Minya Konka - Trek the 'Chinese Tibetan Alps'
Tibet & China, Trek & Walk, 15 days - from £1,795 (land only) - from €2,245 (land only) - from $3,145 (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 one of the most sacred mountains to Tibetan Buddhists, equal in status to Mount Kailas in Western Tibet. An inscription at the monastery below the mountain 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. This superb adventure holiday combines the experience of real Tibetan culture with a spectacular trek through the beautiful valleys of Riwoche and Moxi to Konka Monastery below the ice-fluted shark's fin of Minya Konka itself. Impressive mountain panoramas and austere glaciers, babbling brooks and river torrents, azure blue lakes, enchanting mixed woodland, grazing yaks and their nomadic herders, chortens, mani walls, prayer flags and elaborately decorated Gompas, are contained in this holiday. Our week long trek begins just south of Kangding. the 'Gateway to Tibet'. We make a steady 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 Bhuchu La, we then descend the beautiful Moxi valley eventually entering forests of rhododendron, juniper, birch and oak which in October become a riot of Autumnal colours. We stay overnight in the Konka monastery and the climax of our trek is the climb to the ridge above for unrivalled views of Minya Konka and the daxue range of 6000-metre 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. If you want to see real Tibetan culture unchanged by the modern world, this is where you should come. 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 'real adventure' holiday and travel experience in an area as yet visited by very few Westerners.
Is this holiday for you?
This holiday combines a week long trek with a cultural experience staying and touring in the Tibetan Cultrural area of Western Sichuan. The trek to Minya Konka is not long or sustained but it travels through rugged country, generally at a high altitude and across a high pass of 4900 metres. The average walking day is around 5 - 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 trails used by the semi nomadic Yak herders who travel through these valleys. 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.