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Yangmolong (6,066m), Dangchezhengla (5,830m), Historical Notes

Yangmolong (6,066m), Dangchezhengla (5,830m), historical notes. Yangmolong is the highest of a small group of snow peaks in the middle of the Shaluli Shan, north of the Genyen massif and immediately east of Batang on the Sichuan-Tibet Highway. Three other main peaks make up the group: Dangchezhengla (referred to locally as Bongonzhong); Pt. 6,033m (unnamed on maps, though local people refer to it as Makara), on the ridge connecting Dangchezhengla with Yangmolong; and an unnamed Pt. 5,850m, northwest of Dangchezhengla.

The only previous attempt on Yangmolong also was made from the north, in 1991 by a Japanese expedition that was thwarted by avalanche-prone slopes. Kiyoaki Miyagawa and Junta Murayama made the first ascent of Dangchezhengla in June 2002. This pair was part of a four- man Japanese team that approached the south side of the mountain from Batang and fixed ropes through the icefall to the 5,565m col between Dangchezhengla and Pt. 6,033m. Most of the Japanese members were not in the full flush of youth (Miyagawa was 61) and decided that attempting either Pt. 6,033m or Yangmolong over the top of 6,033m, would be too difficult. Instead they concentrated on Dangchezhengla. After climbing a 500m face of steep ice on the right (north) side of the east ridge above the col, they rejoined the corniced summit ridge and followed it to the highest point.

The second ascent was made in March 2007 by a Chinese team. Although it is believed they approached from the south, it is not certain which route they followed. However, what is known is that during the descent from a successful summit bid, lead climber Liu Xinan fell 300 meters and died of his injuries. Although largely unknown outside his own country, Liu Xinan was one of China’s top climbers and winner of China’s national sport climbing competition in 2000. Among other climbs, in 2005 he had made the third ascent of the difficult Celestial Peak in Siguniang National Park, by a new route.

Lindsay Griffin, MountainINFO Editor, adapted from www.alpinist.com