Phola Gangchen (aka Molamenqing) (????)
|Difficulty:||Major Mountain Expedition|
|Best months for climbing:||Apr, May|
|Year first climbed:||1981|
|First successful climber(s):||B. Farmer, R. Price (New Zealand)|
|Nearest major airport:||Lhasa, Tibet or Kathmandu, Nepal|
|Convenient Center:||Kathmandu, Nepal|
Thanks to Clark Abbott for adding this peak.
Phola Gangchen, known as Molamenqing by the Chinese (????), is, according to Wikipedia, an eastern outlier of Shishapangma with an elevation of 25,134 feet (7,661 meters). If it had just a little more prominence, it would rank as the 34th highest mountain in the world. However, 1411 ft (430m) of prominence is relatively small for a Himalayan peak, so Phola Gangchen is considered a subsidiary of its big brother to the west, Shishapangma. Lack of "prominence" is the same issue that keeps Everest's neighbor, Nuptse (25,801 ft), off the tallest mountain charts. All that being said, Phola Gangchen is one gorgeous mountain, and was one of the highest unclimbed peaks in the world until 1981 when a team from New Zealand (B. Farmer and R. Price) knocked it off. I have confirmed Wikipedia's statement that the Himalayan Index lists no other attempts on this peak. See also the book by Warwick Anderson "To the Untouched Mountain: the New Zealand Conquest of Molamenqing, Reed, 1983." The summit of Phola Gangchen is at 28.354998° North, 85.809721° East, or approximately 1.6 miles due east of the main summit of Shishapangma.
Thanks to Clark Abbott for this description.