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Asia, Southeast China, Kang Karpo, Yünnan

Kang Karpo, Yunnan. Kang Karpo (6840 meters, 22,441 feet) is the highest mountain in Yunnan. It rises in the ridge above the deep gorges of the Mekong and the Salween as an eastern extention of the Himalaya. Although the region is completely of Tibetan culture, the Chinese have given the mountain the name of Mei-Li, but the only name used for the peak in the region is Tibetan, Kang Karpo, which means “Snow White Mountain.” It is a holy mountain and Tibetans make the complete circuit around the peak as pilgrimages. Until 1987, the region was off limits for foreign climbers. In the fall of both 1987 and 1988, Japanese climbers under the leadership of Goro Iwatsubo of Kyoto University tried unsuccessfully to climb Kang Karpo. In May of 1988 Nick Clinch, Tom Hombein, Peter Schoening, Lisa Schoening, Robert (Brownie) Schoene, Woodward Kingman and Richard Wilsey, supported by Bob Bates and me and wives, also attempted the peak. The monsoon arrived three weeks ahead of its usual time and the Americans were not able to get much above 5000 meters.

H. Adams Carter