Chinese Culture 


 Chinese Culture






The Land Of China -- Landmarks

the Himalayas

In General
The Sanskrit name Himalaya, meaning "abode of snow," truly characterizes the vast permanent snowfields above the snow line. Watching the Himalayas - cool, lofty and majestic - can be a breathtaking experience.
an Abode of Snow
The timelessness of such mountains has a soothing effect, sometimes inspiring, to the beholder.

The highest mountain range on Earth, the Himalayas, comprise three almost parallel ranges interspersed with large plateaus and valleys, forming the northern border of the Indian subcontinent in Asia. The Himalayas extend between the latitudes 26 20 and 35 40 North and between the longitudes 74 50 and 95 40 East, covering an area of 612,021 square kilometers. Several northern Indian states and the kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan lie along the southern slopes of the Himalayas, and the Tibetan Highlands of China border them in the north.
Mountain and Lake
Lower mountian ranges branch off from both ends of the Himalayan system, running along the border with Myanmar toward the Bay of Bengal in the east and - mainly through Pakistan - toward the Arabian Sea in the west.

The most characteristic features of the Himalayas are their great height, complex geologic structure, snowcapped peaks, large valley glaciers, deep river gorges, and rich vegetation. From south to north the Himalayan ranges can be grouped into four parallel belts of varying width. They are the Outer Himalayas; the Lesser, or Lower, Himalayas; the Great, or Higher, Himalayas; and the Tethys, or Tibetan, Himalayas. The Karakoram Range in the northwest is also sometimes considered part of the Himalayan system.
the Chinese Himalaya
The backbone of the system is the Great Himalayas, a single range rising above the snow line with nine of the 14 highest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest.

The Himalayas act as a great divider and influence the climatic conditions of the Indian subcontinent to the south and of the Central Asian highland to the north. The mountain ranges obstruct the cold, dry air from the north in winter. They also force the monsoonal winds to give up moisture, causing heavy rain and snow on the southern side but arid conditions in northern Tibet. Rainfall decreases from east to west.

Everest, Glamorous yet Tragic
Mount Everest is located in Southwestern China and stands 29028 feet above sea level. Everest was first attempted in 1921 by a group led by George Mallory but it was not until 1953 when New Zealander Sir Edmand Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay made the summit via the south col route.
Everest, a Beauty
It was not untill 1963 that the first American expedition made it when Seattle native Jim Whittaker summited with Sherpa Nawang Gombu. A pair of other climbers on that expedition also where the first climbers to climb the West ridge. To date, some 4000 people have tried to climb Everest, around 660 have succeeded, and 142 have lost their lives.

Five miles up, the world's highest summit is at about the cruising altitude of a jet. At that height, only a third of the oxygen at sea level is available. The summit of Everest is a living room-sized mound of snow marked by various flags and science gear. Depending on the level of recent wind and snowfall, there can be varying degrees of exposed rock. In clear weather, the view goes on for hundreds of miles: a network of glaciers running off the mountain below; Himalayan peaks all around (Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu, Cho-Oyu, Pumori);
Cold and Treacherous
and the brown plains of Tibet and China to the north, Nepal and India to the south and west, and Sikkim and Burma to the east. Hillary described the feeling of standing on top as "a satisfaction less vociferous but more powerful than I had ever felt on a mountain top before."

The Death Zone on Everest is above 26,000 feet. Even acclimated, the body begins to shut down, and if a person stays that high long enough, they will die. Most climbers use oxygen here for climbing and sleeping.