Qiyi Glacier, located hinderland of Qilian Mountain Range, 116 away from southwest of
Jiyauguan City, Gansu, is the glacier closest to City area in Asian. It was discovered by scientific and technical worker from Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou Branch and former Soviet Union experts in glaciology on July 1st, 1958. July 1 in Chinese is “Qiyi”, hence the name of the glacier. The glacier is hanging on the slops with gradient less than 45°. The average thickness of the glacier is 78m, and the thickest point is about 120 m. The altitude of the summit of the glacier is 5150m, and that of the frontier glacier tongue is about 4300m.
Qilian Mountain Range is a group of parallel plait fault mountains extending for 900 to 1000 km. The altitude of most of the mountains here are above 3000 m with 25 mountains above 5000 m. There are 3066 glaciers here covering an area of 2062.72 square km, which are typical plateau glaciers. As the ice reserves are of 114.5 billion cubic meters, the melt water of the glaciers is the basic water recourse of oasis along the Hexi Corridor and the glaciers are reputed as the “High Mountain Reservoir”. Qiyi Glacier is just one glacier among them.
Qiyi Glacier formed about 200 million years ago, which is perpetual snow. Glacier is a existing form of water changed from snow. For forming the glacier, firstly there are certain amounts of solid precipitation including snow, fog, hail and so on. Without enough solid precipitation, the glacier could never form. Glacier exists on most frigid areas such as the north and south poles, or the mountain with high altitude. Qiyi Glacier formed on high mountains and is called mountain glacier.
For the high mountain, except for the high altitude, it should not be too abrupt, as the snow will run of the slope. When the snow falls on the ground, it will gradually change. First became neve, and the neves will squeeze each other, and at last become the glacier.
The Qiyi Glacier tourism area covers about 4 square kilometers. In each summer and autumn, the summit of the glacier will be very translucent and bright under the sunshine and blue sky. With the little stream, green grassland and flowers, there you will see a lively and amazing scroll of painting. When climbing the glacier, tourists could always encounter cloudy, sunny, rainy and snowy weather, the climate of four seasons in one day, which is very impressive.
Looked from distance, the Qiyi Glacier is likes the Milky Way hanging upside down, while walk closer, you will see the glacier tongue extending inclined, the glacier wall stand tall and upright, the glacier curtain hanging vertical and the deep glacier cirque. There are 5 km long pedestrian path. In summer and autumn, you will see the melt water running down with loud noise. On the slope, snow cocks walks on the glacier. Saussurea Involucrata blossoms to compete with the crystal ice.
It is a world which you are not familiar with, and attracting numerous tourists.