I was always fascinated by unknown places. I first climbed peaks in South America, but it wasn’t until I moved to Hong Kong and travelled to China’s Yunnan and Sichuan provinces that mountaineering became my lifetime obsession. It was seeing the Yulong Xueshan – or Jade Dragon Snow Mountain – for the first time that sparked my interest in Yunnan and eastern Tibet. These regions have an incredibly vast and complex topography that holds countless unclimbed summits. It deserves a lifetime’s search. The peaks are magnificent and fascinating, and many of them will remain enigmas for generations. I’ve taken part in 37 expeditions over 25 years – but one particularly stands out. In 2009, I set off to explore four valleys in Tibet. It was unchartered territory for me. On the trek, we reached a lookout point at 4,070 metres which had the most magnificent view I have ever seen: Lake Jambo Tso, completely surrounded by stunning peaks. Some argue that scaling these unclimbed mountains is an experience of the past. It’s not. I’ve dedicated my life to them – and I’m not stopping yet.
Tamotsu Nakamura is an explorer.