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Asia, China, Sichuan, Lotus Flowers Mountain Range, Peak 5704m, First Ascent

Peak 5704m, First Ascent. The 5704-meter main peak of the Lotus Flowers mountain range (a.k.a. Zharha Latse, Mt. Haitze) lies to the north of the Minya-Konka mountain area in Sichuan, China. It is about 20 kilometers north of Kangding and 350 kilometers west of Chengdu. The Japan Workers’ Alpine Federation Trans-Mountain Expedition 1998 ascended this unclimbed peak via the southwest face in September and October. We were Hitoshi Yamaoka (leader), Yoshio Kondo, and Yoshitake Shirai. We reached Base Camp (3900m), a one-day walk from the nearest small village of Sutunba, on September 17. Though it was small, the glacier began at more than 5000 meters. Camp I was placed at 4900 meters on the moraine near the southwest face on September 23. It was easy walking from BC to CI We made CII at 5400 meters on an unstable snow ridge on September 28 after climbing the southwest face in 15 50-meter pitches. The route followed the edge of the couloir and entailed snow, ice, and rotten rock between the south peak and the couloir itself (UIAAII-IV). On September 30, Yamaoka and Shirai climbed the mixed face of the main peak in nine 50-meter pitches, encountering unstable rock and snow (III-IV). Rainy weather had continued for 11 days after our arrival at BC. Fortunately, around the time we reached the summit, we had fine days. On October 6, Kondo and Shirai made the second ascent. Near here and in the north of Mt. Siguniang in Sichuan, there are some sharp peaks suitable for rock climbing.

Hitoshi Yamaoka, Japan Workers’ Alpine Federation