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Asia, Southeastern China, Kang Karpo and Meili Ranges

Kang Karpo and Meili Ranges. In October, Nicholas Clinch, Peter Davis, Gary Driggs, Brian and Diane Okonek, Peter Schoening and I, supported by Professor Zhou Zheng, Sun Po, Zhou Rong, Lin Cong and Cai Shun-Bo, visited the Kang Karpo and Meili ranges in northwestern Yünnan. [It is interesting that Zhou Zheng has learned that the use of Meili for the Kang Karpo range was a mistake. The mountains south of the Shu La are called the Kang Karpo range (Snow White Mountains) and those north of the pass are called the Meili range. Meili may mean “Chinese Medical Mountains” because of the herbs found there.— Nicholas Clinch.] We established Base Camp at Dotun at 14,000 feet on the Shu La trail, an old trade route leading into Tibet. We had good weather at the beginning of the trip and reconnoitered south both on the Yünnan and Tibetan sides of the Kang Karpo range. We found few acceptable routes. One we considered feasible was up the second highest of the Kang Karpo range, P 6509, from the Tibetan side. We decided to try this route, but a sudden storm closed the Shu La to animals. Meanwhile, Schoening and Driggs made the first ascent of Shulajaingoimarbo (5292 meters, 17,362 feet), the highest peak in the Meili range, north of the Shu La. It was mostly scrambling followed by a snow gully. After the storm, when we realized we could not move camp to our real objective, we crossed the Shu La to the Salween River over and back.

Edward Leas