Midui Glacier


Nyainqntanglha Mountains together with Boxoila Ling is a series of southeast mountains. The southwest monsoon from the Indian Ocean can proceed northward along the Yarlung Zangbo River and Zayu River Valley and go deep onto a series of mountains, which resulted in a large scale of precipitation there. Consequently, there welcomed the birth of a magnificent fairy glacier-Midui Glacier around the peak at an altitude of 6385 meters that is behind a Tibetan village named Midui. Midui is a place named after a glacier which situated about 100 km east of Bomi County, Nyingchi Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region. Midui Glacier, located in Yupu Township that is more than 90 km away from the County seat, is the lowest altitude above sea level in the world. It was ranked by China National Geography Magazine as one of the top six most beautiful glaciers in China. 

The highest summit of Midui Glacier is up to 6800 meters above the sea level and the altitude of its snow line is around 4600 meters while the elevation of its end is only about 2400 meters high. The lower part of Midui Glacier has already made its way through the coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, becoming one of the most significant marine type glaciers in Tibet. There are snow lights shining on this glacier year in and year out with its scenery uncommonly fantastic and charming. It is a typical modern monsoon-type temperate glacier with completed styles. It is mainly characterized by huge icy basin, numerous avalanches, steep and massive icy falls of over 700 meters high and the arch icy structure in the upstream of ablation zone as well as coexistence of icy lake, farmland and villages at the end of Midui Glacier.

Midui Glacier is situated on upstream of the Midui River-a tributary of lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River that is 84 kilometers far from the Sichuan-Tibet highway and flows into the Palongzangbu River on the south shore. Midui Glacier is of large scale with really convenient access to near the Sichuan-Tibet highway, a typical representative of the maritime glacier in the southeast of Tibet. The features of Midui Glacier are emblematical and its types are complete as well, and it is noted for a beautiful developed arch structure, a rare natural wonder. Here in this district syncretized glaciers, lakes, farmlands, villages and forests etc. making this place a model that human and nature are in harmonious coexistence and a great tourist destination and study place as well.

The development of the Midui Glacier is derived from snow-capped mountains at an altitude of about 6000 meters where two huge chair-shaped icy basins lied on. There covered a great sum of snow and ice on three sides of these icy basins that seemed able to cause avalanches at any time. Within just a few hours can witness three avalanches while its upright avalanche slot looks like having been hacked. Probably, however, the frequent avalanches are exactly the main mode of supply for the development of glaciers. Once there accumulated overfull snow, it will spontaneously flow out of the icy basins, falling into another one at the source of Midui River in the form of a huge ice fall which is up to more than 800 meters in height. The scene seems strange and spectacle with an imposing manner that is very rare in the world, making you praise the nature in spite of yourself.

If compared this glacier to an “ice dragon” traveling down from high mountains, the arch structure is just like ribs of the dragon, which was the result of varied temperature and humidity of the ice of the ice falls in winter and in summer. Such a clearly developed arch structure with this huge scale has never been emerged on this Midui Glacier before, thus, it is no doubt to be recognized as a great glacier spectacle. Frequently occurred avalanche spectacle and huge ice waterfall wonders as well as completely and beautifully developed arch spectacle, all these contributed to the achievements of Midui.

Setting out from Midui Village, there is 2 km or so that is in need of more than one hour’s walk to arrive at the sightseeing stand. Usually after 8 am, you can ride up the mountain or invite a local villager to lead your way and assist with your backpack after all hiking in high-altitude area need to save some energy. Generally, you just need to pay about 20 RMB to whom helped your backpack. The lower edge of the glacier is 2400 meters above the sea level almost and ordinary people can just stop here. However, tourists who are very interested in and also with courage can continue to move forward and wade through the glacier. Furthermore, you have to pay more attention to the cracks and holes everywhere on your foot in addition to beware of avalanche.


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