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The Daxue Mountains

    Known as a "natural barrier," the Daxue Mountains are located in western Sichuan Province. The main peak, Mount Gongga, is the highest in the province at 7,556 meters above sea level. Its scale has earned it the moniker the "king of mountains in Sichuan."

    The peaks are more precipitous than those in the interior areas. Standing on the mountaintops gives visitors a panoramic view of the ranges, but climbing here is more difficult than Qomolangma. In 1980, Mount Gongga was opened to foreign mountaineering teams together with seven other peaks, attracting a large number of first-rate mountain climbers from all over the world. It is famous worldwide as a sacred place for alpine adventure and mountaineering. But it is very difficult to conquer and very few people have scaled the peak.

    The Daxue Mountains Scenic Area is centered on Mount Gongga, and includes Hailuo (Conch) Gully, Muge Co, Wuxu Lake, and Gongga Southwestern Slope, covering 10,000 square kilometers. It is designated a national scenic area.

Muge Co is a well Known alpine lake. 

    Hailuo Gully is a well-known glacier park holding numerous spectacular glaciers. The Daxue Mountains are famous for their 159 modern glaciers, covering an area of 390 square kilometers. It was one of the world's earliest areas to nurture marine glaciers. The ice layer is 150-300 meters thick and very magnificent. The Hailuo Gully Glacier is the largest and lowest of the five glaciers in the Gongga Mountain area, making it the most easily accessible for tourists. The largest icefall is 1,080 meters high and 1,100 meters wide, making it the biggest ever found in China. As the glacier has melted, pools, streams, ice tables, ice caves and ice bridges have formed. The icefalls are active all year round, and avalanches are frequent, sometimes involving millions of cubic meters of ice. The sound can be heard several kilometers away.

    Strangely, by the side of the glacier there is a hot spring with water up to 79 degrees centigrade. In fact, throughout the Hailuo Gully there are a large number of hot and cold springs. Tourists can have hot spring baths at over a dozen places in water between 40 and 80 degrees centigrade. The hottest spring is 90 degrees centigrade.

    Muge Co and Wuxu Lake are famous alpine lakes, where the water is clear and the natural scenery is well preserved.

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VOL.59 NO.12 December 2010 Advertise on Site Contact Us