Minya Konka Trek
Tibet & China, Trek & Walk, 13 days - from £1,395 (land only) - from €1,745 (land only) - from $2,445 (land only)
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Immerse yourself in Tibetan culture on this incredible journey by road and on foot, from modern day Chengdu to the timeless valleys of Riwoche and Moxi in the ancient Tibetan province of Kham, on our quest to view the holy Minya Konka, a beautiful peak which has been seen by only a few Western eyes.
- Trekking in a wild and remote area bordering eastern Tibet
- Minya Konka, the highest peak east of the Himalayas
- The distinctive Khampa and Minyak communities
- The monasteries and Great Mani Pile of the Tagong Plateau
- The Panda Breeding Centre at Chengdu
Situated on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, Minya Konka (7556m) is the world's highest peak beyond the Himalaya. It is also a sacred mountain with its own pilgrimage circuit or ‘kora' like Mount Kailas in Western Tibet. This exciting new, high and wild trek follows the pilgrimage route to Konka Monastery below the base camp for Minya Konka. An inscription at the monastery translates as ‘To behold it (Minya Konka) is worth 10 years of meditation'. When Joseph Rock came here in 1930 to survey the mountain, he caused great consternation among the Royal Geographic Society when he sent a telegram to London stating that the mountain was the highest in the world with his measurement of 30,250 feet. The error in measurement was only laid to rest two years later when a better equipped American team came to make a second survey. During the survey, two of the party succeeded in reaching the summit, then the highest peak ever climbed and still today viewed as a remarkable achievement given the difficult nature of the climb. Our trek begins with an ascent of the Riwoche valley with its soaring cliffs and fast river torrents. At the head of this valley we enter a high grazing area where we will encounter the temporary settlements of the nomadic yak herders. Climbing to cross the 4900 metre Riwoche La, we then sescend the beautiful Moxi valley eventually entering its enchanting forests of rhododendron, juniper, birch and oak. The climax of the trek is the climb above the Gongka Shan Monastery for unrivalled views of Minya Konka and its range of high snowy peaks. Although Minya Konka is the undoubted centre-piece of this great trekking holiday to a little visited mountain region of Sichuan, there is much more to the holiday than this, admittedly, superbly photogenic mountain. The distinctive regions of western China and eastern Tibet each have their own unique dialect, customs, architecture clothing styles, art, and music. This holiday will give you an insight into the rural life of the Kham region and also of the Minyak people who are an ethnic group distinct again from their Khampa neighbours. Combined with a fascinating journey through Sichuan province, with its many spectacular monasteries, gigantic 'hill paintings' and the grat Mani Pile of Tagong, and sightseeing in the city of Chengdu, including the Pandas at the world famous breeding centre, this is a world class adventure holiday and travel experience in an area visited by very few Westerners.
Is this holiday for you?
The trek to Minya Konka is not long or sustained but it travels through rugged country, generally at a high altitude and across high passes in excess of 4500 metres. The average walking day is around 6 hours with one longer day across the Bhuchu La of 8 or possibly 9 hours. In general the underfoot conditions are good and we follow a well established trail used by thousands of pilgrims who visit the sacred Minya Konka and its monastery. Although short, this trek does present a reasonably tough proposition on account of the altitude. The trek is suitable for most regular hill-walkers and those with a good level of fitness.