American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, China, Sichuan, Daxue Shan, Haizi Shan, 2003 and 2005 Attempts

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2007

Haizi Shan, 2003 and 2005 attempts. In October 2003 we traveled from Hong Kong to Sichuan by train. We were joined in Kanding by Neil Carruthers, Stephen Wai Wah Yip (Geordie), and Ron Yue, who arrived by plane.

After renting a horse train from the family at the trailhead, we traveled up the Yala Valley to the third lake. We then approached Haizi Shan via a gully leading to a scree fan below and left of the long ridge leading to the north summit. We then ascended an open couloir toward the left side of the north face. The following day we climbed up to and along the glacial ramp that runs parallel to and below the long northeast ridge. Geordie and Damian had started farther left and, early in their ascent, found old 6mm or 7mm fixed rope of the three-ply variety. We reached a rock buttress and from there headed up to the crest of the northeast ridge, arriving at a little rock outcrop and climbing past a broad col to the north summit. The main summit was not too far away, but the intervening ridge looked heavily corniced. Realizing that we would not make it to the top and back down before nightfall, we decided to call it good.

None of us was keen to reverse the route, so from the col we dropped straight down the face onto the glacier and descended this via a series of benches and a couple of rappels over seracs. A loose pitch, led by Geordie, across the little rock buttress gained the ascent route.

In October 2005 the two of us returned, this time with Benjamin (Benjack) Phillips and Lok Wai Keung. Ho Saam Goh from Rilong came along as base camp manager. We took the same approach to the third Yala lake but this time moved right and went to the right of the waterfall, then up a gully leading to a scree ridge. As we climbed the gully through rhododendrons behind the right side of the lake, we found the way marked by ribbons with Hongol (Korean) script. These looked to be no more than a year or two old. In the rock steps above the waterfall we also came across fixed ropes. We made a bivouac in the boulders at the base of the big rock rib that drops directly from the north summit, right of a large open snow slope. The weather then turned nasty, and we sat out a couple of nights in the boulders before bailing. We noted that this area has recently become more popular with trekkers from Chengdu.

Paul Collis and Damian Ryan, Hong Kong

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