Natural Stupa (left). Image: Tamotsu Nakamura

The Balagezong area, located northwest of Shangri-La City, includes two dozen peaks from 4,500 to 5,000 meters in height. The highest reaches 5,545 m. For general information on the area see here.

The well known Japanese climber Tamotsu Nakamura has written an article on potential peak ascents. His map will prove particularly helpful to trekkers. In his 2016 report, Mr. Nakamura describes the main Balagezong attractions:

1. Holy Mountain Balagezong 5545m is called “Gezongsongben” in Tibetan turned from three beautiful princesses in legend. These peaks, Natural Stupa (Shangbala Stupa) ca 5000m and other prominently soaring strange rock peaks (4700-5000m), alluring alpine meadows, and mysterious high mountain lakes are impressive and attractive. All peaks are untrodden and remain unclimbed. Contrast with fascinating peaks enchants visitors.

2. At a meeting point of Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet, Balagezong is fascinating for brilliant Shangri-la Grand Canyon. The magnificent canyon captivates tourists as 2.5km artificially-made hanging path ensures safe walking and they enjoy river rafting in return. In the typical “U Shape canyon, the cliff with 200-1000m drop is exciting.

3. Bala at 3200m is a typical Tibetan hamlet. “Bala” means “A Tibetan village which came from Batang, Sichuan”. Some 300 years ago a Khamba family sought for a paradise, an ideal homeland with no warfare and misery, and finally settled down here after overcoming hardship to migrate to unknown place. Tibetan style wooden houses are layer-built along the mountain side.

Written by
Ken Krov