ApproachYou approach the climb from Rilong town via Changping Valley. Either walk or rent horses.
Route DescriptionFrom G-View web site
Author: Luo Jian; Translated (with permission) by : Bob Keaty
It will take two days by horseback from Rilong to base camp. Some people refer to this base camp as C1 but we call the upper camp ‘base camp’ because it can be reached by pack animals. From base camp to the edge of the glacier you will have to cross a large talus slope made from glacial debris. The path through the talus is well marked with cairns. Once on the glacier, your climb up to C1 is very steep with 40% of the slopes between 50 and 60 degrees, the remainder is between 30 and 40 degrees although there are a number of flat sections offering good resting. A slip on this section probably could not be held by a self-arrest and you may wind up at the bottom of the glacier.
There are two routes to the base of the headwall leading to the west summit. The first is the glacier route, it is relatively straightforward and the route finding is easy; the only danger is from rockfall on the lower portion. The second route follows the rock ridge to the right-hand side of the glacier. Lu Congrong has always guided his groups up the right-hand rock ridge. These two routes converge and the climb continues up a steep section on the glacier that passes a few rock walls below the east peak. From here you traverse to the flat area where C1 is usually put in. This section leading to C1 is steep and avalanche prone, it is where Wang Chu and Lu Congrong were caught in their misfortune.
C1 is on a level area on the glacier the size of half a football pitch. The glacier is well consolidated and there are no crevasses (actually the entire glacier is not crevassed). C1 is directly across from the west peak’s rock face; it is best to climb around to the left side of the rock ridge, which brings you out to the slanted glacier leading all the way to the summit with an average slope of 45 degrees. You can also follow the ridge on the right-hand side (the one mentioned above that you climbed around; the snow on the rock ridge is probably more stable than the snow on the glacier) and this leads you to the false summit below the west peak. You can traverse from there to reach the true summit. The snow ridge leading to the summit and the summit itself are both rock but may have different levels of snow depending on the time of year and the weather. From the west peak you have a good view of the line used to climb the east peak.
West peak has no difficult technical sections and consists of moderate ice and steeper snow slopes and only basic mountaineering skills are needed. This does not mean that the climb is easy, on the contrary there are long steep snow sections on which a fall could be fatal if you are not able to self-arrest in time. There is also a danger of avalanche and rockfall. Good judgment and solid technique is essential. Under stable snow conditions experienced climbers should be able to climb from C1 to the summit and back in 10 to 12 hours. The north face of Camel west is a steep rock face that falls away into Bipeng Valley.
Essential GearSnow/glacier travel gear including rope.
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