Detour: Ice Bound

If the views from the trail to Yubeng in Yunnan province leave you craving a closer look at the dazzling peaks of the Meili range, head to Mingyong.

About an hour's bumpy drive from Xidan or a convenient bus ride from Deqin, this sleepy village sits in the shadow of the brooding but magnificent Kawa Karpo Peak, whose mammoth glacier—at 11.7 kilometers long and covering an area of 13 square kilometers—feeds a gurgling tributary of the Mekong.

Kawa Karpo (sometimes referred to as Virgin Peak) is the formidable summit of Meili Mountain. At...

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