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Rongbu Glacier

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With an elevation between 5,300 meters (17,388 feet) and 6,300 meters (20,669 feet), Rongbu Glacier is one of the greatest glaciers on Mt. Everest. Covering an area of 1,500 square kilometers (579 square miles), it is composed of West Rongbu Glacier, Middle Rongbu Glacier and East Rongbu Glacier stretching about 26 kilometers (16 miles). West Rongbu Glacier and the east one wind the pyramid-like Everest. The thickest ice layer reaches up to about 300 meters (984 feet), and the width of ice tongue averages about 1,400 meters (1,531 yards). It is ranked as one of the most beautiful six glaciers in China. 

Rongbu Glacier boasts the most spectacular forest of ice pagodas. Several miles of forest of ice pagodas can be seen in array at the end of the glacier so that the fancy ice world was made up of. Some are like the majestic Pyramid, some resemble the solemn bell tower, some are similar to the sharp sword rising up into the sky, and some ones look like the docile giraffes roaming around in sedateness. Ice pagoda is in fact the white ice in the shape of conical pagoda with various forms and heights. Those erecting on the slope of the mountain stretch miles upon miles. Humans look so tiny and trivial in comparison with the crystalline and pure ice pagodas.     

Forest of ice pagodas is a kind of natural spectacles in rarity. The formation becomes possible only in the continental glacier with low-latitude. For the maritime glacier with fast movement, forest of ice pagodas can not come into being because the ice tongue at the end melts very quickly, for the continental glacier with high-latitude, the ice pagoda is also hard to form because of the less meltability. Rongbu Glacier is the right one that meets the formative condition. The formation goes like this, some cracks occur as the ice at the end of glacier gets melting, then the melting cracks are divided into separate ice lumps, which form the diversified ice pagodas under the influence of wind and sunshine. 

The ice is not pure white. Looking through the ice, you will find the crack takes on the purified blue, though covered by whiteness outside. The reason is that ice inside the glacier suffers from the great pressure, as a result, the subtle structure of the ice crystal changes, the refraction and reflection of light changes as well, which is one distinctive feature of glacier. 

Mt. Everest is low in latitude and strong in sun radiation. The distinction of the climate on the surface of the glacier results in the meltability of the ice differently, thus many fancy sceneries are formed. The massive stone supported by the ice pillar are called ice mushroom, even up to 5 meters high. The ice bridge is like a crystal bond, ice wall standing erectly like a huge screen bring much awe to us. Ice needles and ice bud are dotted everywhere in the glacier. 

Carrying the oldest memory, the beautiful forest of ice pagodas is the witness of the primeval era. Its mystery and matchless beauty is waiting to be unveiled.

 Location: Rongbu Glacier is located in the west of Mt. Everest.
 Length: 16 miles
 Average Thickness: 394 feet
 Average Width of Ice Tongue: 1,531 yards
 Area: 34 square miles
 Wonders: Ice Towers, bridges, mushrooms, animals, tables, caves, columns, etc.
 Best Time to Visit: Apr. to Oct.

 Other Famous Shigatse Attraction: Mt. Everest 

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