peaks (with topographic prominence greater than 1,500 metres) in the Himalayas. Listed separately, to the west and north-west are the Karakoram and Hindu Kush Ultras, and while to the north-east and east are the ultras of Tibet.

9 of the 10 Himalayan 8,000m peaks are ultras (the exception is Lhotse), and there are a further 28 peaks over 7000m.

List of first ascents

The following list summarizes notable first ascents of mountains and peaks around the world, in chronological order. It does not list new routes to previously climbed summits.

List of highest mountains on Earth

There are at least 109 mountains on Earth with elevations greater than 7,200 metres (23,622 ft) above sea level. The vast majority of these mountains are located on the edge of the Indian and Eurasian continental plates. Only those summits are included that, by an objective measure, may be considered individual mountains as opposed to subsidiary peaks.

List of peaks by prominence

This is a list of mountain peaks ordered by their topographic prominence.

Mêdog County

Mêdog, Metok, or Motuo County (Tibetan: མེ་ཏོག་རྫོང་,, Wylie: Metog Rdzong; simplified Chinese: 墨脱县; traditional Chinese: 墨脫縣; pinyin: Mòtuō Xiàn), also known as the Pemako (Tibetan: པདྨ་བཀོད་, Wylie: pad ma bkod, THL: Pémakö, ZYPY: Bämagö "Lotus Array", Chinese: 白马岗), is a county as well as a traditional region of the prefecture-level city of Nyingchi in the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It further stretches across McMahon Line into neighboring Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh; today one-third of historical Pemako – Lower Pemako – lies in Upper Siang district, which is claimed by the PRC.

Namcha Barwa Himal

Namcha Barwa Himal, also known as Namjagbarwa syntaxis or Namjagbarwa Group Complex, is the easternmost section of the Himalaya in southeastern Tibet and northeastern India. This section spans 180 km from the headwaters of the Siyom River on the international border NE into Tibet to the canyon of the Yarlung Tsangpo (the Brahmaputra in India), where the Himalaya are said to end, although high ranges actually continue another 300 km east. Major peaks of this section include:

Namche Barwa, 7,782 m

Nai Peng, 7,043 m at 29°37'12"N, 95°03'00"E, first climbed 1984

Sentang Bu, 6,812 m at 29°49'48"N, 95°00'36"E, unclimbed

Gyala Peri, 7,294 m, stands about 22 km NNW of Namche Barwa, across the Yarlung Tsangpo but often included in the Namche Barwa section because of proximity.


Nyingchi, also known as Linzhi, is a prefecture-level city in southeast of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The administrative seat of Nyingchi is Bayi District. The Chinese claim part of Arunachal Pradesh, which is one of the states of India, as part of the prefecture. (See South Tibet dispute.)

Nyingchi is the location of Buchu Monastery.

Yarlung Tsangpo

The Yarlung Tsangpo, also called Yarlung Zangbo (Tibetan: ཡར་ཀླུངས་གཙང་པོ་, Wylie: yar kLungs gTsang po, ZYPY: Yarlung Zangbo) or Yalu Zangbu (simplified Chinese: 雅鲁藏布江; traditional Chinese: 雅魯藏布江; pinyin: Yǎlǔ Zàngbù Jiāng) is the longest river of Tibet Autonomous Region, China.It is the upper stream of the Brahmaputra River. Originating at Angsi Glacier in western Tibet, southeast of Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar, it later forms the South Tibet Valley and Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon before passing into the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Downstream from Arunachal Pradesh the river becomes far wider and is called the Siang. After reaching Assam, the river is known as Brahmaputra. From Assam, the river enters Bangladesh at Ramnabazar. From there until about 200 years ago it used to flow eastward and joined the Meghna River near Bhairab Upazila. This old channel has been gradually dying. At present the main channel of the river is called Jamuna River, which flows southward to meet Ganges, which in Bangladesh is called the Padma.

When leaving the Tibetan Plateau, the River forms the world's largest and deepest canyon, Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon.

Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon

The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon or Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon (simplified Chinese: 雅鲁藏布大峡谷; traditional Chinese: 雅魯藏布大峽谷; pinyin: Yǎlǔzàngbù Dàxiágǔ) or simply the Tsangpo Canyon, Brahmaputra Canyon or Tsangpo Gorge, along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in Tibet Autonomous Region, China, is the deepest canyon in the world, and at 504.6 kilometres (313.5 mi) is slightly longer than the Grand Canyon in the United States, making it one of the world's largest. The Yarlung Tsangpo (Tibetan name for the upper course of the Brahmaputra) originates near Mount Kailash and runs east for about 1,700 kilometres (1,100 mi), draining a northern section of the Himalayas before it enters the gorge just downstream of Pei, Tibet near the settlement of Zhibe. The canyon has a length of about 240 kilometres (150 mi) as the gorge bends around Mount Namcha Barwa (7,782 metres or 25,531 feet) and cuts its way through the eastern Himalayan range. Its waters drop from about 2,900 metres (9,500 ft) near Pei to about 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) at the end of the Upper Gorge where the Po Tsangpo River enters. The river continues through the Lower Gorge to the Indian border at an elevation of 660 metres (2,170 ft). The river then enters Arunachal Pradesh and eventually becomes the Brahmaputra.


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