Nature
Desperate Times at the Headwaters of the Yangtze

------ The obvious change in the
area of Geladaindong Peak
was the increasing number
of ruts in the roads. The
headwaters - accessible only
to vehicles of expedition and
mountaineering teams in the
past - are now reached by
business people who drive to
the pastures in winter to barter
and trade. Some rich herdsmen have bought cars for business and travel. Now fewer herdsmen are seen riding horses or herding cattle along the road to Yanshiping. Traditional culture and the way of life are being challenged by the temptations of modern civilization.
------ The 6,621-m Geladaindong, the main peak of Thanglha Mountain, was surrounded by about twenty 6,000-m-high peaks covered in snow all year round. In Tibetan Geladaindong means a tall tapering mountain, and Kanggya Qupag Glacier was once the biggest glaciers at the headwaters of the Yangtze. It is the source of the Dor Qu River, a branch of the Dam Qu River, which runs into the Yangtze to the south. There are 104 glaciers around Gelandaidong Peak. As a gigantic solid reservoir, the glaciers are rich sources for the Yangtze - the longest river in China, as well as for the Nujiang and Lancang Rivers.


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