Kunlun’s Path through the Valley of Death

In the myths and legends of different cultural systems around the world, God almost always lives on the mountain. Perhaps this is because Xianshan represents a place that mortals can only dream of and cannot reach. The Shanhai Jing said that Kunlun Mountain is the highest mountain in the country, living in the northwest, with a radius of eight hundred miles and a height of seven or eight thousand feet; It is generally believed that there are many names of “Kunlun” in ancient books with many names. In today’s geographic concept, the Kunlun Mountains are the mountain ranges of central Asia and the backbone of the mountain ranges of western China. It extends from the east of Pamir Plateau to the west, extends into the west of Qinghai Province to the east, and reaches the northwest of Sichuan Province. It is about 2,500 kilometers long, with an average elevation of 5500-6000 meters, and a total area of ​​more than 500,000 square kilometers.

Kunlun Mountain is the cradle of Chinese mythology. In ancient legends, Kunlun Mountain is where important immortals are located. We all know the legendary story of Pangu’s opening up the world, the son-in-law to fill the sky, Houyi shooting the sun, Chang’e to the moon, and Zhou Mu’s meeting with the Queen Mother of the West all originate from Kunlun mythology. There is such a record in Shan Hai Jing · Da Jing Xi Jing: “The South of the West Sea, the shore of quicksand, after Chishui, before Heshui, there is a mountain called Kunlun Hill. There is a god, a human face and a tiger body, and there is a text. Tail, all white, everywhere. Underneath it is the abyss of weak water, surrounded by a mountain of flames, and the object is stunned. Some people have hoops, tiger teeth, a leopard tail, a cave, and the name is Queen Mother West. This There are everything in the mountains. “This” head mother of the west “, a human head and leopard, gradually evolved into the righteous god in Taoism, and took charge of the heaven court with the east king. According to the description of “Fengshen Romance”, the Taoist Yuxu Palace of Yuan Shi Tianzun, the master of the sect of religion, is located in Kunlun Mountain, and Jiang Taigong also practiced there. These legends record the important course of mankind from birth to development, and the process of its generation and spread is consistent with the formation and development of the Huaxia nation. In 2010, Kunlun Myth was included in the World Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

Dangerous Legends
The remote location and high altitude of Kunlun Mountain are unattainable and challenging for many people; but in history, many ethnic groups such as Dai and Tibetan have lived here since ancient times.

The Kunlun Mountains produce a variety of precious jade stones. Ancient people excavated, picked up, and purchased them, and then transported them to the Central Plains via East Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Shaanxi, and Shanxi. This is the predecessor of the Silk Road-“The Jade Stone” “Roads”, on the basis of which the Golden Road and Bronze Road used for commerce and trade have been derived. According to research, the history of these routes can be traced back to more than 6000 years ago. According to the “Biography of Mu Tianzi”, Zhou Mu’s westward tour also followed this path of jade.

In ancient times, the Tubo people who were active in the snowy plateau also opened a “salt road” at the foot of Kunlun Mountain. This road crosses Aksaiqin (which means “White Rock Beach in China” in Turkic language) sandwiched between Karakorum and Kunlun Mountains, then crosses Kunlun Mountain northward, and then reaches east and west respectively to Xinjiang today Hetian, Yecheng and other places. The ancients also transported musk produced by Tubo to the Central Roman countries and even the ancient Roman empire through the Qamdo-Lhasa-Ali-Western Asia route. This road flourished during the Guge Dynasty from the mid 10th century to the early 17th century. For a while, it was called “Musk Road” by future generations.

During the Western Han Dynasty, Zhang Jian cut through the western region and became the first “explorer” to travel long distances in the Kunlun Mountains. On his way back from the Great Moon to the Central Plains, along the northern foot of Kunlun Mountain, then known as the “South Mountain”, he traveled from west to east for 2,000 kilometers, and experienced the Kunlun Mountains. After returning to Chang’an, Zhang Jian made a report to the Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty;

More than 1,000 years ago, Master Tang Xuanzhang, a master of the Tang dynasty, passed through the East, also passed the Kunlun Mountains and recorded the place name of “Pomei Luochuan” in “The Tang Dynasty’s Western Regions”, which is today the Pamir Plateau.

Xu Xiake, a “strange elder man” of the Ming Dynasty, went through the journey from chicken feet to the west, thousands of miles out of Yumen Pass, to Kunlun Mountain, and poor stars and seas. I have n’t seen Kunlun; Tang Xuanzhang and Yuan Yelu Chucai were named the masters of the people, so they traveled westward. I used the old commoner, lonely couple, the poor river sand, the upper Kunlun, the Western Region, the title of the country, and three for four “Don’t hate me if you die.” It can be seen that “Upper Kunlun, Lixiyu” is the pride of his life.

In October 1935, the Central Red Army completed the last leg of the Long March. When it was about to reach northern Shaanxi, Chairman Mao Zedong who climbed the peak of Laoshan felt the scenery and wrote the famous poem “Niannujiao Kunlun”.

In April 1956, Marshal Chen Yi wrote an Ode to the Kunlun Mountains while passing through Kunlun Mountains on his way to Tibet.

Finding hidden gold in Kunlun Mountain
Ancient ancestors opened three ancient trails that crossed the Kunlun Mountains and connected to Xinzang, including the Keliyang Ancient Trail that crossed Keliyang Daban, the Sangzhu Ancient Trail that crossed the Sangzhu Daban from Sangzhu Town, Pishan County, and the Passover The shortest distance, but also the most difficult Kriya road, which is entered by the Riya Pass into Qiangtang, North Tibet. The ancient road of Creya was opened during the Tubo period, passing through the sulfur daban (5114 meters), breaking Lahu Tedaban (5030 meters), Attamu daban (5500 meters), and crossing the Creya mountain pass 250 kilometers (5445 meters), the mountain road is rugged and the weather is harsh. It is necessary to cross many Daban above 5000 meters above sea level. It is prone to hypoxia and various mountain diseases. It is a famous and challenging route.

There is also a legend of a treasure on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In the Qing Dynasty, the Mongolian Heshuotebei West Right Middle Banner (that is, Taijinai Banner) from the southern edge of the Qaidam Basin to the Kunlun Mountains controlled the local mineral resources and inherited it from generation to generation; in the legend, Wangfu had a “Kunlun Mountain Treasure Map “records the route from the bird figure Meiren in the Qaidam Basin to the Kunlun Mountain uninhabited area and to the” Hongjintai “gold mine. During the gold rush in the 1970s and 1980s, many people bought treasure maps at high prices and rushed here to dig for gold. Many stories happened during this time. In the years that followed, there were also a lot of friends who wanted to explore, and the author was one of them.

I once visited Kunlun Mountain starting from Wutu Meiren Township, Golmud City, Qinghai Province. During the trip, I entered the famous valley of death, Nalingrad Gorge. Here is a paradise for wildlife, the scenery is intoxicating, but full of mystery. It is said that many herders who entered here disappeared strangely. In the adventure world, this canyon is juxtaposed with the “Death Valley” of the Soviet Union, the “Death Valley” of the United States, and the “Death Cave” on the island of Java, Indonesia. I have seen the bones of many animals here. Although trembling, I am always interested in it. In 2020, I plan to organize a professional team to visit again.

Tips
Gu Da Zhen Zhen

■ Five beasts on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

There are many types of wild animals in Kunlun Mountain. Compared with the world-famous “Big Five Beasts” on the East African savannah in animal paradise, I also selected five of these large animals that have characteristics and are relatively easy to see, namely wild yaks and Tibetan wild animals. Donkeys, Tibetan antelopes, brown bears, and wolves are called “five beasts on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau”, while small animals such as foxes, badgers, sables, tadpoles, and rabbit pheasants can be called “five little beasts”.

■ Geermu Kunlun Mountain Geological Museum

Located in Salt Lake Plaza of Golmud City, it is mainly divided into 7 large areas. The first is the preface hall, which includes the Damei Kunlun (preface), the geopark sand table, the museum guide, and the Kunlun Lansheng. Drastic changes, the rise of the Kunlun Mountains, and the growth of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; third, vicissitudes of life, mainly including characteristic geological structures, typical stratigraphic sections, rich glacial relics, and earthquake research classes; fourth, reading landscapes, mainly including magic Kunlun Mountains, Iceberg Manna—Kunlun Shenquan, Desert Meadows, Aeolian Landforms, etc .; The fifth is abundant landforms, mainly including metal minerals, Kunlun gems, Yuzhufeng mineral springs, exotic flowers, rare birds and animals, plateau spirits. —Tibetan antelope, etc .; Six is ​​the splendid culture, which mainly includes the footprints of the ancestors, the Tianlu—Qinghai-Tibet railway, historical evolution, folk customs, and the ancestors of the dragon veins. Seven is to work together to create the future. The venue also has the largest 4D cinema and earthquake experience cabin in Qinghai Province, allowing visitors to have a more intuitive understanding of Kunlun Mountain National Geopark.

■ Yuzhu Peak, Yuxu Peak

Yuzhu Peak is the highest peak in Kunlun Shandong, with an elevation of 6178 meters. The requirements for climbing techniques are not too high, and it is a perfect place for snow mountain skills practice. Yuxu Peak is 5769 meters above sea level (5933 meters), and it is separated from Yuzhu Peak on the east and west sides of the Kunlun Mountain Pass. In mythology, they are the incarnations of the two younger sisters of the Jade Emperor. The Kunlun Mountains range from high west to low east, and are divided into three sections: west, middle, and east according to the terrain. Among them, there are many peaks above 7000 meters above sea level, but many are less famous than the two sister peaks of Yuzhu Peak and Yuxu Peak.

■ Kunlun Jade

The eastern edge of the Kunlun Mountains enters Qinghai Province and produces Kunlun jade. It is on the same metallogenic belt as Hetian jade. It is only because of its different origin that it has a different name: The east of Kunlun Mountains is called Kunlun jade. The northern part is called Hetian Jade. In fact, the straight line distance between the two producing areas is only about 300 kilometers. Kunlun Jade became famous later. In 2008, Kunlun Jade became the jade for the Olympic Games medals, and it has since become famous at home and abroad.

Old Road Food
■ butter tea

Ghee is fat extracted from cow and goat milk. Ghee tea is a specialty drink in Tibet. Tibetan compatriots drink it almost every day. Butter tea is also often paired with coriander, which has the functions of warming and refreshing in cold plateau climates.

■ Barley wine

A very famous grain wine made from barley. Don’t get up after drinking, sober up quickly, men and women can drink. It is said that barley wine contains a variety of minerals and has the effects of strengthening and strengthening.