Changbai Mountains: Perpetually white mountains with a heaven lake

Located in northeastern China, the Changbai Mountains are the highest mountains in eastern Eurasia. Covering nearly 2,000 square kilometers, the mountains feature the 2,691-meter Baiyun Peak, the highest peak in northeastern China.

Winter in the mountains lasts nine months with the crest covered by snow most of the time, hence the name "Changbai" in Chinese, meaning "perpetually white." The average depth of the snow is about 50 centimeters.

The Changbai mountains were formed around 2.77 million years ago from volcano eruptions. History shows the last time the dormant volcano erupted was about 300 years ago in 1702. A monitoring station of the volcano was built in 2006 to closely watch the volcanic activity on the mountains.

At the top of the mountains lies Lake Tianchi, meaning "Heaven Lake." It is the world's deepest alpine lake with an average depth of 204 meters, and the deepest point at 373 meters. It covers an area of nearly 10 square kilometers and stores over two billion tons of fresh water, making it the largest crater lake in China. Lake Tianchi sees a seven-month frozen period that lasts from November to June. It usually melts in mid-July, and the lake water flows for only a month every year.

The mountains are covered by massive pristine forests. As the altitude rises, it unfolds the vegetation that is seen from the northern temperate region to the Arctic Circle. Home to the headwaters of the Songhua, Tumen and Yalu rivers, the Changbai mountains provide sanctuary for thousands of wildlife. Some of the species, like the Chinese merganser, are endemic to China and are as rare as the giant panda.

(Cover image is a still from the video.)

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