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Yulong  (Jade Dragon)  Snow  Mountain

Yulong Snow Mountain stands beside the Jinshajiang River, northwest of the Lijiang Naxi Autonomous County, Yunnan Province. Shanzidou, the main peak of the mountain, clad in white snow all year round, rises 5,596 meters above sea level. The 13 peaks, distributed from the south to the north, with the south-north length of 35 km and the east-west width of 12 km, are like a silver white jade dragon lying in the clouds, hence the name Yulong (jade dragon) Snow Mountain. Numerous species of plants grow in the  
mountain, and are distributed vertically in accordance with height and climate. The mountain enjoys the fame of the Treasure House of Plants.
The scenery can be divided into four kinds: the alpine snow area scenery, the water scenery, the forest scenery and the meadow scenery.

    Scientists say she arose from an ancient geosyncline 230 million years ago in an age when dinosaurs began to increase and formed her present shape sometime during the last 600,000 years, even as late as 12,000 years ago.Storms frequently rage around the glaciers and silver-gray rocks and eternal snowfields of her five primary peaks.

玉龙雪山照片     She is a botanist's paradise, a " kingdom of medicinal materials." Of the 1 3,000 kinds of plants in Yunnan, more than half of them can be found on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as well as 400 types of trees in 20 primevial forest communities.On her slopes grow such trees as fir, dragon spruce, Chinese hemlock, Chinese larch, and fragrant camphor.

    The mountain is also a sanctuary for animals, many of them rare animals that live at different temperature levels. She is home 
to 30 kinds of animals protected by the state, such as the wild ass, the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey, the lesser panda, the forest musk deer, the clouded leopard, the blood pheasant, the silver pheasant, and the spotted, yellowish civet cat.
玉龙雪山

    Yulong Snow Mountain is one of Yunnan's protcted nature reserves, and a certain fee is charged to those for making scientific investigations, collecting animal and plant specimens, taking photos and shooting films.
    Yulong Snow Mountain has attracted the attention of many scholars and travelers. Early in 1837, the French writer Bacier introduced Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in his acclaimed book 

entitled " Universe ".And seven years ago the chairman of the international Mountainous Region led a team to the mountain for field work.

The water scenery mainly refers to the scenery along the banks of the Baishui River, the Heishui River and more than ten pools and springs at the foot of the eastern part of the Yulong Snow Mountain.

There are three different scenic at Jade Dragon Mountain
A chairlift has been built up the mountain. The first section takes you about halfway up, near Love-Suicide Hill, where you can rent horses to ride to a large meadow. The second chairlift, the highest in Asia, takes you to a stunning 4506m, where walkways lead to awesome glacier views. Watch out for the symptoms of altitude sickness here-Chinese entrepreneurs sell bags of oxygen to chain-smoking Chinese tourists for around 30 RMB.

1. Shan Zi Dou (扇子陡玉龙雪山大索道): You can take cable car and entering the peak of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain located at 5,596 m or 18,359 ft

2. Yun Shan Ping(云杉坪小索道): You can have full view of snow mountain here and is a big field. But that is a story told that here is a place that first Naxi couple commit suicide here.

3. Yak Meadow(牦牛坪索道): Is a field that Yak love to enjoy their fresh grass here, but during winter is a natural ski field 
   

Dry Sea
Dry Sea lies in the eastern part of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. At the Dry Sea you can be assured of a panoramic view of the mountain because Dry Sea is the closest and best place to witness the beauty of Jade dragon Snow Mountain. In addition to the view, there are many kinds of convenience facilities and areas to rest for visitors.Recommended Timefor a Visit: 20 minutes


Yak Meadow
A cable car service is available to the summit of the Yak Meadow, one of 13 peaks of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.  Highly recommend you to walk around 1 hour on the meadow in Spring time.
 
The Yak Meadow is a large area of meadow on one of the mountains of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, it got its name because the local people like to pasture their Yak here.
 
The landscape rises and falls on the meadow. In spring and summer, Yaks with black and white skin wander in grass and all kinds of flowers. In autumn and winter, the mild edge of th meadow becoms a sharp contrast with the peaks of the snow mountain.


Spruce Plate  In fact Spruce Meadow is a vast grassland in the virgin spruce forest. During each period between spring and summer the grassland is delightfully green and the flowers are pleasantly beautiful.From a distance, the Spruce Meadow looks like a jade green blanket in the ranges of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.According to the legend, the Spruce Meadow is the place where the first pair of lovers of Naxi nationality died of love. If you come here you can have the chance to witness the mighty thousand-year-old glacier on the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the fantasticality and quietness of virgin forest and the amazing songs and dance of Naxi nationality.Recommended Time for a Visit:Two hours

Glacier Park Cableway
Going west for about 5 kilometers from the Snowflake Villa in the Sweet Sea Meadow, you will reach the bottom station of the snow mountain, which is the start of the Great Cable Way of the snow mountain. You will densely forest at an altitude of 3,356 meters. The cable way starts from here, ends at the top station which is at the bottom of Sanzidou(Fan) Peak, 4,506 meters above sea level. The whole cable way is 2,914 meters long, and the vertical difference in height is 1,150 meters. It is the highest passenger cable in China.

The cable way has been installed with full-sealed hanging aluminum box, which has 6 seats in it. It’s very comfortable. It only takes you half an hour to go from the immense forest at the bottom station to the expanse of white snow of the top station, but you will experience the climate of four seasons. You will be excited about the strong changes of the seasons, the big differences between hotness and coldness, and the great changes of the sceneries. Yulong Snow Mountain is the highest mountain located in the subtropical zone of Yunnan Province.
 
There are complete vertical natural sceneries of subtropical, temperate and frigid zones, and you experience all of them in a short time. If you take open cable way, you will fully enjoy the vertical distribution of the plants in the snow mountain. Starting from the 3,000 altitude meadow, the cable would take you go through the forests of pines and firs. With the rising of the cable, the forests became gradually far away and large shrubbery appeared, and also bushes of azaleas. Reaching to the height of over 4,000 meters above sea level, you could only see some bryophytes adhered to the rocks. Then at last, large expanses of white snow would come into your eyes.

When you go out of the top station houses, you get to the Glacier Park of the Yulong Snow Mountain. Yulong Snow Mountain is a mountain with the lowest altitude and distributed with modern glacier in European and Asian Great Continent. On its east side, there are ancient glacier functioned relics from the Pleistocene Epoch, distributed in an area with a length of 15-16 kilometers from the south to the north, and a width of 4-5 kilometers from the east to the west. In such a region very close to the city, there are ancient glacier relics and a modern glacier, not large but with various kinds of types, which concentrated the major essence of middle and low altitude mountain glacier in the world. This is very rare in China. It plays a significant role in studies on glaciers, scientific investigation, protection on ecosystem and environment, and tourism.
 
In the waist of the Yulong Snow Mountain, there are 19 modern glaciers at the region between the altitudes of 4,000 and 4,200 meters. The total area amounts to 11.61 square kilometers. Among them 15 are on the east side while 4 are on the west. Types of the modern glacier in Yulong Snow Mountain can be divided into the following: mountain valley glacier, cirque glacier, hanging glacier and cirque valley glacier, cirque hanging glacier, from which the former ones transformed.
 
The modern glacier in Yulong Snow Mountain belongs to marine glacier, that is, temperate glacier. Despite of influenced by the climate changes in seasons, the temperature of the ice is at the melting point. The ice contains a certain amount of liquids. In the depth under the melting area, the temperature is lower than the melting point in winter, because it’s difficult for water to penetrate the ice, and the ice contains a little water. In summer, although the surface of the ice absorbs a large amount of heat, most of the takes away the heat by the ways of ice surface melting and losing the melted water. It may not necessarily help raise the temperature of the ice to the melting point by conducting and permeating the melted water. So surface cold but inner melting is the basic feature of the modern marine glacier in the Yulong Snow Mountain.
 
The formation of the glacier is the result of functions of the geology and weather for a long time, among which weather is the major factor to develop the modern glacier. If the temperature goes down, the snow line will drop. So the area of the mountain above the snow line increases. T his helps to accumulate large amount of ice and snow, which then impels the development of the glacier. On the contrary, if the temperature rises, the snow line will go up, the area of the mountain above the snow line decreases which forces the decline of the modern glacier. However, if there are a lot of rains, the ice and snows will increase which is benefit for the development of the glacier, and vice versa. The present snow line in Yulong Snow Mountain is at 4,800-5,000 meters high above sea level. The annual average temperature in the neighborhood is between -3.3 degrees Centigrade – 4.7 degrees Centigrade. The annual rainfall is 1,500-2,000mm. The area of the mountain above snow line is 18-8 square kilometers. So the area for accumulation of the ice and snow for the present 19 glaciers is quite small.

The modern glacier is very dangerous now. It can not afford the temperature rising caused by the influences of climate in a small range or caused by any manly factors。

However, the global climate is becoming warmer in recent years. This is a real question can not be avoided. According to the predicts done by the UNESCO and the World Weather Organization, when the density of C02 and the gas with greenhouse effect become increased in a multiple way on the earth (it was estimated that this will be the case in the year of 2030), the annual temperature in the world will rise by 1.5 degrees centigrade – 4.5 degrees Centigrade. This is fatal harm to the modern glacier in the Yulong Snow Mountain. If it is calculated according to the local temperature decreasing rate, that is, it is decreased by 0.84 degrees Centigrade by a rising of every 100 meters, the snow line of Yulong Snow Mountain will rise by 180 -350 meters. Then, the mountain area above the snow line will drop to 2 -8 square kilometers. Even worse, it will drop to an area less than 2 square kilometers. At that time, it will be very difficult to preserve the modern glacier, and finally is will disappear from the Yulong Snow Mountain. As it’s only 25 kilometers from the snow mountain to the city, the heat effect cause by the city construction is affecting the modern glacier. The modern resources in the Yulong Snow Mountain are affected and harmed doubly by the climate changes and man-made factors, resulted in damages on the ecological environment and tourism on the Yulong Snow Mountain.

Skiing
The skiing on the mountain is poor, but a little skiing or snowboarding is possible when the snow is deep. Snow is intermittent, and even though the small ski area is at a high elevation, the snow melts or turns it to ice. Ice is no fun to ski on. Even in the winter, the snow field often has high temperatures just above freezing, so the snow turns to ice. It usually snows between November and May. The best time for fun in the snow is in the winter. During the 1990s, developers tried to develop a resort. But they gave up. During most of 2010, the tram to the field might be closed. Bus No. 7 goes to the tram.

Several other scenic sreas have recently opened up. A ski lift has been built at Yunshanping, 36km from Lijiang. The lift takes you up to a plateau at 3300m, from where there are walking trails.

The scenic area of Yak Meadow(Maoniuping) is around 60 km from Lijiang, where yet another cable car takes tourists up to the meadows at 3500m. Snowflake Lake(Xuehua Hai) is nearby and there are plenty of hiking opportunities all around.

The forest scenery varies with the change of elevation.
The meadow scenery is the alpine meadows scattering from south to north in Dielu(Deer Falling) Level Ground, Ganhaizi(Sweet Water) Level Ground, Yunshan(Yunnan Spruce) Level Ground, and Maoniu(Yak) Level Ground accordingly.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain now is a famous scenic spot for sightseeing, mountaineering, skiing, exploration, scientific research and taking holiday. Besides, widespread legends and myths of the Naxi ethnic minority and the unclimbed Shanzidou are all important attractive spots for those who come to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

Touring Activities
1. Walk in the scenic areas.
2. Hike.
3. Walk on stairs to the top of a 4,680 meters or 15,350 feet high peak.
4. Try the local cuisine that features a lot of dairy and cattle products: yak steak, yak butter, yak milk tea, warm or hot yak milk, cheese, yoghurt, and yak steak. Yaks are related to cows and buffalos. Pali is a traditional bread. Sweet fried white cheese is delicious. Some yogurts come as blends with honey or fruit and can be made into fruit shakes. There is also traditional Naxi beer, and various kinds of teas.

Nearby Attractions
To experience some of the ancient traditions and culture, visit the higher altitude towns and villages. In the city of Lijiang, the Baisha Quarter and Shuhe Town retain more of the old Naxi architecture and customs.

The best hiking in the area is just west of Yulong Snow Mountain along the valley between Qiaotou, Walnut Grove and Daju on the Haba Snow Mountain side of the valley. Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest gorges on earth. There is a high path that goes the whole distance. There is a road below the path that follows the course of the Yangtze River.

Latest Tips on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
1. People with serious heart conditions should not visit the mountain. Those with less serious heart problems or with high or low blood pressure need to consult a doctor before traveling.

2. Take some warm clothes as the temperature might drop to 5°C on the top of the mountain.

Admission Fee: CNY 80 for the entrance charge
CNY 40 for the Protection Fare of the Old Town
                          

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