Himalaya Mountain Ranges
This mountain belt is spreaded in the length of 2500 kms and width moving between 200 kms and 400 kms. Most of peaks of main ridge exceeds 6000 metres, whereas you can find there eleven „main“ eight-thousands high peaks, the six other official registered „neighbouring“ eight thousands high shields, and more than three hundred peaks of seven thousands metres height. If you take into consideration the survey of ten highest mountains of the world, you can see that one peak only (the second highest mountain of the world) is not be be found in Himalaya, but in Karakoram Mountain Range (it is K2).
Himalaya Area is divided according to several points of view: some analyses come from the fact that mountain range is naturally divided with flows of great rivers, the other divide this area according to territory administrative stand-point (as, for instance: Sikkim, Bhutan, Assam, Nepal, Kashmir, etc.). As far as the first case is concerned, this is obsolete division, on the other hand, the second division does not correspond to natural mountain range division. At present, geological division is more practical and useful (according to geological construction and relief), dividing Himalaya into longitudinal belts - i.e. Tibet, Great and Small Himalaya and Sivalik Belt, or detailed orographic division, in accordance to H.Adams Carter division – when Himalaya range is divided into ten sections with many belts or mountain groups. So, just this division is being used in the following lines, together with highest peaks of each areas.
From East Himalaya to Kuru Chu-river:
Namcha Barwa Belt (7782 m), Pachakshiri (Nyegyi Kangsang, 7047 m), Kangto (7090 m).
Kuru Chu-Kangphu Amo Chu Section:
Kunla Kangri Belt (7554 m), Lunala (Kangphu Kang, 7212 m), Chomolhari (7315 m).
Section between Kangphu-river, Amo Chu-river and Arun-river:
Dongkya (Pauhunri, 7125 m), Chorten Nyima (6927 m), Kangchenjunga Himal (8586 m - the third highest peak of the world), Yanak Himal (Yongsang, 7483 m), Abak Himal (6424 m- this peak has no name).
Section between Arun-river and Sun Kosi-river:
Mahalangur Himal: this extended area is divided into three sub-sections, such as:
Makalu (8463 m, this peak has the same name. It is the fifth highest peak of the world). Barun (Chamlang, 7319 m), Khumbu (Mt.Everest – 8848 m, the highest mountain peak of the world is to be found there). As far as the other eight thousnad high peaks are concerned, it is to be mentioned Lhotse (8516 m – the fourth highest mountain of the world), Lhotse Shar (8400 m), Lhotse Central Peak (8292 m) and Cho Oyu (8201 m). Rolwaling Himal (Menlungtse I, 7181 m) and Pamari Himal (Chomo Pamari, 6109 m) belong also to this section.
Sun Kosi-Trisuli Gandaki Section:
Yugal Himal (Shishapangma, 8013 m), Langtang Himal (Langtang Lirung, 7234 m).
Trisuli Gandaki-Kali Gandaki Section:
Ganesh Himal (Ganesh I, 7429 m), Serang Himal (Chama, 7187 m), Kutang Himal (7139 m, shield without name), Manaslu Himal (Manaslu, 8163 m), Peri Himal (7139 m - elevation measure without name), Damodar Himal (6889 m, shield without name), Annapurna Himal (Annapurna I, 8091 m).
Kali Gandaki-Kali Section:
The following extended group of mountains is divided into thirteen belts:
Dhaulagiri Himal (Dhaulagiri I, 8167 m), Dolpo Himal (6328 m, elevation measure without name), Kanjiroba Himal (Kanjiroba, 6883 m), Mustang Himal (6599 m, shield without name), Tutam Himal ( 6188 m, elevation measure without name), Palchung Hamga Himal (6528 m, shield without name), Kanti Himal, Gorakh Himal (Asaya Tuppa, 6255 m), Changla Himal (6219 m, elevation measure without name), Gurans Himal (Api, 7132 m).
East Kumaon (Panchuli II, 6791 m), Nanda Devi (7816 m), Kamet (7756 m), Gangotri (Chaukhamba I, 7138 m), Bandarpunch (Black Peak, 6387 m).
Kulu-Lahul-Spiti (Leo Pargial, 6791 m), Zanskar (Gapo Ri, 6005 m), Stok (Stok Kangri, 6153 m), Nun-Kun (Nun, 7135 m), Kishtwar-Brammah (Brammah Group, 6450 m), Ladakh Range.
Deosai, Pangi, Nanga Parbat (8125 m).
Man conquests Himalaya Mountains
The first Europeans´messages, regarding snowed up Himalaya Peaks, come just from Marco Polo trip, and Oderich of Pordenone, his cooperator. He came to Lhasa just in 1331. Nevertheless, more detailed record of travels into these mountains appear even since 17th century.
To most important travellers of 18th century, Hippolitus Desideri could be named. He managed to overcome Kashmir Mountain Range, up to the town of Lhasa. He lived there for couple of years, studying local language and handwriting. Till the beginning of 20th century, various expeditions reached the heights exceeding 7000 metres, whereas the magic frontier of eight thousands metres was overcome by British group, led by C.G.Bruce, (concretely, 8326 metres of elevation measure), just in 1922. This expedition used, as the first one in history, oxygen devices, while mounting upstairs. Anyway, boom of mountains´ conquest started after 2nd World War. At that time, each state, which took some importance in mounteneering, tried to conquest some mountain of eight-thousand height.
So, from ten highest peaks of the world, nine peaks were overcome till 1950. The highest one - Mt. Everest, was conquested for the first time on 29th May 1953, by Edmund Hillary (New Zealand) and Sherpa Tenzing Norkay (Nepal).
Even Czech, or better to say, Czechoslovak mounteneers left their trace in Himalaya Mountains, too. So, Czech flag could be put for the first time in a point, higher than 8000 metres in 1971, when Ivan Fiala and Michal Orolín overcame Nanga Parbat Peak (8125 m). Ten years later, in 1981, the expedition from Ostrava conquered north-east pillar of Nanda Devi, and Slovak expedition mounted 8000 metres high peak (Kangchenjunga) without use of oxygen devices. During time period 1990-1995, very successful serie of mountain climbing of Josef Rakoncaj, Czech most popular mountain-climber, was developped. His mounteneering started with climb through north wall of K2 in Karakoram, within scope of Italian expedition. At the beginning of 1996, Mr.Rakoncaj overcame totally nine peaks of eight-thousands high mountains, he climbed quite dangerous K2 Peak even twice!
Himalaya Mountains present an important climatic border among continental semi-arid climate of Tibet territory and ocean climate prevailing in India. So, permanent glacier covering is to be found in highest altitudes, despite the fact that this mountain range is placed in sub-tropical climate belt. The climate in Himalaya is expressively influenced with summer and winter monsoon streamings. So, winter monsoon is passing through since November up to February, and summer monsoon is prevailing since the beginning of June up to the end of September.
As far as the precipitations are concerned, East Himalaya average monsoon rains bring 4000 -6000mm, whereas in West Himalaya the rains bring 2000-3000 mm. The temperatures are moving within scope of wide scale, which is, of course, influenced by the altitude above sea level: The average temperature in East Himalaya (up to the height of 800 metres) is moving between -5° C up to 0° C. Daily temperature staggering makes in lower positions 20-30° C, in great mountain positions even 30-35° C. Nevertheless, the lowest temperatures prevail in positions, higher than 8000 metres above sea level, from -50° C and -60° C. Although in highest altitudes of Himalaya Mountains, permanent glacier covering is to be found, its surface is not too big - it is estimated to be 10000 square kilometres approx. The reason for this fact is ruling subtropical belt, characteristic with its prevailing precipitations during summer saison, with a consequence that snow is thawing there. So, to the longest glacier valleys could be placed Gangotri Glacier (27 kms), Bara Shigri (26 kms), Kangchenjunga Glacier (22 kms) and Nyanam Phi Glacier (20 kms).
Himalaya fauna and flora present many-coloured palette, especially owing to extreme climatic and other differences, prevailing in this mountain range. Let´s imagine: in south-east parts of Himalaya (in an altitude 600-3000 metres above sea level) prevail tropical virgin forests and vegetace culminates with Alpine meadows, just in heights of 5000 metres. You can find there subtropical semi-deserts, steppes, forest-steppes, forests, meadows, bushes, etc. In forests, there are growing pine-trees, cedars, larch-trees, fir-trees, oaks, birches or juniper-trees. Orchid-lovers find their favoured plants in lower vegetace belts of Himalaya - they can find there more than 20000 sorts. Even fauna is able to offer something, more than 220 sorts of mammals are living there: Indian elephants and rhinoceroses belong to those most exotic ones. Auerochs even-ungulates are typical animal representants, such as anteloppes, wild buffalos, wild yaks, bahral sheep, or ibex. Even rare cat beasts of pray, such as Indian tigers, gepards and snow irbis are living there. The monkeys present another numerous group of animals, you can meet there makaks and hulmans.
Local population form, similarly as fauna and flora, many-coloured mosaic as well. From faith point of view, you can meet there the confessors of Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhis Lamaism religions. To main ethnic groups belong, for instance: Ladaks (150000 persons approx.)Kashmirs (2 millions), Thamang (900000), Sunar (40000), Rai (450000), Newari (1 million), Limbu (320000), Lecha (75000), Bhutans and Tibet population.
Text: J. Štantejský
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
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