Photo by Bill Lindeman
|Difficulty:||Major Mountain Expedition|
|Best months for climbing:||Jun, Jul, Aug|
|Year first climbed:||1981|
|First successful climber(s):||Galen Rowell,|
|Nearest major airport:||Xining, China|
|Convenient Center:||Xining, China|
A high snowy mountain massif, Amne Machin was the second of two Chinese mountains to be wrongly measured in 1929 with elevations surpassing 30,000 feet. Both Minya Konka (24,790 ft.) and Amne Machin were estimated by American botanical explorer Joseph Rock to be 30,000-footers. In Rock's 1930 article in National Geographic, his estimate was reduced to 28,000 feet to make it more believable, but a subsequent erroneous report from an American military pilot confirmed that a 30,000 foot peak did indeed exist in the Amne Machin Range. In 1949 the Amne Machin summit was climbed by a Chinese expedition from the Peking Geological Institute, who reported its true height to be 23,491 feet. It was later revealed, however, that the Chinese party had climbed the wrong peak, and had measured it incorrectly. The peak that they had climbed actually measured 20,524 feet, only slightly smaller than Amne Machin. The Chinese blunder was concealed until 1980, when the Chinese Mountaineering Association finally announced that Amne Machin was still unclimbed. The following year, the Chinese government opened its doors to one of the first foreign climbing expeditions ever permitted in their country. This was a United States party who successfully sent Galen Rowell, Harold Knutsen, and Kim Scmitz to the summit.