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Due to the time we had, we chose the four-hour Mingyong Glacier (明永冰川) trail over the three-day Yubeng (雨崩) hike when we were in the beautiful Meili Snow Mountain (梅里雪山). Even though our Tibetan driver 扎西培楚 told us that the glacier wasn’t beautiful as how it was once known to be and didn’t worth going anymore, we went anyway.

Mingyong glacier is fed by the snow that fall on Meili. And at 28.5 degrees north and an elevation of 2,700 meters (8,858 ft), the glacier is located at the lowest latitude and elevation of any glacier in China. There is widespread evidence that glaciers are retreating in many mountain areas of the world, and those in Tibetan Plateau are retreating in especially high speed. Mingyong Glacier has receded about 530 meters in the last 10 years, making it one of the fastest receding glaciers in the world.

Blame it on global warming, for the only thing that affects a glacier is the climate.

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This is the ugly melting Mingyong Glacier. Even though it has lost its beauty, I would suggest one to visit the glacier if she has a few hours to spare in Meili. It is a good experience to see the effect of global warming, and what all of us have done to our beautiful nature. Just remember, don’t put up any hope in seeing a beautiful glacier, else, you will be very disappointed.

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Although we were a bit disappointed with the glacier, we had a great time hiking in the mountain. Beautiful snow mountains, autumn leaves, clear blue sky and cool breeze, it’s just awesome!

It took around 2.5 hour hiking up, and 1.5 hour hiking back down. Instead of going on feet, one can also ride a horse/donkey.

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