Namcha Barwa from the west, from Zhibai observation platform
|Elevation||7,782 m (25,531 ft)
|Prominence||4,106 m (13,471 ft)
north of McMahon Line
Namcha Barwa Himal
|First ascent||1992, China–Japan expedition|
|Easiest route||SSW ridge on rock, snow and ice|
Namcha Barwa or Namchabarwa (Tibetan: གནམས་ལྕགས་འབར་བ།, ZYPY: Namjagbarwa; Chinese: 南迦巴瓦峰, Pinyin: Nánjiābāwǎ Fēng) is a mountain in the Tibetan Himalaya. The traditional definition of the Himalaya extending from the Indus River to the Brahmaputra would make it the eastern anchor of the entire mountain chain, and it is the highest peak of its own section as well as Earth's easternmost peak over 7,600 metres.
Namcha Barwa is in an isolated part of southeastern Tibet rarely visited by outsiders. It stands inside the Great Bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River as the river enters its notable gorge across the Himalaya, emerging as the Dihang and becoming the Brahmaputra. Namcha Barwa's sister peak Gyala Peri 7,294 metres rises across the gorge 22 km to the NNW.
Namcha rises 5,000 to 6,800 metres above the Yarlung Tsangpo. After 7,795 metre Batura Sar in the Karakoram was climbed in 1976, Namcha Barwa became the highest unclimbed independent mountain in the world, until it was finally climbed in 1992.
Frank Kingdon-Ward described in the 1920s, "a quaint prophecy among the Kongbo Tibetans that Namche Barwa will one day fall into the Tsangpo gorge and block the river, which will then turn aside and flow over the Doshong La [pass]. This is recorded in a book by some fabulous person whose image may be seen in the little gompa [monastery] at Payi, in Pome. " (126-7)
Namcha Barwa was located in 1912 by British surveyors but the area remained virtually unvisited until Chinese alpinists began attempting the peak in the 1980s. Although they scouted multiple routes, they did not reach the summit. In 1990 a Chinese-Japanese expedition reconnoitered the peak. Another joint expedition reached 7460m in 1991 but lost member Hiroshi Onishi in an avalanche. The next year a third Chinese-Japanese expedition established six camps on the South Ridge over intermediate Nai Peng (7,043m) reaching the summit October 30. Eleven climbers climbed to the summit. U.K. Alpine Club's Himalayan Index lists no further ascents.
- "High Asia II: Himalaya of Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and adjoining region of Tibet". Peaklist.org. Retrieved 2014-06-01.
- Neate, Jill (1990). High Asia: An Illustrated History of the 7,000 Metre Peaks. Seattle: Mountaineers Books. pp. 1–4;14–15. ISBN 0-89886-238-8.
- "A river´s bend -- Trip to Yarlung Zangpo Canyon". CCTV-International. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- Namjagbarwa Mountaineering Map (1:50,000), Chinese Research Institute of Surveying and Mapping, China Mountaineering Association, 1990, ISBN 7-5031-0538-0.
- High Asia digital elevation models
- American Alpine Journal 1993, pp. 279-280.
- Neate, 1990, op. cit..
- "Namcha Barwa". American Alpine Journal (Boulder, Colorado: American Alpine Club) 33 (65): 285. 1991. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- Tsuneo Shigehiro. "China Japan joint expedition to Namcha Barwa 1992". Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- "Shigehiro, 1992, op. cit.".
- "Himalayan Index". London: Alpine Club. Retrieved May 18, 2011.