Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Mountaineering in China

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Asia. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Asia Climbing Partners section.
 

Mountaineering in China

Postby carruthersneil » Wed Oct 02, 2002 4:36 am

Anyone ever mountain climbed in Sichuan or Yunnan provinces, china?.
carruthersneil

 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 12:00 am
Location: U.S State, United Kingdom
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby dynoking21 » Wed Oct 09, 2002 3:27 am

I've never climbed there, but in Yunnan right above the city of Lijiang there is a massif called the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (highest peak is 18,000 feet). We rode on a fairly modernized gondola to almost 15,000 feet and saw the glacier. I don't think they allow you to climb from there, but you might be able to get a permit to climb starting somewhere else on the mountain. Anyway, peakware.com says this mountain is unclimbed, and I got mixed reports from the tour guides. A couple of teams from different countries have tried, sounds interesting...
Anyway, if you want more info, just ask.

Mountain Madness also guides Minya Konka (24,000) in Sichuan, and High Asia guides some peaks there.
dynoking21

 
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 4:02 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby JScoles » Wed Oct 09, 2002 11:36 am

Yes as of 98 it was still unclimbed (last good data I have on it). There have been many Japanese, US and even German attempts but all have failed due to very poor weather. I remember reading one article in the AAC (American Alpine Club) Journal about it. All I recall was a rant about poor weather, even worse rock and lack of time.

According to some data I have seen on it sees about 250+ days of cloud cover a year so I could see why attempts have failed. The one big stopping factor for a Japanese team was they were only given a two week permit to visit the area. Not enough time if the weather is so bad.
User Avatar
JScoles

 
Posts: 1245
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2001 12:54 pm
Location: Ottawa, Onatrio, Canada
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby gordonye » Wed Oct 09, 2002 7:45 pm

Besides Minya Konka, the second highest peak in the region is Kawa Karpo (Kawakarpo, Kang Karpo, Meili Xueshan, Kagebo, Moirigkawagarbo, Kawagebo, Kala Karpo), 6740 m (22113 ft), which is still virgin. Kawa Karpo is on the border of Yunnan and Tibet, has very wet weather and fast-moving glaciers. In 1991 17 climbers from a Japanese-Chinese team died in an avalanche on Kawa Karpo.
User Avatar
gordonye

 
Posts: 2504
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 9:55 am
Location: Berkeley, California, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby Damien Gildea » Thu Oct 10, 2002 11:43 am

I have climbed in Yunnan twice - April 1998 and April/May 2002.

Jade Dragon / Yulongxueshan was climbed back in the 1980s, by Eric Perlman, I believe, on his second attempt. It was not climbed in the 1960s as some literature says. I know of at least a few climbers who have failed on it in recent years, including myself (see AAJ 1999). But I am pretty sure that someone would have illegally climbed it as well in recent years. It's not overly hard and the access is pretty good, for such an impressive mountain. There has been a lot of unauthorised climbing activity in this part of the world, especially in Sichuan.

I went up the Yulong cable car this year - how bizarre ! 4506m and Chinese tourists sucking small cans of oxygen bought at the base.

MM do not really guide Gongga Shan, they just advertise that they can, as they (Charlie Fowler and friends really) recced it a few years ago. Gongga is a long way from KawaKarpo, so they are not really in the same area, and there are some high 6700+m peaks right next to Gongga.

KawaKarpo / Meilixueshan 6740m is off-limits for spiritual reasons. I tested this policy this year, though for the mountain next to it, and the villagers will be punished by the monks if they let foreigners go above the villages without guides. Climbing is forbidden. A number of foreigners have visited this area now. In 98 you could not even cross the river to visit it, now they run tours over there and have a cheap lodge near the view point for the Minyong Glacier. Getting relatively touristy.

I have twice climbed a small 4780m snow peak close by the road at the high pass north of Zhongdian, about 90 minutes south of Deqen. The main mountain here is Baimang Shan 5500m, and it is almost certainly unclimbed. A good pic of it that I took appeared in High magazine in May 2000, I think (or 2001 ?). We attempted it this year but turned back due to avo danger/debris at 4am and at 11am a massive avo ripped down the whole face, wiping our route. There are lots of smaller peaks in Yunnan that would make good exploratory climbing, often not far from roads.

Haba is another interesting area, with an easy main peak at 5490m, but some very sharp lower peaks that are mostly unclimbed. They are on the north side of Tiger Leaping Gorge - now a very popular trek. This year we went to an area north of there and got great views of all the high peaks between Yulongxueshan and Haba. There are a lot of nice little mountains in there.

I've told you too much already !

:-)
D
User Avatar
Damien Gildea

 
Posts: 1368
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:19 pm
Thanked: 227 times in 137 posts

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby gordonye » Thu Oct 10, 2002 8:56 pm

Damien

Thanks for the great information! I have a few questions hoping you could clarify:
did you try to get authorization from the China Mountaineering Association to climb a peak close to KawaKarpo? I thought maybe the local monks were simply trying to prevent unauthorized climbing. Since there had been climbing activity on KawaKarpo in the 80's and 90's, your information that it is no longer allowed would indicate a policy change. Maybe it was an attempt to ensure that official Chinese climbers make the first ascent?
User Avatar
gordonye

 
Posts: 2504
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 9:55 am
Location: Berkeley, California, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby Damien Gildea » Thu Oct 10, 2002 11:22 pm

G,

It's hard to know exactly what is behind it. Maybe if the Japanese offered the CMA enough money they would let it happen. There have been at least two Japanese attempts in the past - one from the north east and one from the south east. The latter used the BC we were trying to get to. It is called Japanese Base Camp and lies a few hours hike above the village of Yibong. Nick Clinch's US attempts were on another peak, to the north, accessed via a totally different approach.

We were told by the locals in Yibong that when the joint Sino-Jap team went up there in 1991, all the locals were praying that they would be killed, and of course they were. Maybe this is just a story, but an unpleasant one at that.

Officially, the govt is respecting the wishes of the locals in banning climbing there - unauthorised or not. We did not get permission anyway.

The Nature Conservancy (based in WashDC) also is active in this area and has a hand in all this stuff.

However, once the locals told us that the monks did not want us climbing there for spiritual reasons, of course we acquiesced, out of respect for their beliefs more than worrying about rule-breaking or anything else. I had heard that climbing there was forbidden for spiritual reasons, but I wanted to go and check for myself.

The locals told us the monks said that a Canadian botanist had gone above Yibong unaccompanied last year (2001)and removed specimens without permission. They weren't happy about this, citing it as the reason for not letting us go higher without a "guide".

Officially there does seem to be a policy change and I just figured that it was a way for Beijing to be seen to be more accomodating to local indigenous cultures and religion. The whole 'ethnic minority' thing - Naxi, Yi etc - is a big tourist drawcard in Yunnan these days, and having the holy mountain unclimbed is a nice touch.

D
User Avatar
Damien Gildea

 
Posts: 1368
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:19 pm
Thanked: 227 times in 137 posts

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby dynoking21 » Thu Oct 10, 2002 11:38 pm

Damien

Could you give me any info on the route you took up Jade Dragon Snow Mountain? How technical was it? Did you start near the cable car? When we went up there in the summer, the weather was terrible, so I gather this is a bad time to climb it. Also, did your team get a permit?
Thanks,
Alex
dynoking21

 
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 4:02 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby Damien Gildea » Fri Oct 11, 2002 12:41 am

Alex,

I tried it from the south in May 98 - no permit. I just got a taxi (!) out of Lijiang and went to the village, maybe Baisha ?, below it - NOT the closest one, I walked to that village.

Baish is the place with the mad doctor, that John Cleese visited, mentioned in the Lonely Planet book. I got the bus back from here on my return.

From Baisha I walked an hour or so up to a smaller village, then from there basically straight up the hillside on a badly eroded horse track, eventually into forest on the lower slopes. I camped here one night. Some locals came down at dusk, herding horses who were dragging cut-down trees. They were curious, but friendly, no problem. Next day I pretty much went straight up, not on tracks, through the trees. Steep hiking. Then I intersected a horse track coming in from the left (west?) that traversed across the whole south side. This goes up over a col to the east. I went above this trail, on to scree, up a mind-numbing gully, eventually on to snow, then camped on snow at a flattish area at about 4000m. There was quite a bit of steep terrain around me, walls and small peaks etc, but I could see then that I was off route could not easily reach the top from there.

I only got to about 4200m or so on the south side. I got way off-route and did not have enough time then for another go. Also the weather turned crap. I'm pretty sure Oct-Nov is the best time for this peak.

Having now taken the cable car up from the east last April, I can now see that my proposed route would not have taken my quite to the summit like I thought. I think there is a big channel / valley / gap type thing in between. Although I don't think the mountain is particulary difficult to climb, the topography is extremely confusing. You really need to go there and work it out.

I reckon if you take the bus to Daju (east end of TLG) you could hop off at a point where a trail leaves the road and heads in to the north side of Jade Dragon. We nearly did this in May this year, but continued on elsewhere. It is more remote, but would be very interesting. This trail is seen pretty clearly on the left of the main road, not long after you go past a village that has a small gondola going up the hill, which is over an hour past the "development" with the main cable car (and giant totem pole, golf course etc :-)

Cheers,
Damien
User Avatar
Damien Gildea

 
Posts: 1368
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:19 pm
Thanked: 227 times in 137 posts

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby dynoking21 » Sat Oct 12, 2002 7:28 pm

Damien,

Thanks so much for all the info! I'm thinking about attempting it two summers from now. I know the weather will be bad, but I'll try to get as much time as I can to climb it. I also went up the Yulong cable car a little over a year ago, and was thinking about starting from there. I'm sure a permit would be needed to start there, but starting to climb at 15,000 feet would be a major advantage. I believe it would just be a little over 3,000 vertical feet to the summit. Has anyone attempted the summit from the top of the cable car? They might not allow it, but do you know where you could ask about a permit for that? I'm also worried about what the cost of a permit might be. I do know a tour guide in the area, so that might help. And where would you get topos of this area? Anyway, thanks so much for the route info.
-Alex
dynoking21

 
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 4:02 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby gordonye » Wed Oct 16, 2002 11:27 pm

Alex,
As fas as I know topos are not available for sale in China. The CMA should be able to supply topos when you see them for the permit. According to <A HREF="http://www.climberinfo.com/features/distant_ranges/china.php3">climberinfo.com</A>, the permit costs $30 per climber for peaks below 6000 m. Additionally they will probably require a local guide.
User Avatar
gordonye

 
Posts: 2504
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 9:55 am
Location: Berkeley, California, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby Damien Gildea » Fri Oct 18, 2002 8:04 am

Hi Alex,

The Chinese may have topos of Yulongx but I have never seen one. I do have a good topo of Kawa Karpo. The Chinese have been a bit more free with good topos of Shishapangma, Muztagh Ata, Namche Bawa etc. all of which I have.

Did you see some aerial photos down at the tourist centre where the bus to the cable car starts from ? I saw some, and some basic topo-type diagrams that looked interesting, but was rushing for a bus and could not stop.

There was a policeman sitting on a chair at the 'boundary' of the snow area at the top of the cable car when we were there, stopping people going past a certain point. Maybe if you had a permit you could start here, but I wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't.

In China, the actual permit fee is never a big problem. Everest is only USD$5,000 or so. But it is all the other charges they put on extra that add up, and the actual dollar amounts of those charges - USD$100+ a day per yak etc. The good access to Yulongx means you should be able to cut down on some of those costs, but I'm sure they'll find a way to get some extra moolah out of you somehow. I'm sure a few companies in Kunming or Chengdu could organise it for you, cheaper than a western company. The name Zhang brothers in Chengdu rings a bell. I think that's who Fred Beckey uses ?

I'm not sure, I'd have to look it up, but I'm pretty certain that using cable cars in the Himalaya is CHEATING !!
:-)

Good luck, I will be really interested to know how you get on.

D
User Avatar
Damien Gildea

 
Posts: 1368
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:19 pm
Thanked: 227 times in 137 posts

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby borohoro » Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:45 am

I suggest you about mountaineering in yunnan province.
5,000 meter peak which I interest to climb is haba snow mountain. ( 5,396 meter ). but big problem for me is my company can't allow me for long holiday.
mountain for short holiday which I interested to climb is malong peak ( in yunnan province 4,000 meters ) , kinabalu ( malaysia 4,000 meters ), fan si pan ( vietnam 3,000 meter ).
for anybody whom interest climb fan si pan. If you interest to talk with me. please send e-mail to me. ( I want to have mountaineering friend )
my e-mail tarim_basin@hotmail.com
ariya srikrai
bangkok, thailand
borohoro

 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2002 5:56 am
Location: bangkok, Thailand
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby carruthersneil » Wed Oct 29, 2003 3:04 am

thought I would resurect this post to let you know we had a quite succsesful trip to Kangding (near Gongga Shan in W. Sichaun) in the Daxue Shan.

We climbed a good route on the north face of Haizi Shan (5850m) and although we didn't make the true summit we reached the northern summit (~5700m) and were pretty pleased with that.

We also had a look at another of the peaks in the range but the weather deteriorated in the last week so we didn't get any more climbing done.

I'll put more details on a mountain page in the next couple of weeks. Absoutely stacks of potential up there with relatively easy access from Chengdu.
carruthersneil

 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 12:00 am
Location: U.S State, United Kingdom
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Mountaineering in China

Postby Damien Gildea » Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:49 pm

Nice work, Neil.

I thought about going there in this month but could not get away. There is a photo of Haizi from the north in 'East of Himalaya' by Tamotsu Nakamura. The south side looks good too.

Will look out for your photos.

D
User Avatar
Damien Gildea

 
Posts: 1368
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:19 pm
Thanked: 227 times in 137 posts

Next

Return to Asia

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.