Namcha Barwa is part of the Tibetan Himalaya.

Why Is It Famous?

Namcha Barwa is the eastern anchor of the Tibetan Himalaya mountain range. It is the tallest peak in its section and the easternmost peak on the planet that is over 7,600 meters.

What Is Nearby?

Namcha Barwa sits in an isolated region of southeastern Tibet that few outsiders have visited. It is inside the Yarlung Tsangpo River’s Great Bend. There is a sister peak across the gorge. This peak, Gyala Peri, is 7,294 meters high and 22 kilometers to the north-northwest of Namcha Barwa.

Geological Description

Namcha Barwa sits  5,000 to 6,000 meters higher than the Yarlung Tsangpo River. The mountain is among the world’s highest and is the Himalayas’ third-most-prominent peak. The gorge at the Great Bend of Yarlung Tsangpo by Namcha Barwa is three times the depth of the Grand Canyon.

In China, Namcha Barwa has a well-preserved vertical vegetation zone. There are semi-evergreen and evergreen tropical rainforests throughout the southern slope’s river valley. The vegetation along the southern slope is different from that of the northern slope due to changes in precipitation and altitude.

Events in Time

British expeditions determined the height and position of Namcha Barwa in 1912, although previous explorers had already confirmed its existence. During the 1920s, Frank Kingdon-Ward described a prophecy among certain local tribes that the mountain would fall into the river’s gorge, blocking the river.

Between 1976 and 1992, Namcha Barwa was the world’s highest independent mountain that had not been climbed. Chinese alpinists started making climbing attempts during the 1980s and scouted multiple routes. The summit was reached in 1992 by a third Chinese-Japanese expedition.


The eastern anchor of the Tibetan Himalaya, Namcha Barwa is one of the highest peaks in the world and the furthest east of any peak over 7,600 meters.