Gangkhar Puensum

Bhutan mountain
Gangkhar Puensum in 2011

Gangkhar Puensum is a 7,570-metre (24,840-foot) mountain in the Himalayas range, in Bhutan and Tibet.[1] It is the 40th highest mountain in the world. It is also known as Kangkar Pünzum. The name means "White Peak of the Three Spiritual Brothers".[2] No one has ever made it to the top of Gangkhar Puensum.[3][4] It is the highest mountain in the world that has never been climbed.[5]

A few people have tried to climb the mountain in the past, but none succeeded.[6][2] In 1994, Bhutan made a law that no one could climb above 6,000 metres (20,000 feet).[7][8] Then in 2003, they banned all climbing.[9] As long as the ban is in place, it is unlikely that anyone will reach the top from the Bhutan side.[10] While it may be possible to start the climb in Tibet, China has not allowed it. Tibet is a autonomous region of the People's Republic of China (PRC). This is a political decision due to issues in the border region between China and Bhutan.[11] There is a border dispute between the two countries.[12]


  1. "Gangkar Punsum, Bhutan/China". Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Berry, S.K. (1988). "Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon". The Himalayan Journal. Vol. 44. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  3. Nuwer, Rachel (4 July 2014). "The mountains we have never climbed". BBC Future. BBC. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  4. "Gangkar Punsum". Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  5. Jennings, Ken (14 December 2015). "What's the World's Highest Mountain That's Never Been Climbed?". Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  6. Newcomb, Tim (19 January 2018). "7 of the Tallest Unclimbed Mountains in the World". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  7. Guinness World Records (29 August 2017). Guinness World Records 2018: Meet our Real-Life Superheroes. Guinness World Records. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-912286-18-8.
  8. "Gangkhar Puensum". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  9. "Bhutan Travel, Mountaineering in Bhutan". Inside Himalayas. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  10. Guinness World Records (1 September 2015). Guinness World Records 2016. Guinness World Records. p. 194. ISBN 978-1-910561-06-5.
  11. Itami, Tsuguyasu (2001). "Gankarpunzum & First Ascent Of Liankang Kangri Mountain In Dispute On China-Bhutan Border" (PDF). Japanese Alpine News. Vol. 1. The Japanese Alpine Club. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  12. "Bhutan-China Relations". 5 July 2004. Archived from the original on 27 December 2009. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)

Other websitesEdit

  Media related to Gangkhar Puensum at Wikimedia Commons