Saturday, September 13, 2008

Longmen Mountains

The Longmen Mountains , also tautologically referred to in English-language publications as the Longmenshan Mountains, are a mountain range in Sichuan province in southwestern China.

Their uplift is a result of vertical slippage on the Longmenshan Fault. The Longmen Mountains represent the eastern rim of the immense Tibetan Plateau.


Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain on Earth and is connected to Everest via the South Col. In addition to the main summit at 8,516 metres above sea level, Lhotse Middle is 8,414 metres and Lhotse Shar is 8,383 metres. It is located at the border between Tibet and Nepal.

Notable Features

Lhotse is best known for its proximity to Mount Everest and the fact that climbers ascending the standard route on that peak spend some time on its northwest face, see below. In fact Lhotse has one of the smallest topographic prominence values of any official eight-thousander, as it rises only 610 m above the South Col. Hence it is often seen as a minor eight-thousander.

However, Lhotse is a dramatic peak in its own right, due to its tremendous south face. This rises 3.2 km in only 2.25 km of horizontal distance, making it the steepest face of this size in the world. The south face has been the scene of many failed attempts, some notable fatalities, and very few ascents .


An early attempt on Lhotse was by the 1955 International Himalayan Expedition, headed by Norman Dyhrenfurth. It also included two Austrians and two Swiss , and was the first expedition in the Everest area to include Americans . The Nepalese liaison officer was Gaya Nanda Vaidya. They were accompanied by 200 local porters and several climbing Sherpas. After a brief look at the dangerous southern approaches of Lhotse Shar, they turned their attention, during September and October, to the West Cwm and the northwest face of Lhotse, on which they achieved an altitude of about . They were beaten back by unexpectedly strong wind and cold temperatures. Under Schneider's direction they completed the first map of the Everest area . The expedition also made several short films covering local cultural topics, and made a number of first ascents of smaller peaks in the Khumbu region.

The main summit of Lhotse was first climbed on May 18, 1956 by the team of Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger from the Swiss Mount Everest/Lhotse Expedition. On May 12, 1979, Zepp Maierl and Rolf Walter of Austria made the first ascent of Lhotse Shar. Lhotse Middle remained, for a long time, the highest unclimbed named point on Earth; on May 23, 2001, its first ascent was made by Eugeny Vinogradsky, Sergei Timofeev, Alexei Bolotov and Petr Kuznetsov of a Russian expedition.

On 31 December 1988, Krzysztof Wielicki, a Polish climber, completed the first winter ascent of Lhotse.

As of October 2003, 243 climbers have summitted Lhotse and 11 have died.


* 1955 Attempt by the International Himalayan Expedition.
* 1956 First ascent of the main summit.
* 1965 First attempt on Lhotse Shar by a Japanese expedition - reached 8,100m.
* 1979 First ascent of Lhotse Shar
* 1981 April 30 Second ascent of the main summit by Hristo Prodanov, Bulgaria.
* 1981 October 16 Second ascent of Lhotse Shar Switzerland
* 1984 May 20 Third ascent of Lhotse Shar Czechoslovakia
* 1989 Jerzy Kukuczka perishes while climbing the South Face of Lhotse, when his secondhand rope breaks.
* 1996 Chantal Mauduit becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Lhotse.
* 2001 First ascent of Lhotse Middle.
* 2007 Pemba Doma Sherpa, Nepali mountaineer and two-time summiter of , falls to her death from Lhotse at 8000 m

Lhotse Middle

Lhotse Middle was first climbed in 2001 by three groups of Russian climbers. At the time it was the last unclimbed named eight thousand metre summit.

The 2001 climb was not the first expedition to the peak; the idea of its ascent was originated by Vladimir Bashkirov .

Summit party details:
* May 23 - first group: Alexey Bolotov, Sergey Timofeev, Evgeny Vinogradsky, Petr Kuznetsov
* May 24 - second group: Nikolay Zilin, Gleb Sokolov , Yuri Koshelenko
* May 27 - third group: Vladimir Yanochkin, Viktor Volodin

Lhotse Face

The western flank of Lhotse is known as the ''Lhotse Face''. Any climber bound for the South Col on Everest must climb this 1,125m wall of glacial blue ice. This face rises at 40 and 50 degree pitches with the occasional 80 degree bulges. High altitude climbing s and the lead climbers will set fixed ropes up this big wall of ice. Climbers and porters need to establish a good rhythm of front-pointing and pulling themselves up the ropes using their Jumar. Two rocky sections called the Yellow Band and the Geneva Spur interrupt the icy ascent on the upper part of the face.


Laoshan is a famous mountain in Shandong , China. It lies about 30km east of the city of Qingdao, and is an important tourist destination. It is the highest coastal mountain in China, peaking at 1113 meters. It is known as the birthplace of Taoism.


Laoshan has been an important center of Taoism in China for many centuries. In 412 the Chinese pilgrim Faxian landed at Laoshan on his return from India.

Tourism and culture

Most of the mountains numerous palaces, Taoist temples, and nunneries have not survived to the present. Taiqing Palace Taoism Temple , built during the , is the largest. Sanhuang Palace, part of the Taiging complex, has two ancient Cypress trees, said to have been planted during the Han Dynasty.

Many gamblers visit Laoshan for the famous tree located in the mountain, as it is said that three pats of the tree's trunk will bring instant luck for those seeking money.

Tsingtao Brewery is made famous because its beer is said to be brewed with Laoshan spring water.

Khuiten Peak

Khüiten Peak is the highest point in Mongolia, located in the far west of the country. The Peak towers at the elevation of 4,374 m under the permanent snow-cap. It is one of five peaks in the Tavan Bogd Massiv , together with the the Tavan Bogd Uul, which about 2.5 km further north marks the border triangle between Russia, Mongolia, and China. Some sources also label the Khüiten as "Tavan Bogd Uul".



Yun Mountain

Yun Mountain


Yun Mountain is located 5 kilometers away from , a city in the southwest of , China. Its peak elevation is 1372.5 meters, and the annually average temperature there is 15 ° C. In September 1992, it was approved as a national forest park.


The area has a long history, beginning in the and Dynasties when Buddhists settled there. From the to dynasties, it had developed to be a center of Buddhism in Hunan, with a series of amazing temples housing more than 500 monks.

Natural Resource

It has a rich animal and plant resources. Within the 3,118 hectares vegetation area, there is an original secondary of more than 200 hectares. In 1921 an Austrian botanist discovered more than 80 new plant species in Yun Mountain, including 20 species named by Yunshan. So far, we have knownthat, there are 1,518 species of plants and 211 species of animals found in Yun Mountain, including 10 rare species of animals and plants under special protection.

Yuelu Mountain

Mount Yuelu is located on the west bank of Xiang River in Changsha, Hunan, China. Its main peak, Yunlu, is 300 meters high.

Mount Yuelu is noted for its many scenic spots, including Qingfeng gorge, Aiwan Pavilion, Lushan Temple, Yunlu Palace, the White Crane Spring and the Flying Stone.

Qingfeng Gorge lies in the low area between Yuelu Academy and Lushan Temple. It holds Aiwan Pavilion, one of four famous pavilions in ancient China, the Sheli Tower, and the tombs of Huang Xing and Cai E .

*Aiwan Pavilion and was built in A.D.1792. Its original name is Red Leaf Pavilion, later changed based on a poem by Du Mu. Mao Zedong once played and studied here and the remaining tablet was written by Mao Zedong in the 1950s. Aiwan Pavilion is supported by four red poles. There is a tablet with the poem, "Qinyuanchun, Changsha" written by Mao Zedong.
*Lushan Temple is located on the side of the mountain. It was built in A.D.268 and later destroyed and rebuilt several times. It was last rebuilt in the 1980s.
*Yunlu Palace is a Taoist place. The history of Taoist activities in Mount Yuelu is quite long. Yunlu Palace was built in A.D.1478, and Mount Yuelu has been an active center since then.
*The Flying Clock and Flying Stone are also famous attractions in Mount Yuelu. The Flying Clock hangs in a tree near Yunlu Palace. Flying Stone lies under the Flying Clock. 
*The King Yu Tablet: On the Tablet there was carved an article with 77 Chinese characters, now difficult to distinguish. Under the Tablet is Yuji Brook. was an ancient hero who conquered floods.

Xuelian Feng

In 1990, the expedition was led by Kazuo Tukushima, and ascended from the Karakume Glacier. The route ascended the southeast ridge of Junction Peak, then traversed a long corniced snow and rock ridge to reach the main summit tower. Other difficulties involved in the route included technical rock and ice walls, and snow gullies up to 70 degrees in steepness.

Wuzhi Shan

Wuzhi Mountain is the highest mountain in Hainan, towering 1,867 m above the center of the island. The surrounding areas of Wuzhi Mountain are inhabited mainly by the ethnic group.

Various myths concerning the name for the mountain and its formation. One legend has it that the five mountain peaks are the fossilized fingers of a dead Li clan chief. Another tale is that the five peaks are dedicated to the five most powerful Li gods. Numerous historical poems have also been written about the mountain, the most famous of all by the Hainan writer, Qiujun.

Wushao Ling Mountain

Wushao Ling Mountain is a landform in northern China with significant desert elements on its northern slope. This mountain has been a barrier to transportation since ancient times, when the Northern Silk Road found a passage across its terrain. The western slope of Wushao Ling combined with adjoining slopes of Lanshan Mountain comprises over 30 percent of the desert area of China. Given the current trend in China's land use policies, desertification of the Wushao Ling slopes and other Chinese deserts is projected to expand.

Wunu Mountain

Wu Nu Shan , which means the mountain of Five Women, is a mountain of historical and cultural significance located in the north of the town of Huanren, in Manchu autonomous county, Liaoning , China. The tallest is the 821 metre-high Main Peak.

Wu Nu Shan is the birthplace of the Korean Kingdom "Goguryeo" civilization and the last feudal dynasty—Manchu's Qing Dynasty. Its peculiar and beautiful landscapes had made it internationally famous in the last years.


Wu Nu Shan has a long history of human living. Recent years some archaeologists found historical remains and relics on the mountain. The oldest ones that had been proven are the potteries of the late Neolithic Age, more than 4500 years ago. Those relics also include some human-used weapons and producing tools which have thousands of years of history. According to the history books, 37 year B.C., the Korean Goguryeo was founded above the mountain, and the Goguryeo moved the capital to Gungnae Seong in the year 3. In 1424 when the third king of Jurchen Li Manzhu invaded Liao Ning with his troops, they quartered at this mountain and founded the Manchu kingdom.


Wu Nu Shan is located in the northeast of and the northwest of the Hun Jiang River, 8 km from the county. Its main peak measures 821 metres above sea level, has a length of 1500 m from the north to the south side and a width of 300 m from the east to the west side. Its central coordinate is 41°19’36”N,125°24’44”E.

Natural significance

Wu Nu Shan is located in the north temperate zone so the four seasons are four different beautiful portraits. There are more than 60 natural tourist spots. In the spring and summer one will find flowers, trees, butterflies and birds ; and down the river green waves of water and tourist ships together will make a paradise down the world. In the deep fall of year, red is the main color of the mountain because of the famous sweet gums. At the end of the year, the mountain will change a white coat and become a jade dragon lying besides the river.

Cultural significance

Wu Nu Shan is called "The First Defensive City Wall In The East," it has all the elements of a defensive city wall---temple, palace, barn, barracks, water source, and a city wall of more than 200 metres above the relative sea level. Therefore, the Goguryeo kingdom could quarter at the mountain as long as there can in the cold weapon era.


*1994 Awarded as the Most Protected Culture Relic
*1999 One of the Top10 National Archaeological Discovery
*2002 Awarded as the AAAA Class National Tourist Spot
*2004 Nominated on the UNESCO World Heritage List

Wugai Mountain

Wugai Mountain is a mountain located in Chenzhou area of the Hunan province in China.

1600 metres above sea
Among the types of animals that live in the dense woods that cover the mountain include: , wild boar and chamois.

White Cloud Mountain

White Cloud Mountain is a mountain located about 17 kilometers north of Guangzhou, China where the White Cloud Mountain minnow was discovered. It gets its name from the fact that every time the sun shines after rain a band of clouds circles the mountain. The mountain covers an area of some 28 square kilometres .

Western Hills

The Western Hills is a hilly region in the western part of Beijing, China, part of the . The Western Hills comprise the western part of the Haidian District, as well as parts of the and districts.

An area renowned for its scenery , the Western Hills have long been a retreat for Chinese scholars, religious men, and members of the government and civil service. The Western Hills are divided into three parks, the closest to Beijing's city center of which is the Beijing Botanical Garden , which is located just to the west of the Summer Palace .

The most popular area in the Western Hills is the Fragrant Hills Park , located 2 km further west, in the eastern part of the Western Hills. Nearby is the Temple of Azure Clouds .

South of the Fragrant Hills Park is Badachu , an area located in the Shijingshan District, which features eight temples and monasteries.

Other attractions include the Jiufeng Forest Park , the Dajue Temple , and Wofo Temple , which features a reclining .

Tourists also come to the Western Hills in the winter to see the snow-covered hills , and in the autumn to see the red leaves .

The Western Hills also contain the 's Western Hills Command Center , a secret, bunker-like underground facility that was built with the assistance of the USSR in the 1950s, and now serves a purpose similar to the United States Military's . Mao Zedong lived in the Western Hills briefly, and the Politburo of the Communist Party of China retreated here briefly in 1989.

The Beijing Subway extends all the way to the Western Hills, although the last two stops are only used by the military, and are not open to the public.

The Kuomintang also had a secret group named Western Hills, which was set up in 1925 when Sun Yat-sen's coffin was kept there; the group's members, who were Buddhist, believed that the presence of Sun Yat-sen's body could bless them.

Ulugh Muztagh

Ulugh Muztagh, also Ulugh Muztag, is an extremely remote mountain group on the Northern Tibet plateau. It is part of the Kunlun Mountains of Central Asia.

For a long time its elevation was thought to be as high as 7,723 metres, but it was measured by a 1985 expedition, who established its true elevation of 6,973 m, which has since been confirmed by SRTM data and modern high resolution Chinese topographic mapping. The subsidiary West Peak was climbed by a expedition in 2003 and a height of 6925 meters was confirmed for Ulugh Muztagh II.

The 7,723 metre elevation claim was made by the English country gentleman and explorer St George Littledale in 1895. Despite the fact that earlier explorers had put forward elevations several hundred metres lower, and the scientific 6,973 metre measurement made in 1985, the Littledale elevation has been so resilient that even into the 21st century it still remains the most widely quoted; it is found in generally reliable publications including the ''Times Atlas'', ''Encyclopedia Britannica'', and fact books.

Other remote Tibetan mountains whose elevations have been established by SRTM and modern Chinese mapping include:
* Nganglong Kangri, , 6,720 m, but still often quoted at 7,315 m
* Amne Machin , , 6,282 m, but still often quoted at 7,160 m
* Buka Daban Feng, , 6,860 m, but still quoted much higher
* Zangser Kangri, , 6,540 m, but still sometimes quoted at 6,940 m.


Tuoshan is a mountain located 4 km south-west of Qingzhou city, Shandong , China. It features a number of historic sites and a native pine forest.

Qiaoyu's Calligraphy

Qiaoyu was a chief official of Qingzhou during the Ming Dynasty, and inscribed the characters 'Tuo Shan' on the eastern face of the mountain.

Haotian Temple

Haotian Temple measures 150 m from north to south and 100 m from east to west. It lies on the summit of Tuoshan, and commands a view northward to Qingzhou. The temple itself consists of a group of ancient structures, including an old theatre, Yuhuang Palace, Seven Treasures Cabinet, and a garden of stone 'stelae' or tablets. A tablet on the site records the rebuilding of the temple in the Yuan Dynasty . The temple has undergone further repairs since 1986.

Yuhuang Palace

This building is part of Haotian Temple on the summit of the mountain.

Qibao Cabinet

Seven Treasures Cabinet was built in the Yuan Dynasty. It is a non-beam, double-arched stone structure and is rare in China.

River in the Sky

''Tian He''. Adjacent to Haotian Temple. It was completely dry as of 2004 and it is doubtful that it ever 'flows'. A more realistic translation might be 'pool' or 'pond'.

Bridge in the Sky

''Tian Qiao''. The bridge crosses the 'River in the Sky', and provides an entrance to Haotian Temple.

Heavenly Spring

''Tian Quan''. Possibly another name for the 'River in the Sky'.

Wulong Pool

Possibly another name for the 'River in the Sky'.

Gate of the Southern Heaven

''Tian Nan Men'' in pinyin. A recently constructed or reconstructed Chinese gateway atop mountain.

Buddhist Grottoes

There are 638 stone Buddhas in five main grottoes, which were chiselled in the Northern Zhou and Tang Dynasty and lie along the mountain's eastern edge, close to the summit. All of the smaller grottoes are now empty. The main grottoes are mostly intact with the exception of many of the smaller-Buddha's heads. They are protected by cages. The tallest statue, that of a seated Buddha, still survives. It is over 7 m high, making it the largest in the province. The smallest statues at the site are about 10cm tall. The site was placed under national protection in 1988.


Tomort, or Tomurty, is the highest peak in the Karlik Shan, in the far eastern part of the Tien Shan mountain range of Xinjiang, China. While not of great absolute elevation among Chinese peaks, it is well-separated from higher terrain, and hence has a high topographic prominence.

Tomort was reconnoitered or attempted in 1996, 1997, 2000, and 2004, by Chinese and Japanese parties. Its first, and to date only, ascent was in 2005, by a small group from the Alpine Club of the National Defense Academy of Japan, led by Isao Fukura. They described the summit as a "table-top ice-snow plateau, with glaciers several kilometers long descending on all sides," which was reached by "a crevassed glacier and a 50 degree snow/ice face."

Tianzi Mountain

Tianzi Mountain is located in Zhangjiajie in the Hunan Province of China, close to the Suoxi Valley. It is named after the farmer Xiang Dakun of the Tujia ethnic group, who led a successful local farmers' revolt and called himself "tianzi". This means "son of heaven" and is the traditional epithet of the Chinese emperor.

Teram Kangri

The Teram Kangri group is a mountain massif in the remote Siachen Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram . The high point of the group, and of the Siachen Muztagh, is Teram Kangri I. The peak lies in the disputed region near the line of control between India and Pakistan. The territory is also claimed by .

Teram Kangri I was first climbed on August 10 1975 by a Japanese expedition led by H. Katayama, which obtained a permit from the Govt. of Pakistan and made the long approach via the Bilafond La. They climbed the SW ridge of Teram Kangri II and then took the East ridge to the top. Teram Kangri II was climbed on August 12 and 13 by six Japanese climbers.This was yet another of Pakistan's forward moves in Siachen oropolitics.

Teram Kangri II was climbed by an Indian Army expedition led by Colonel N. Kumar in 1978 in the first counter-move by India to Pakistan's 'oropolitical' assertion of claim to the Siachen Glacier.Teram Kangri I has been climbed once since, in 1992. The expedition approached through Indian territory.


* Jerzy Wala, ''Orographical Sketch Map of the Karakoram'', Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research, Zurich, 1990.
* Jill Neate, ''High Asia: an illustrated history of the 7,000 metre peaks'', The Mountaineers, 1989.

Tavan Bogd Uul

The Tavan Bogd Uul is a mountain peak in the in the far west of Mongolia, with a height of 4082 m. It is one of five peaks in the ''Tavan Bogd'' massiv, together with the Khüiten Peak .

The peak forms the border tripoint between Mongolia, Russia, and the Xinjiang province of China.

Skyang Kangri

Skyang Kangri, or Staircase Peak, is a high peak of the Baltoro Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram . It lies on the Pakistan-China border, about 7km northeast of K2, the world's . The name "Staircase Peak" refers to the East Ridge, which resembles a giant staircase with five steps.

Skyang Kangri was first attempted by the party of renowned climber and explorer Luigi Amadeo di Savoia, the , in 1909, during an expedition to K2. They attempted the East Ridge, as did a subsequent failed attempt in 1975, in which one climber died and one had to be evacuated by helicopter. The first ascent was made in 1976 by a Japanese expedition, climbing the East Ridge without major incident.

In 1980, well-known American climbers Jeff Lowe and Michael Kennedy attempted the West Face of Skyang Kangri, but reached only about 7,070 metres. According to the
, there have been no subsequent attempts on the mountain.


* Jill Neate, ''High Asia: an illustrated history of the 7,000 metre peaks'', The Mountaineers, 1989.
* Jerzy Wala, ''Orographical Sketch Map of the Karakoram'', Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research, 1990.


Shishapangma is the fourteenth highest mountain in the world and the lowest of the eight-thousanders. It was the last 8,000 metre peak to be climbed, due to its location entirely within China and the restrictions on outside visitation to the region imposed by the Chinese during the 1950s and later.

The name ''shi sha sbang ma'' means "crest above the grassy plains". The name ''Xīxiàbāngmǎ Fēng'' 希夏幫馬峰 is a phonetic rendition of the Tibetan name. . Another interpretation, based on the spelling Shisha-Pangma, is that the name means, literally, "Sherpa Woman."

Shishapangma is located in south-central Tibet, a few kilometres from the border with Nepal. It is the only eight-thousander entirely within Chinese territory. It is the highest peak in the Jugal Himal, which is contiguous with, and often considered a part of, the Langtang Himal. The combined Jugal/Langtang Himal straddles the Tibet/Nepal border. Since it is on the dry north side of the Himalayan crest, and further away from the lower terrain of Nepal, it has somewhat less dramatic vertical relief than most other major Himalayan peaks.

Shishapangma was first climbed on May 2, 1964 by a expedition led by Xǔ Jìng 许竞. In addition to Xǔ Jìng, the summit team consisted of Zhāng Jùnyán 张俊岩, Wáng Fùzhōu 王富洲, Wū Zōngyuè 邬宗岳, Chén Sān 陈三, Soinam Dorjê , Chéng Tiānliàng 程天亮, Migmar Zhaxi , Dorjê and Yún Dēng 云登.

On 14 January 2005, Piotr Morawski and Simone Moro made the first ascent in calendar winter.

Approximately 22 people have died climbing Shishapangma, including noted American alpinist Alex Lowe and veteran Portuguese climber Bruno Carvalho. Nevertheless, Shishapangma is one of the easiest eight-thousanders to climb. The standard route ascends from the north side, and boasts relatively easy access, with vehicle travel possible to base camp at 5,000 metres . More technically demanding are the routes on the steeper Southwest Face, which involve 2,200 metres of ascent on a 50 degree slope. These are ideal for a alpine style ascent. In 2004, Jean-Christophe Lafaille roused some controversy when he climbed a route on this face, solo, in mid-December, and claimed a winter ascent. Since this was not technically calendar winter, he later changed his claim to an ascent "in winter conditions."

Shiceng Dashan Mountain

The Shiceng Dashan Mountain lies at the junction of the borders of Laos, China and Vietnam.

According to the news report, the three countries have a border dispute in which a pending agreement is on the table.

External References


Shenguang Hill

Shenguang Hill is a hill located south of Xingning, China. The name comes from the Shenguang Temple there.

Sauyr Zhotasy

Sauyr Zhotasy is the highest point in the , part of the Tien Shan, on the border between Kazakhstan and China. It lies southeast of Lake Zaysan. Despite its low elevation, it is well separated from higher ranges in its area, and is therefore ranked highly by topographic prominence.

Sacred Mountains of China

The Sacred Mountains of China are divided into two groups associated with Taoism and Buddhism. The group associated with Taoism is known as the ''Five Great Mountains'' , whereas the group associated with Buddhism is referred to as the ''Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism'' .

The sacred mountains of both groups have been important destinations for pilgrimage, the Chinese expression for pilgrimage is a shortened version of an expression which means literally ''"paying respect to a holy mountain"'' .

The Five Great Mountains

The Taoist ''Five Great Mountains'' are arranged according to the five cardinal directions of Chinese geomancy, which includes the center as a direction:

* east: , , 1,545 m
* west: , , 1,997 m
* south: , , 1,290 m
* north: , , 2,017 m
* center: , , 1,494 m

Alternatively, these mountains are sometimes referred to by the respective directions, i.e., as the "Northern Great Mountain" , "Southern Great Mountain" , "Eastern Great Mountain" , "Western Great Mountain" , and "Central Great Mountain" .

According to Chinese mythology, the ''Five Great Mountains'' originated from the limbs and the head of Pangu , the first being and creator of the world. Because of its eastern location, Mount Tài is associated with the rising sun which signifies birth and renewal. Due to this interpretation, it is often regarded as the most sacred of the ''Five Great Mountains''. In accordance with its special position, Mount Tài is believed to have been formed out of Pangu's head.

The Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism in China

The Buddhist ''Four Sacred Mountains'' are:

* , , 3,058 m
* , , 3,099 m
* , , 1,341 m
* , , 284 m

Qilian Mountains

The Qilian Mountains is a northern outlier of the Kunlun Mountains, forming the border between the Qinghai and the Gansu provinces of northern China. The mountains are the source of the .

The range stretches from the south of Dunhuang some 800 km to the southeast, forming the western border of the Gansu Corridor. Formerly the mountain range was named Richthofen Range after Ferdinand von Richthofen.

The eponymous Qilian Shan peak, situated some 60 km south of Jiuquan, at , rises to 5,547 m, constituting Gansu's highest elevation. It is the highest peak of the main range, but there are two higher peaks further south, Kangze'gyai at with and
Qaidam Shan peak at with .

The range continues to the west as Yema Shan and Altun Shan . To the east, it passes north of Qinghai Lake, terminating as Daban Shan and Xinglong Shan near Lanzhou, with Maoma Shan peak an eastern outlier. Sections of the Ming Dynasty's Great Wall pass along its northern slopes, and south of northern outlier Longshou Shan .

The ''Shiji'' mentions the "Qilian or Heavenly mountains" together with Dunhuang as the homeland of the Yuezhi. It is however possible that the name here refers to the mountains now known as Tian Shan, 1,500 km to the west, and ''Dunhuang'' to a mountain otherwise attested as Dunhong. ''Qilian'' is identified as a Xiongnu word meaning "sky" by Yan Shigu, a Tang Dynasty commentator on the ''Shiji''.

Qianshan National Park

Qianshan National Park is a mountainous national park in Liaoning Province China, 17km by road, south east of . The park is referred to as 'The Northeast Pearl'. The name Qianshan literally means 'Thousand mountains'. This is actually an abbreviation of the full name, Thousand Lotus Flower Mountains . According to legend, a long time ago the four corners of the sky collapsed. The Goddess Nüwa wanted to save the people living below so she patched up the sky with stones. One stone was accidentally dropped to the ground where is splashed, throwing the earth into thousands of peaks in the shape of a lotus blossom. Thus Nüwa created Qianshan. The park area of 44 square kilometres, is filled with both and temples, monasteries and nunneries. Here is one of few locations where both religions are found sharing the same site. Among the peaks, a naturally wrought statue of the Buddha stands 70 meters high. It is claimed to be largest naturally occurring image of Maitreya Buddha in the world.

The area has a long history of religious worship dating back to the Tang dynasty of China. The site was enhanced during both Ming and Qing dynasties. The revolutions of the twentieth century saw the site abandoned and some buildings damaged. The park has since be restored and expanded with new Pagoda and temples for the Maitreya Buddha.

At it's highest point, Qianshan reaches an elevation of 708.3 metres. The park is densely wooded with 95% of the area covered by forests. Over ten thousand of the pine trees have been estimated to be older than 100 years in age. Rare flora and fauna are found here along with a large number of plants used in traditional Chinese medicines. Over a hundred different species of birds can be observed in the park including the rare black-headed stork.

Motor cars are not allowed within the park. Tourists must either walk or hire one of the electric carts. Many paved foot paths climb steeply up the hillsides through thick forest. These foot paths lead past, Steele, honouring the dead, small shrines, pagodas and temples. Three cable car routes connect to several of the parks scenic peaks. However, none of the cable cars go the whole way up, leaving visitors some climbing if they wish to attain the summit.

Among Qianshan's scenic spots is a new discovery - a mountain in which has be shaped by nature in such a way that it resembles the Maitreya Buddha. The Buddha stands 70 metres high and 46 metres wide and is claimed to be the largest naturally occurring image of Maitreya Buddha in the world. Several temples have been built on the peaks overlooking the Maitreya Buddha. These include: The Pagoda of Maitreya, Great Buddha Temple, Pavilion of Buddha, Greeting Gate, Holographic Buddhist Character and Tachibana Hoxdox. The park has become the venue for the Qianshan Great Buddha Festival in June every year.


Purple Mountain

Purple Mountain or Zijin Mountain , also known as Bell Mountain , is located on the eastern side of Nanjing, , N32 5, E118 48, 447.1 m high, with the lowest point 30 m . Its peaks are often found enveloped in mysterious purple clouds at dawn and dusk, hence comes its name "Purple Mountain".

A small mountain with an area about 20 square kilometres , Purple Mountain is a mountain related to many historical events of both ancient and modern China. More than 200 heritage and scenic tourist sites are located in or around the mountain, among which include three national historical sites, nine provincial historical sites, and 33 prefectural historical sites.

Purple Mountain has 621 species of vascular plants, from 383 genera, 118 families .

Located in or close to the hillside of Purple Mountain, there are about a dozen national research institutes and universities.

Muztagh Ata

Muztagh Ata, or Muztagata , is the second highest of the mountains which form the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. It is sometimes regarded as being part of the Kunlun Shan, although physically it is more closely connected to the . It is also reputedly one of the easiest 7,000 m peaks in the world to climb, due to its gentle western slope and the comparatively drier weather of Xinjiang.


Muztagh Ata lies just south of Kongur Tagh, the highest peak of the Kunlun Shan. Together they form a somewhat isolated group, separated from the main chain of the Kunlun, and also separate from the Pamir Mountains to the west. Not far to the north and east of this group are the lowlands of the Tarim Basin and the Taklamakan Desert. The Karakoram Highway passes very close to both peaks.


The explorer and geographer Sven Hedin made the first recorded attempt to climb Muztagh Ata, in 1894. Additional attempts were made in 1900, 1904 and 1947, the last by the team of Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman who came very close to the summit but were turned back due to cold and deep snow.

The first ascent of the peak was in 1956 by a large party of and Russian climbers, via the west ridge, which is now the standard route.

Since the first ascent, many ascents of Muztagh Ata have been made. In 1980, a party led by Ned Gillette made a ski ascent/descent of the standard route, the first ski ascent of a mountain over . An ascent of the much harder south-east ridge was made in 2000.


*Jill Neate, ''High Asia: An Illustrated History of the 7000 Metre Peaks'', ISBN 0-89886-238-8.

Mount Wutai

Mount Wutai , also known as Wutai Mountain, located in Shanxi, China, is one of the in .

Each of the four mountains are viewed as the abode or place of practice of one of the four great bodhisattvas.

Wutai is the home of the Bodhisattva of wisdom, Manjusri or Wenshu in Chinese.

It takes its name from its unusual topography, consisting of five rounded peaks , of which the North peak, called Beitai Ding or Yedou Feng, is the highest, and indeed the highest point in northern China.

Wutai was the first of the four mountains to be identified and is often referred to as "first among the four great mountains." It was identified on the basis of a passage in the Avatamsaka Sutra , which describes the abodes of many bodhisattvas. In this chapter, Manjusri is said to reside on a "clear cold mountain" in the northeast. This served as charter for the mountains identity and its alternate name "Clear Cool Mountain" .

The bodhisattva is believed to frequently manifest himself on the mountain, taking the form of ordinary pilgrims, monks, or most often unusual five-colored clouds.

Mount Wutai is home to some of the that have survived since the era of the Tang Dynasty . This includes the main hall of Nanchan Monastery and the East Hall of Fuguang Monastery, built in 782 and 857, respectively. They were discovered in 1937 and 1938 by a team of architectural historians including the prominent early 20th century historian Liang Sicheng. The architectural designs of these buildings have since been studied by leading and experts in traditional Chinese architecture, such as Nancy Steinhardt. Steinhardt classified these buildings according to the hall types featured in the ''Yingzao Fashi'' Chinese building manual written in the 12th century.

In 2008 Chinese authorities hope that the shrine at Mount Wutai will be considered for designation as a Unesco world heritage site. Local residents, however, claim they have been forced from their homes and relocated away from their livelihoods in preparation for the bid .

Major Temples

Nanshan Temple

Nanshan Temple is a large temple in Mount Wutai, first built in Yuan Dynasty. The whole temple comprises seven terraces, divided into three parts. The lower three terraces are named Jile Temple; the middle terrace is called Shande Hall ; the upper three terraces are named Youguo Temple.

Xiantong Temple

Tayuan Temple

Pusa Ding

Other Temples

Inside Wutai: Shouning Temple, Bishan Temple, Puhua Temple, Dailuo Ding, Qixian Temple, Shifang Tang, Shuxiang Temple, Guangzong Temple, Yuanzhao Temple, Guanyin Dong, Longquan Temple, Luomuhou Temple, Jinge Temple, Zhenhai Temple, Wanfo Ge, Guanhai Temple, Zhulin Temple, Jifu Temple, Gufo Temple, etc.

Outside Wutai: Yanqing Temple, Nanchan Temple, Mimi Temple, Foguang Temple, Yanshan Temple, Zunsheng Temple, Guangji Temple, etc.


Mount Tianzhu

Mount Tianzhu is a mountain in Anhui, China. Tianzhu Mountain has 45 peaks which are 1000 meters above sea level. There are two paths to reach the top, either from the east or from the west; Dalong will try the west path first because it is the easier one.

One of the famous sites is the Mystery Valley. It is a maze-like valley formed by the rocks falling from the mountain. The valley has 53 caves, which form a very complicated maze.

Mount Tiandang

Mount Tiandang is a mountain the Hanzhong region of China.

Mount Tangjia

Mount Tangjia is a mountain in Sichuan, People's Republic of China, 3.2 kilometers away from the county seat of .

It overlooks the Jian River and Tangjiashan Lake, a landslide dam-created lake which was formed by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Mount Tai

Mount Tai is a mountain of historical and cultural significance located north of the city of Tai'an, in Shandong , China. The tallest peak is ''Jade Emperor Peak'' , which is commonly reported as 1545 metres tall, but is described by the Chinese government as 1532.7 metres .

Mount Tai is one of the "". It is associated with sunrise, birth, and renewal, and is often regarded the foremost of the five. The temples on its slopes have been a destination for pilgrims for 3,000 years.


Mount Tai is located just north of the city of Tai'an and to the south of the provincial capital Jinan. It extends from 150 to 1,545 metres above sea level and covers an area of 426 square kilometres at its base. The Jade Emperor Peak is located at 36° 16′N and 117° 6′E.


Traces of human presence at Mount Tai date back to the Paleolithic period. Human settlement of the area can be proven from the neolithic period onwards. During this time, two cultures had emerged near the mountain, the Dawenkou to the north and Longshan to the south. In the Spring and Autumn Period, the mountain lay on the boundary between the competing States of and . In the ensuing Warring States Period, the State of Qi erected a 500 km-long wall to protect itself against an invasion. Ruins of this wall are still present today. The name ''Tai'an'' of neighboring city is attributed to the saying "If Mount Tai is stable, so is the entire country" .

Religious worship of Mount Tai has a tradition of 3,000 years, it has been practiced from the time of the to that of the Qing Dynasty. Over time, this worship evolved into an official imperial rite and Mount Tai became one of the principal places where the emperor would pay homage to Heaven and Earth in the Fengshan Sacrifices . In 219 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, held a ceremony on the summit and proclaimed the unity of his empire in a famous inscription.

Mount Tai has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. In 2003, it attracted around 6 million visitors. A renovation project to be completed by late October 2005 aims at restoring cultural relics and the renovation of damaged buildings of cultural significance. Modern buildings which are inconsistent with the historic landscape are to be demolished. The total cost of the work is estimated at 15 million yuan .

Natural significance

Mount Tai is a tilted fault-block mountain with height increasing from the north to the south. It is the oldest example of a paleo-metamorphic formation from the Cambrian Period in eastern China. Known as the ''Taishan Complex'', this formation contains magnetized, metamorphic, and sedimentary rock as well as intrusions of other origins during the Archean Era. The uplift of the region started in the Proterozoic Era, by the end of the Proterozoic, it had become part of the continent.

Besides the Jade Emperor Peak, other distinctive rock formations are the ''Heaven Candle Peak'', the ''Fan Cliff'', and the ''Rear Rock Basin''.

Mount Tai lies in the zone of oriental deciduous forest; about 80% of its area is covered with vegetation. The flora is known to comprise almost 1,000 species. Some of the trees in the area are very old and have cultural significance, such as the ''Han Dynasty es'', which were planted by the , the ''Tang Chinese Scholartree'' , the ''Welcoming-Guest Pine'' and the ''Fifth-Rank Pine'', which was named originally by the Emperor Qin Shi Huang, but was replanted about 250 years ago.

Cultural significance

Dai Miao

The Temple of the God of Mount Tai, known as the ''Dai Temple'' is the largest and most complete ancient building complex in the area. It is located at the foot of Mount Tai in the city of Tai'an and covers an area of 96,000 square meters. The temple was first built during the Qin Dynasty. Since the time of the Han Dynasty , its design has been a replica of the imperial palace, which makes it one out of three extant structures in China with the features of an imperial palace . The temple has five major halls and many small buildings. The centerpiece is the ''Palace of Heavenly Blessings'' , built in 1008, during the Northern Song Dynasty. The hall houses the mural painting "The God of Mount Tai Making a Journey", dated to the year 1009. The mural extends around the eastern, western and northern walls of the hall and is 3.3 metres high and 62 metres long. The theme of the painting is an inspection tour by the god. Next to the Palace of Heavenly Blessings stand the Yaocan Pavilion and the entrance archway as well as the Bronze Pavilion in the northeast corner. The Dai Temple is surrounded by the 2,100 year-old Han Dynasty cypresses.

Other Monuments

A flight of 7,200 total steps , with 6,293 Official Mountain Walkway Steps, lead up the East Peak of Mount Tai, along its course, there are 11 gates, 14 archways, 14 kiosks, and 4 pavilions.

In total, there are 22 temples, 97 ruins, 819 stone tablets, and 1,018 cliff-side and stone inscriptions located on Mount Tai. These include the ''Azure Cloud Temple'' dedicated to the daughter of the God of Mount Tai, the goddess ''Laomu'' and the ''Divine Rock Temple'' which features the ''Thousand-Buddhas Hall'' with painted Arhat statues.


Visitors can reach the peak of Mount Tai via a bus which terminates at the ''Midway Gate to Heaven'', from there a cable car connects to the summit. Covering the same distance on foot takes from two and a half to six hours. The supplies for the many vendors along the road to the summit are carried up by porters either from the Midway Gate to Heaven or all the way up from the
foot of the mountain.

To climb up the mountain, one can take one of two routes. The more popular east route starts from Taishan Arch. On the way up the 7,200 stone steps, the climber first passes the Ten Thousand Immortals Tower , Arhat Cliff , and Palace to Goddess Dou Mu . The climbing from the ''First Gate to Heaven'' , the main entrance bordering on Tai'an town, up the entire mountain can take two and a half hours for the sprinting hiker to six hours for the leisure pace. Reaching the ''Midway Gate to Heaven'' from ''First Gate to Heaven'' is one hour at a sprint up to two and a half hours leisurely. To the northeast of the Palace to Goddess Dou Mu is Sutra Rock Valley in which the Buddhist Diamond Sutra was cut in characters measuring fifty centimeters across believed to be inscribed in the Northern Wei Dynasty. The west route, taken by fewer tourists, is more scenic, but has less culture heritage.

Cultural references

* The Chinese idiom "泰山北斗" is an epithet for a person of great distinction.
* According to an ancient quotation from Sima Qian, "Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a feather." Mao Zedong referenced this quote in the 20th century: "To die for the people is weightier than Mount Tai, but to work for the fascists and die for the exploiters and oppressors is lighter than a feather". Rage Against the Machine referenced this in the song "Year of tha Boomerang": "So I'm goin' out heavy sorta like Mount Tai".
* In 1987, Canadian progressive rock band put out the ''Hold Your Fire'' album, containing the song "Tai Shan." The song was about drummer and lyricist journey to Mount Tai.
* The Dai Miao is featured in Sid Meier's Civilization IV as a religious complex that can be built by a Great Prophet, thus establishing a holy shrine dedicated to Taoism in the Taoist holy city.
* Tai Shan is the name of the most popular beer of most of Western Shandong province.
* A popular Vietnamese saying ''C?ng cha nh? núi Thái S?n, ngh?a m? nh? n??c trong ngu?n ch?y ra, m?t lòng th? m? kính cha, cho tròn ch? hi?u m?i là ??o con'', mentions Thai Son mountain which may be translated into Chinese as Tai Shan, and refers a father's work ethics to the grandeur of the mountain.

Mount Song

Mount Song, known in as ''Song Shan'' , is one of the and is located in Henan province on the south bank of the Yellow River in China. Its summit is 1,500 meters above sea level.


Songshan is made up of several mountains that rise to 1500 m in the Dengfeng district of Henan province.

Religious Structures

Despite the mountain being one of the Daoist sacred mountains, the mountain is predominantly Buddhist today. It is home to the Shaolin Temple is the birthplace of Zen Buddhism, and even today the temple's collection of stupas is the largest in China. The Zhongyue Temple is also located here, one of the earliest Taoist temples in the country. The Songyang Academy nearby was one of the four great academies of ancient China. The mountain and its vicinity are populated with Taoist and especially monasteries. The 6th century Songyue Pagoda is also located here, as well as Tang Dynasty pagodas within the Fawang Temple.

Songshan Stratigraphic Structure National Geopark

The Shaolin Monastery is located within the geopark. Three major formed the area: the Songyang Orogeny of 2.5 billion years ago, the Zhongyue Orogeny of 1.85 billion years ago, and the Shaolin Orogeny of 570 million years ago. They were named after local attractions in the area. The Songshan Geopark is also called “the textbook of geological history”.

Mount Sanqing

The Mount Sanqing or San Qing Mountain is a renowned Taoist Mountain located 50 miles north from Yushan, Jiangxi Province of the with an outstanding scenery. ''San Qing'' literally mean 'three distincts' in as the San Qing Mountatin is made up of three main summits: the "Yujing Mountain", "Yushui Mountain" and "Yuhua Mountain".

A slogan “三峰峻拔、如三清列坐其巅” explains why it was named . Amongst the three hills, the Yujing hill is the highest.

The San Qing Mountain had been classified as a national park . It is a famous in mainland China as well as a shelter for animals and plants. It contains about 1000 species of flora and 800 types of fauna. The total area of the San Qing Mountain is 2200 km?. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 .

Mount Qingcheng

Mount Qingcheng is a mountain in , Sichuan, China. In Daoism mythology, it was the site of the Yellow Emperor's studies with Ning Fengzhi. As a centre of the Daoist religion it became host to many temples. The mountain has 36 peaks.

Mount Qiyun

Qiyunshan is a mountain of China and sacred to the . The name means 'As High as the Clouds'. The area also has the name of "Landform of the Rosy Clouds" due to the red rock of the area. It is located in Qingyang County in Anhui province 33 kilometers to the west of Huangshan City. The mountain is notable for its numerous insciptions and tablets, and monasteries and temples. The high point of the mountain is 585 meters.

Mount Putuo

Mount Putuo is an island located to the south-east of Shanghai, in Zhoushan prefecture of Zhejiang province, . It is famous in Chinese Buddhism, and is considered the bodhimanda of Avalokitesvara , a revered Bodhisattva in many parts of East Asia. Mount Putuo is one of the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism, the others being Mount Wutai, Mount Jiuhua, and Mount Emei .

Today it is a noted tourist destination. As of November 2007, tourists were charged 160 for an entry ticket upon disembarkation at the island's port. A number of hotels and settlements are dotted around the island.

The name Putuo derives from "Potalaka" the mountain residence of Guanyin in the Avatamsaka Sutra, as does the Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lamas.


Around 1612, the 20-year-old future -master Yinyuan Longqi arrived at Mount Putuo while looking for his father, who had disappeared fifteen years earlier. He served tea to the monks.


*33m tall statue of the Guan Yin at Zizhulin
*Two major beaches - Hundred Step Beach and Thousand Step Beach. Hundred Step Beach charges for entry and has facilities such as deckchairs and parasols, and activities such as a banana boat and quad bikes.


*Puji Temple
*Fayu Temple
*Putuo is covered with many temples and monasteries, both large and small. All are under the directive of the Chinese Buddhist Association. Many monks and nuns from all over the country, and abroad, go to great lengths to live and practice there.
*In addition to these monasteries, is a large Institute of Buddhism, on of the largest Buddhist academic institutes in China.
*The modern scholar monk Taixu, spent several years in solitary retreat at a small hermitage in Putuo.


Putuoshan can be reached by boat from the major cities of Ningbo and Shanghai. It will take approximately an hour by boat to reach the wharf at Ningbo, from where a bus transports passengers to Ningbo city centre. There are two boats linking Putuoshan and Shanghai. One departs in the evening and travels overnight, arriving in the early morning; the other leaves early in the day from a wharf outside of Shanghai city centre but takes less than two hours.

A number of minibuses link the major tourist areas. There are no taxis and traffic is usually limited to buses.

Mount Luofu

Mount Lu is a mountain in the People's Republic of China, situated south of the city of Jiujiang in Jiangxi Province, near Lake Poyang. Its highest point is the ''Dahanyang Peak'' . The mountain is a prominent tourist attraction, especially domestically.

* The northwest slope is where founded Pure Land Buddhism in 402, and features the ''Donglin Temple''.

* Lushan National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site whereas Lushan Quaternary Glaciation National Geopark is a member of .

* The ''Lushan Botanical Gardens'' features tens of thousands of plant species.

* Below the ''Five Old Men Peak'' is the ''White Deer Grotto Academy'', named after the poet Li Bo , who raised white deer there. It is amongst the oldest institutes of higher learning in ancient China.

* West is the ''Flower Path'' which provided inspiration to Bai Juyi, a famous poet who lived during the Tang Dynasty.

* Between the Yangtze River and Lake Poyang lie the Greater and Lesser Tianchi Lakes, the Jingxiu Valley, and Lulin Lake. On the north bank of the latter is the ''Lushan Museum'', which features pottery and bronzes dating from various periods of ancient China, as well as calligraphic works from the Tang Dynasty and paintings from the and dynasties.

* At the centre , and at an altitude of over 1 kilometer above sea level, is the town of ''Guling'', which is linked by a mountain highway to neighboring spots in the region.

Mount Longhu

Mount Longhu , lit. "Dragon Tiger Mountain", is located in Jiangxi, China. It is famous for being one of the birthplaces of Taoism, with many Taoist temples built upon the mountainside. It is particularly important to the Zhengyi Dao as it the Shangqing Temple and the Mansion of the Taoist Master are located here.

Two of them are the temples of Immortal City and Zheng Yi , all founded by Zhang Daoling , the Han Dynasty founder of the religion. There are more Taoist temples in nearby Shangqing . One of the temples in Shangqing is mentioned in the beginning of the famous Chinese novel "Outlaws of the Marsh".

Mount Longhu can be reached from the nearby city of Yingtan.

Mount Liang

Mount Liang is a mountain in Liangshan County, Shandong province, China which rises to 197.9 m above sea level. It is well known as the stronghold of the 108 legendary Song Dynasty heroes of the classic Chinese novel ''Water Margin''. The modern Liangshan County is located a few kilometres to the north, and 80km west of the Beijing-Shanghai railway line.

The original Mount Liang was named after the son of , the King of Liang, who was buried on the mountain. The area was from prehistoric times surrounded by the largest marshland in north China, called the Daye Marsh and later the Liangshan Marsh. During the Song Dynasty, the Yellow River passed through the area. Mount Liang was located at the extreme north of what became known as the "eight hundred ''li'' moorage of Mount Liang". Because the area was largely a wasteland on the frontiers of several administrative units, government control was minimal. It is known that bandit chiefs were active in the area during the Northern Song, although Song Jiang - one of the chief protagonists of the ''Water Margin'' - was not associated with the area. Some of the bandits on Mount Liangshan preyed selectively upon the rich and became known as "righteous bandits" . Legends about the heroes of Mount Liangshan, which provided the basis for the ''Water Margin'', probably formed from this historical context. Banditry continued on Mount Liang until the mid-seventeenth century, when the Qing Dynasty government established a military garrison at what is now the city of Liangshan.

''Water Margin'' describes Mount Liangshan in majestic terms, imagining its peak to be a plateau ringed by high mountains and protected by six passes and eight fortresses. The Yuan Dynasty play ''Black Hurricane Presents Twin Victories'' envisages Mount Liangshan as having: "seventy-two deep rivers, garrisoned with hundreds of warships. In thirty-six feasting towers are gathered food for a million soldiers and their mounts."

When the Yellow River shifted course 1289, the marshes of Liangshan shrunk considerably. During the Ming Dynasty it had been reduced to five smaller marshlands. After the Yellow River shifted back to its northern course in 1853, the marshes were gradually filled in by sediments carried downstream by the river and human land reclamation. Today the relatively small Dongping Lake is what remains of the great marshes.

Considerable effort has been made in recent years to develop Liangshan as a destination for domestic tourists. A number of buildings have been erected to match descriptions given in ''Water Margin''. The mountain now has a somewhat theme park feel about it.

Moon Hill

Moon Hill 月亮山 or Moon Mountain is a hill with a natural arch through it a few kilometers outside Yangshuo in southern Guangxi autonomous region. It is so named for a wide, semicircular hole through the hill, all that remains of what was once a limestone cave formed in the phreatic zone. Like most formations in the region, it is karst. It is also a popular tourist attraction.

It takes about 20 minutes to climb to the arch, or considerably longer for those who mean to reach the hill's summit. Access is not free and visitors must pay an entrance fee to be allowed to climb the hill. Souvenirs and refreshment vendors often follow climbers up and down the path.

In addition to a concrete tourist path which passes through the arch, and a somewhat rougher, steeper path leading to the summit above the arch, Moon Hill has several rock climbing routes, the first of which was climbed by Todd Skinner in the 1990s. It has also been used for abseils in several adventure races.

Moon hill offers some broad, panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, which is characterized by the knobby karst hills found throughout the region.


Molamenqing or Phola Gangchen is an eastern outlier of Shishapangma, the . Both are in the Jugal Himal, a subrange of the Himalaya in Tibet. Its elevation is also given as 7,661 m ; the elevation given here is from a Chinese survey. Molamenqing is little-known, partly since it does not have much independent stature. Its topographic prominence, i.e. its rise above the saddle connecting it with Shishapangma, is only 430 metres, which is relatively small for a Himalayan peak, although large enough for it to qualify in some reckonings as an independent peak.

Molamenqing did enjoy a temporary fame in the early 1980's. At the time it was one of the highest unclimbed peaks in the world . A team from New Zealand applied to the authorities to climb the peak, and became one of the first Western teams to be allowed to climb in Tibet since before World War II. The team succeeded in making the first, and so far the only, ascent of the mountain. They started from the east side of the peak, but their long route went via the north side of Shishapangma and approached the summit from the west.

The lists no other attempts on this peak.


Jill Neate, ''High Asia: an illustrated history of the 7,000 metre peaks'', The Mountaineers, 1989.

Further reading

* Warwick Anderson, ''To the Untouched Mountain: the New Zealand Conquest of Molamenqing'', Reed, 1983.

Mogan Shan

Mogan Shan is a mountain located in Deqing County, Zhejiang Province, China - sixty kilometers away from the city of Hangzhou and 200 km from Shanghai.

It is part of the Moganshan National Park and at its base is the small village of Moganshan.

Known for its cool temperatures during the scorching summers, it has long been the playground of the Shanghai elite in the past. Today, Moganshan mixes a country lifestyle with a mix of local inns and old villas built early in the 20th century.


According to Chinese legend, in the Spring and Autumn Period of 770- 476 BC, China’s most talented swordsmith Ganjiang, arrived in the mountains. It was here that he cast and forged a pair of special swords on the demand of the Emperor of Wu. Gan’s wife was called Moye, hence the name Mogan Mountains and the main tourist attraction Sword Pond.

The crisp refreshing breezes of Mogan Mountain first enchanted foreigners in the 1880’s, where rooms and houses were rented from locals. This ideal summer retreat soon attracted the foreign community in Shanghai who came together, dug deep into their pockets and bought the mountain top for 50 dollars.

Large European style villas, houses, churches and public halls were built for missionaries, businessmen, customs officials and their families. Many of these villas and houses are still standing, with some being turned into hotels and guesthouses operating today.

By 1910 approximately 300 foreigners, mostly Americans and British, had set up summer homes on the hill. The foreigners left the mountain top with the rise of the Communist party in 1949, where the villas were handed out to different work units or “danwei’s” from Hangzhou and Shanghai.


Moganshan is a major bamboo area, with lush bamboo forests on its slopes and surrounding areas.

Tourism Today

Moganshan receives a variety of Chinese and foreign visitors for relaxation, hiking, and visiting a variety of scenic and historical spots, including the post-WWII villa of Chiang Kai-shek.

Mazong Shan

The Mazong Shan is a minor mountain range of northern Gansu, between the Altay range to the north and the Qilian range to the south. The Mazong Shan peak rises to 2584 m.


Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world and is located east of Mount Everest, on the border between Nepal and China. Makalu is an isolated peak whose shape is a four-sided pyramid.

Makalu has two notable subsidiary peaks. Kangchungtse, or Makalu II, , lies about 3 km north-northwest of the main summit. Rising about north-northeast of the main summit across a broad plateau, and connected to Kangchungtse by a narrow, 7,200 m , is Chomo Lonzo, .

Climbing History

The first attempt on Makalu was made by an team led by William Siri in the spring of 1954. They attempted the southeast ridge but were turned back at 7,100 m by a constant barrage of storms. A New Zealand team including was also active in the spring, but did not get very high due to injury and illness. In the fall of 1954, a French reconnaissance expedition made the first ascents of the subsidiary summits Kangchungtse and Chomo Lonzo .

Makalu was first climbed on May 15, 1955 by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy of a expedition led by Jean Franco. Franco, G. Magnone and Sirdar Gyaltsen Norbu summitted the next day, followed by Bouvier, S. Coupe, Leroux and A. Vialatte on the 17th. The French team climbed Makalu by the north face and northeast ridge, via the saddle between Makalu and Kangchungtse , establishing the standard route.

On or about January 27, 2006, the French mountaineer Jean-Christophe Lafaille disappeared on Makalu while trying to make the first winter ascent.

Makalu is one of the harder eight-thousanders, and is considered one of the most difficult mountains in the world to climb. The mountain is notorious for its steep pitches and knife-edged ridges that are completely open to the elements. The final ascent of the summit pyramid involves technical rock climbing. Makalu is the only Nepalese 8,000 m peak which has yet to be climbed in true winter conditions.