Logistical notes on reaching Shanghaizi from Chengdu. The public bus leaves the Chadianzi station early in the morning. It is wise to buy tickets the day before and have a local call to confirm about bus schedules beforehand. The bus ride itself has taken me anywhere from five to eight hours to Lixian. From Lixian I negotiate a minivan to take me to the trailhead at Shanghaizi; the price of this ride can vary depending on your Chinese bargaining skills. It is about 1? hours’ drive on paved road with plenty of rockslide potential. Lixian is a tacky trucker town, but does offer dingy accommodations. I prefer getting all the way to Shanghaizi and acclimating in the fresh mountain air.
Shanghaizi is essentially a dirt parking lot with several guesthouses catering to Chinese escaping big city life. I always stay with Yang’er Ge and his family in the cabin near the river. He has lived and worked in Bipeng Valley for most of his life. His family has cold but quaint guestrooms and will cook three square meals a day. Shanghaizi is at an elevation of 3,417m, which is good for acclimatizing. I take hikes up-valley scouting peaks for several days. Yang’er Ge can also arrange horses or porters to help ferry gear to base camp. Prices vary depending on weather and your language skill. [For further notes on logistics, see Joseph Puryear’s notes below—Ed.]
Jon Lane Sullivan, AAC