Minya Konka Northwest Ridge
|Elevation||7,556 m (24,790 ft)
|Prominence||3,642 m (11,949 ft)
|Location||Garzê Tibetan Prefecture, Sichuan, China|
|Range||Daxue Shan (大雪山)|
|First ascent||October 28, 1932 by Terris Moore, Richard Burdsall|
|Easiest route||Northwest Ridge|
Mount Gongga (simplified Chinese: 贡嘎山; traditional Chinese: 貢嘎山; pinyin: Gònggá Shān), also known as Minya Konka (Khams Tibetan pinyin: Mi'nyâg Gong'ga Riwo), is the highest mountain in Sichuan province, China. It is also known to locals as "The King of Sichuan Mountains". Situated in the Daxue Shan mountain range, part of the Hengduan mountainous region, Mount Gongga is the easternmost 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) peak in the world and the third highest peak outside of the Himalaya/Karakoram, after Tirich Mir and Kongur Tagh.
The peak has large vertical relief over the deep nearby gorges.
In 1930 the explorer Joseph Rock, making the first attempt to measure its altitude, mis-calculated its height as 30,250 ft (9,220 m) and cabled the National Geographic Society to announce Minya Konka as the highest mountain in the world. This measurement was viewed with suspicion from the start, and the Society's decision to check Rock's calculations before publication was well-founded. Following discussions with the Society, Rock reduced the claim to 7,803 m (25,600 ft) in his formal publication. In 1930 Swiss geographer Eduard Imhof measured 7,590 m (24,900 ft).
A second, better-equipped American team returned in 1932, and did an accurate survey of the peak and its environs. Their summit altitude measurement agreed with Imhof's figure of 7,590 m. Two members (Terris Moore, and Richard Burdsall) of this small expedition (only four climbing members, including Arthur B. Emmons and Jack T. Young) succeeded in climbing to the summit. They began on the west side of the mountain and climbed the Northwest Ridge.
This was a remarkable achievement at the time, considering the height of the mountain, its remoteness, and the small size of the group. In addition, this peak was the highest summit reached by Americans until 1958 (though Americans had by that time climbed to higher non-summit points). The book written by the expedition members, "Men Against The Clouds," remains a mountaineering classic.
The Himalayan Index lists five additional ascents of Gongga Shan, and seven unsuccessful attempts. A number of deaths have occurred on Gongga Shan, which earned a reputation as a difficult and dangerous mountain. In 1981, eight Japanese climbers died after a successful ascent. Until 1999, more climbers had died trying to climb the mountain than had reached the summit.
- "Expedition zum Minya Konka in Chinesisch Tibet 1930".
- "Himalayan Index". The Alpine Club. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
- Searchers find body missing for 26 years, AAP, Jun 12 2007[dead link]
- Macfarlane, Robert (15 October 2012). "Ice, from The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot". Design Observer. Observer Omnimedia LLC. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- R. Burdsall, T. Moore, A. Emmons, and J. Young, Men Against The Clouds (revised edition), The Mountaineers, 1980.
- Jill Neate, High Asia: An Illustrated History of the 7000 Metre Peaks, ISBN 0-89886-238-8
Further reading 
- Michael Brandtner: Minya Konka Schneeberge im Osten Tibets. Die Entdeckung eines Alpin-Paradieses. Detjen-Verlag, Hamburg 2006, ISBN 3-937597-20-4
- Arnold Heim: Minya Gongkar. Verlag Hans Huber, Bern–Berlin 1933
- Eduard Imhof: Die großen kalten Berge von Szetschuan. Orell Füssli Verlag, Zürich 1974
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Gongga Shan|
- Corrected versions of SRTM digital elevation data
- Gongga Shan Travel and Trekking Guide on Chinabackpacker