An awe-inspiring road to Quanshui Lake
Quanshui Lake is a high mountain lake at an elevation of 5.137m (16,853ft) above the sea level, located in Tibet, north-east of the Himalayas, in the People's Republic of China.
The road to the summit is called 219 National Road, also known as Tibet - Xinjiang Highway. Construction of this road started in 1951, was completed in 1957 and fully paved with asphalt in 2013. On this road, also known as the "Sky Road" in Chinese, you're firmly on altitudes over 5,000m. For an unacclimatized person this can be fatal. The breathtaking scenery ranks as some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet. The road is terrible, with a notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Expect many stretches with no water or food for tens or hundreds of kilometres, dozens of high passes, no shower or even a wash for weeks, and nightime temperatures of -25 degrees C or lower. The road is long and arduous and crosses several mountain passes of 5,000, 4,000 and 3,000 meters. This road passes through remote areas, so you need to be prepared. Despite its reputation for running through terrain that is by and large uninhabited, the G219 does pass through a number of important historical and religious sites. If you do choose this route please check up to date information. It's a windy place and it's one of those places where you can feel hard winds coming from two directions at the same time.
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