This impressive peak is one of the three (The other two are Noijing Kangsang
and Nyainqentanglha Feng
) 7000 meter mountains which are accessable in less than four hours starting from Lhasa.
It's dominating the whole west end of the Damxung Valley and is the most western high peak in the Nyainqentanglha Range.
As it's the highest peak in an area with notoriously fast changing weather, it's summit is often covered in clouds.
The peak has many alternative names.
Some Tibetans call it Neiji Kangsang, but as far as I know, the most commonly used name is Qungmoganze, which also The JAC (Japanese Alpine Club) uses. Many western authorities refer to the mountain as Jomo Kangri or Jomo Gangtse, Qungmo Kangri and Qungmo Ganker but I choose to use the name The JAC and the CTMA (Chinese Tibetan Mountaineering Association) use.
South ridge 1000m from saddle, average angle 40-45 degrees, with steepest section 50-55 degrees. Moderately angled towards top.
First ascent of the peak - 7th October 1996, Chinese-Korean expedition via south ridge (seven climbers reached the summit).
Second Ascent - 17th May 1997, Japanese exedition via south ridge.
Third Ascent - 15th August 1999, Japanese expedition via south ridge.
Fourth Ascent - 16th October 2005, Christian Haas, solo via south ridge, alpine style. Climbed from base camp without making a bivi. Left at 6.30am, summited 6pm, back at BC 10.30pm
Original ascensionists (and possibly all first three expeditions) climbed to crest of ridge from the East except Christian Haas who climbed from West. Total four known expeditions who have summited. Only Haas climbed Alpine style.
Christian Haas and Gerhard Gridl also climbed Qungmoganze's West South West Summit (6116m, GPS) in October 2005 before Haas soloed the main peak.
British pair Huw Davies and John Town attempted to climb the mountain from the West side in late July/August 1997 but only reached 5900m. Weather was unsettled throughout the climb.
In 1999 a strong party of British mountaineers consisting of Derek Buckle, Gary Hill, Alyson Starling, John Town, John Whiteley and Rik Wojtaszewski tried their luck on the unclimbed peak Tangmonja 6328m. They did not reach the summit.
The expedition report from 1999.
One person in the CTMA claimed that "it has been climbed many, many times by Tibetan climbers", which his collegue called "a big lie" as soon as we had left the office. :-)
A crude map of the area
The obvious base to plan your trip to the mountain is Tibet's provincial capital Lhasa. You can either fly in from Chengu or Shang-Ri-La/Zhongdian (China) or from Nepal's international airport in Kathmandu.
There are also overland routes from Kathmandu, Golmud, Yunnan, Sichuan and Xinjiang.
When in Lhasa, you can easily reach the mountain by catching a bus and jump it at the foot of the mountain. There are many buses going north from Lhasa to the little settlement Yangbaijan. From there you can catch another bus (direction Shigatse) or hitchhike west towards the peak.
The buses usually stop at one of the highest road passes in the world - Shuge La, which recently has been measured to an impressive altitude of 5430 meters. From here you'll get the first real views of the peak's east face. Continue with the bus until you end up in a wide valley. Tell the busdriver to let you off when you find it suitable. If he for one or another reason don't, just hang in there until you reach the little village Margyang. From here it's an easy 5 km walk along the dusty road to a place where it's possible to start the walk to the foot of the peak.
Make sure you're really acclimatized before leaving Lhasa towards the peak. Lhasa is "only" 3600m above see level and the road towards Qungmoganze goes over a pass almost 2000m higher. The whole area around Qungmoganze is over 5000m and you will get very sick from the altitude if not pre-acclimatized.
From the south-west
The peak fee is $1080 and up to 12 people can climb on the same permit. Usually, you also need a liaison officer, but this issue is negotiable. The CTMA (Chinese Tibetan Mountaineering Asociation) will try to sell you guides, porters, yak-drivers, "special-high-altitude-yaks" cooks, transport etc ad nauseum, but all of it is also negotiable.
When To Climb
The best two periods are pre and post monsoon. April - May and August - October. The latter period gives the advantage of more stabile weather and clear skies, but also high winds and colder conditions.
High altitude road and the peak
Officially camping is forbidden in China, but now one seems to care at all where you pitch your tent. If in doubt, ask the local nomads if you can pitch it close to one of their many camps. I have personally never gotten a negative answer and this tactic also gives you the benefit of having your tent guarded by your new-won friends.
Basic info about Lhasa
Qungmoganze from far
The most convenient accomodation is to be found close to the Barkhor Square, which also have most of the sites of cultural interest close by.
Dormitories in budget hotels starts at 15Y/person, cheap doubles goes for 60Y/room and more comfortable doubles with attached bathrooms starts at 140Y/room.
Recommended places in this part of the town is the Snowlands Hotel, Kirey Hotel and Yak Hotel.
The above mentioned area is a ten minute walk from CTMA.
Lhasa's old Holiday Inn, nowadays re-named to Lhasa Hotel is located in the western end of the city. Good doubles range in between 600-800Y/room, but compared to many other places, it's severly overpriced. You can for example get a room at the same quality level in the Yak Hotel for less than half that price.
Tibettrip.com has a nice guide of hotels and hostels in Lhasa
Supermarkets are located all over Lhasa and are filled with food which is of interest for mountaineers, i.e. instant noodles, powdered food, dried fruit etc. Don't expect to find any "high-tech" mountaineering food here though.
The only place that has it on a daily basis is the great mountaineering shop opposite to the Banak Shol Hotel. Basically everything, for most types of mountaineering are readily available there. The exception is ropes, which always seems to be in short supply and of doubtful quality.
There are more outdoor/mountaineering shops all over Lhasa, but most of them sell pirate and copy gear of very mixed quality.
If you're lucky, you can pick up second hand gear dirt cheap.
An easy and cheap way to travel around in the city is to go with taxi, which has a standard fee of 10Y wherever you wanna go within the city limits.
Buses are 2Y/ticket, but if you don't know Mandarin,it can be a hard undertaking to find your way around.
At the time writing the Chinese Yuan is 8 to the US Dollar.
Thanks to BigLee
for some info in the climbing history section.