Gyachung Kang is the 9th highest mountain in Nepal. It is the 15th highest mountain above sea level in the world. Because its highest point reaches 26,088 feet above sea level, it is also the highest mountain in the world that is not above 26,247 feet (8,000 meters). This article focuses on the relatively unpopular but extremely interesting mountain Gyachung Kang.
Gyachung Kang is located on the border of China and Nepal in the Mahalangur mountain range. The Mahalangur Himal also includes the mountains Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu. Gyachung Kang is the highest peak between Everest and Cho Oyu in the range.
The summit of Gyachung Kang is normally reached via the south east ridge on the border of Nepal and China. To reach the south east ridge, you must fly into Lukla and trek to Gokyo along the Everest Base Camp trekking route. When you reach Gokyo head north to cross the Ngozumpa glacier to Gyachung Kang Base Camp.
The route is simple with minor technical skills required to reach the summit. The summit consists of twin peaks separated by a narrow saddle. The western most peak is the highest.
Gyachung Kang was first summited by a Japaneese team of mountaineers. The team contained Y. Kato, K. Sakaizawa, and Pasang Phutar. They made the first official summit on April 10th, 1964. Since then, maybe a couple of dozen people have climbed it. It is relatively unpopular because of its height and prominence (700 meters).
People of the area
This area is a near a major trade route from Tibet to China. Because of its importance, a few ethnic groups frequent this area. They include Tibetan Sherpas, Nepali Sherpas, Tamang, and Sunwar. There are also other indigenous groups, which include Bhote, Jirel, and Thami.
Sunwar people are from eastern Nepal. They primary follow animism, which is similar to shamanism. There are 52 different subgroups or clans of Sunwar people. Sunwar means gold.
Sherpas are one of the most famous groups of Nepal, receiving notoriety for their ability to live in high altitudes. They are hired to carry equipment for people who attempt to summit Mount Everest. The word Sherpa means Eastern People, which describes where they live and where they come from. Sherpa people speak a dialect of Tibetan. There are many sub-groups or clans of Sherpa people.
The Tamang are an indigenous group of people in the north east area of Nepal. Their name means horse trader in Tibetan. Tamangs are divided into several subgroups or clans. They have their own language that is similar to Tibetan-Bhurmese like the group Gurung. Most Tamangs follow Buddhism.