Mountaineering in Gansu Province
Called "Gan" or "Long" for short, Gansu Province extends across three large Plateaus - the Tibetan Plateau, the Nei Monggol (Inner Mongolia) Plateau and Huangtu (Loess) Plateau and thus has obvious transitional natural conditions. The peaks here offer good conditions for the training of mountaineering adaptability. Lying in the south of the Weihe River valley area, generally at an altitude of 200-4000 meters, the south "Long" mountain region rises from the east to the west and goes west up to Tibetan Plateau, the part of which in Gansu Province is named the South Gan Plateau. The East "Long" Plateau of 1200-1800 meters above sea level has thick loess and salient features of the loess landforms of ridges. The Middle "Long": plateau of 1200-2500 meters stretches west to Wushao Ling with a loess thickness of no more than 40 meters while the west of the Middle "Long" Plateau can be divided from the south the north into the Qilian Shan area, the Hexi (Gansu) corridor and the North Mountain Area. Situated in an area where the two provinces of Gansu and Qinghai have their common boundary, the Qilian Shan Range is called the South Mountain since it is to the south of the Hexi Corridor. Composed of series of paralleled mountain ridges and basin areas dotted in the mountains, the Range roughly runs from the northwest to the southeast at an altitude of over 3000-4500 meters. The main peak of Qilian Shan is also named Qilian Shan, which is 5547 meters above sea level. Many modern glaciers of various kinds scatter above the never snowline of 4000 meters above sea level, totaling 3306 glaciers regardless of their different sizes, which amount to an area of 2062. 1 square kilometers and water reserves of 114.500.000.000 cubic meters. The longest valley glacier, the 20th Glacier in Laohu Gou (Tiger's Ditch) of Yema Shan(Mountain of Wild Horses) extends 10.8 kilometers and serves as the important water resource in the Hexi Corridor and is thus referred to as "a solid reservoir". Lying at the southwest fringe of the Nei Monggol Plateau and composed of such mountains as the North Mountains, Heli Shan and Longshou Shan, the North Mountain area enjoys an altitude of 1500-2500 meters and a relative height of 500-1000 meters. With its uncovered rocks and piles of conglomerates at the foot of the mountain, the mountain region reveals itself as rocky deserts and gobi deserts. Between the south and north mountains, the important transportation route to the west, which lies to the west of the Huanghe River (the Yellow River), is well-known as the "Hexi Corridor" and extends 1000 kilometers or so at some 100-1500 meters above sea level. Its width ranges from several kilometers to over 100 kilometers.
As Gansu Province served as the important passage way of the Silky Road in the Han and Tang Dynasties, there remain many ancient cultural relies, of which Jiayuguan Pass proved to be the fort at the west end of the Great Wall in Qin Dynasty. The world famous Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, the Wenshu Shan, the Maiji Shan, Mati Shi (the hoof-shaped temple), the Jinta Shi (the temple of golden tower) and the Changma shi as well as all the natural scenic spots and historical culture - all claim great interest of the numerous tourists and scholars both at home and abroad.
Convenient transportation means are available in this province. The arterial railway lines - Tianshui - Lanzhou, Baotou - Lanzhou, Lanzhou - Xining and Lanzhou - Urumqi, are crisscrossed while the highways are densely distributed. With Lanzhou as the center of civil aviations, the airlines will lead you right to Beijing, Shanghai, Xining, Urumqi as well as Jiuquan and Dunhuang, etc..