Bawangshan (5,551m), Susunshan (5,183m), first ascents. Our expedition went in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Japanese Alpine Club, Hiroshima Section. Though Bawangshan belongs to the Qonglai Mountains, the area surrounding this peak was unfrequented by climbers until I reconnoitered it in 2006. It is located at 102° 41' E, 31° 27' N in Sandowangdi of Xiao- jin County, Aba Prefecture. There are no other mountains exceeding 5,300m in the vicinity of Bawangshan, but these shorter precipitous peaks surround the 5,551m Bawangshan as if guarding a king (bawang means “king,” shan means “mountain”). Bawangshan has three eminent ridges. The south ridge has a series of summits called the “nine peaks”; the northeast ridge is 15km long and reaches the main vehicle road, G317; and the west ridge reaches Hoangtsuliang Pass.
Hiroshi Matsushima, Chiharu Yoshimura, and I set up base camp at 3,750m (Tongnyop- ungzi), and advance camp at 4,700m. On October 3 we climbed from advance base to Bawang- shan’s summit in 12 hours, using ropes for 300 vertical meters, providing us with 10 pitches of climbing up to 5.9. On the descent we bivouacked on the spur of the south ridge, but we could not sleep, as the temperature dropped to –8°C. From advance camp on October 4 we climbed Susunshan (5,183m, west of Bawangshan) for another first ascent.
Minoru Nagoshi, Japanese Alpine Club, Hiroshima Section