Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 31.78570°N / 99.07218°E
Additional Information Elevation: 20236 ft / 6168 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Chola Shan (Que'er Shan) is a prominent mountain in a virtually untouched region of Western Sichuan. On clear days the mountain looms above other rugged mountains and even further down valley is numerous Qiang villages (Tibetans). This is a mountain covered year round in snow and ice but is a fun peak to practice expedition style mountaineering and skills required to tackle other high altitude peaks (glacier travel, crevasse rescue, ice and rock climbing, fixing lines, acclimatizing, etc.) Chola Shan is the highest peak in a glaciated range of peaks, many of which are unclimbed. Chola Shan is in a remote area and therefore not many teams have climbed it. I believe it was first climbed in 1988 by Mick Fowler. Several Japanese, Korean, and Chinese teams have tried the mountain in the course of the last few decades. A pair of Koreans was successful and a team comprised of Japanese and students from Sichuan University were also successful. Recently Jon Otto and MaYihua of Arête Alpine Instruction Center have successfully led a handful of clients to the summit. All together, as of 2004, fewer than 50 people have summitted this mountain. I summitted with Jon Otto, George Lloyd (the first Australian), TJ Bittel, Nima, Nihui, Wudi, and YT on August 9, 2004. The route starts by passing Ganhaizi Lake and then ascending to a valley at the base of a large waterfall of glacial melt off and an amphitheater of peaks. Some class 4 scrambling is required to get to the base of the glacier. The glacier itself is large and meanders all the way to the summit of the mountain. July and August are good months to climb because crevasses are generally melted out and visible. The summit ridge is exposed and fixed lines or roped team travel should be considered. Some crevasses are large enough to be climbed into and out of, rather than walking around. A map and photos can be viewed at AAIC although the text is in Chinese.

Getting There

Starting from Chengdu in the Sichuan province of China you must drive west for almost 900km. A good place to spend the first night of driving is the village of Bamei. Ganze (Garze) is a good sized city with tons of character and the last place to stock up on fresh and moderately safe food. The last bit of "civilization" you will encounter is the village of Manigango (Maniganghen). This village has a couple of guesthouses with squatter toilets and home cooked food. Set aside 2 days and 2 nights for this drive. The drive is incredibly scenic passing through Yi and Qiang villages, nomadic yak herders, Buddhist monasteries, and beautiful mountain scenery.

Red Tape

Permits are required, up the road from Manigango a ranger station type thing can be found with a liaison that speaks some English. They can arrange for local porter and horses to get you to base camp. To inquire about fees try: The Sichuan Mountaineering Association SMA Red tape is thick and confusing in China. One reason why certain regions are still pristine I suppose.

When To Climb

July and August the crevasses are more visible. Most of the successful summits have been in these months. We had about 8 days of beautiful sunny weather but storms with heavy and relentless precipitation have been known to last for days as well. Our summit day was a complete white-out.


Trekking is becoming more popular in the region. I'm not sure what the fee for camping is. This is a remote region that has seen little tourism to date. Only the heartiest of travelers should go here. Speaking some Chinese or having a reliable translator is almost a must.

Mountain Conditions

Inquire in Chengdu at the Guanzhunzhiye climbing gym and bar.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-5 of 5
Damien Gildea

Damien Gildea - Mar 21, 2005 8:35 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Chola Shan I had its first ascent by Japanese in Sept 1988. In 1997Charlie Fowler (US) made the first ascent of Chola Shan II (6119m) and then climbed a new route on the NW face of Chola Shan 1.


Chaos - Jan 12, 2015 7:07 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Actually now in China it is a very famous mountain and has several routes. Every year from June to October is climable. More details in, but in Chinese.


Krasen - Mar 6, 2018 11:02 am - Hasn't voted

Camping in the foot of Chola- Yilhun Lha Tso lake

Yilhun Lha Tso, which as I know is a starting point for Chola trekking, is an excellent place for camping. I have been there for camping two times. Usually travelers camp on its north coast, near the park gate (entrance fee for August'2017 was 40 RMB), including me, but seems no problem to go to its south coast (I have met a couple from Russia going to camp below the glacier and the waterfall south of the lake. As for us, at August 2017 they required 30 RMB additional fee for a tent and spending one night on the lake coast.

Donald Tang

Donald Tang - Dec 12, 2018 12:00 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Camping in the foot of Chola- Yilhun Lha Tso lake

yes, the lake is beautiful, the lake another side ( now base camp for climbing) takes 2-3 hours hiking from the entrance, because summer time, the lake water level is much higher hiding some part trails at the approaching to base camp.

Donald Tang

Donald Tang - Dec 11, 2018 11:02 pm - Hasn't voted

Already very popular climbing snow mountain 6000+

Chola Shan(Que'er Shan) has already become the most popular climbing snow mountain 6000+, the reason behind , it is a great beautiful glacier view and improved mountain skill, the climbing time was shorten as better transportation. The full service costs including food, the road-fixing, guide, tent and hotel etc are around 2500 USD, 12 days from chengdu and back chengdu

Viewing: 1-5 of 5



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.