NW ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 35.96720°N / 79.44350°E
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering
Additional Information Time Required: Expedition
Additional Information Difficulty: High altitude
Sign the Climber's Log


Up the gully1. Up a scree gully

The NW ridge of Jiao Feng is a pleasant climb. It was not our first choice though. The couloir just north of the route described on this place looked great, but we turned west when we hit the snow. First, it was an awful crust with 50-60cm of powder underneath and further up when it got steep the avalanche danger was very high. If you have good conditions - go for the couloir instead. Looks very nice.

In our original plan Jiao Feng wasn't included, but as we were almost avalanched a couple of times on Qierlizuoke Feng and had to wait for better conditions we thought we may as well do something while waiting. The summit ridge is an extremely beautiful walk with views of distant peaks in the Chinese Karakoram and even more impressive - you're in the heart of the Dahongliutan Range and wherever you look you see hundreds of snow capped peaks. The views get a 10 plus rating!

Getting There

Bad snow conditions2. If this snow slope is no good, go for the described route. Head right up the scree and rock here.

For a detailed description, look at the main page.

Alternative 1.
China - Kashgar - Yecheng - Mazar - Xaidulla - Dahongliutan - 12 km along the main road - head north into a wide river valley - walk for about 11 km and set BC about one km before the valley and at the glaciers.

Alternative 2.
China - Lhasa - Shigatse - Lhatze - Saga - Darchen (Kailash)- Ali/Shiquanhe - Domar - Take off to the left 12km before Dahongliutan.

Route Description

View from a steep part3. Climb the face up to the cornice.

  • A good place for BC is: 35°59'8.73"N 79°24'58.73"E
  • Elevation gain from BC: 1260m

  • There's a deep valley close to BC. Head up into it. In the beginning it can be heavy going due to lots of big boulders and rocks, but it gets easier quickly. The gradient increases after a while and becomes a steady 20-25 degrees. When you hit the snow you have to make a decision. If it looks good for climbing, I can recommend you to go for it instead of the below description. We had really bad snow so we went straight up the scree slopes on our right. Follow the path of least resistance.

    The last part4. The last steep part.

    When you reach the flat long ridge, follow it towards the south and later SE. We hit some snow about a km from the summit ridge cornice, but didn't put on crampons until it was about 200m left. That's also where it starts to get steep. The last part is about 70 degrees, but it's not for a long stretch. Cornices change all the time, but when we were there it was a small one on top of the steep part. We hacked our way through and reached the summit ridge without any hassles.
    I should also mention we encountered a serious avalanche risk the last part before the cornice, but didn't care so much about it as even if we had been avalanched there, not that much could have happened. The slope flattens out in a good way below the steep part.

    1100m over BC5. On the summit ridge

    The summit ridge is about a kilometer long. In some places you have to watch out for cornices and in others for avalanches. We were almost avalanched once, but we can only blame lazyness and arrogance for that. Short cuts can sometimes be potentially disastrous. Stay on the ridge!
    The last part before the summit is undulating and there are some crevasses under the snow. Be careful and rope up if it feels uncomfortable.
    The place where the summit is located is heavily corniced on the NW. Stay away from the edge.

    One of the  horns 6. One of the "horns" on the ridge.

    Essential Gear

    Summit cornice 6370m7. Summit cornice

  • Warm and wind proof clothing.
  • Crampons.
  • Ice axe.
  • Good sunglasses and sun block.
  • Walking sticks.
  • Lots of water and snacks.

    Perhaps you also want to bring
  • Rope.
  • Harness.
  • A snow flake or stakes.
  • Karabiners etc.

  • Happiness on the summit8. Success!



    Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

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