American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Tatsienlu Massif, Wupingfeng (5,672m), West Face Direct

Asia, China, Daxue Shan

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Yan Dongdong
  • Climb Year: 2010
  • Publication Year: 2011

From a base camp below the glacier on the west side of the mountain, Gu Jie, Liu Yang, and Peng Xiaolong made the likely second ascent of Peak 5,672m on the Chinese PLA Map, via the west face direct. The trio made a single-push ascent and descent, leaving base camp at 4 a.m. on July 24, reaching the summit at 5:20 p.m. the same day, and returning to base at 2 a.m. on the 25th. It took two hours to reach the left side of the glacier, where they climbed through the steep snout via 60m of 60° ice. They then followed the gently angled glacier to the foot of the west face, where after crossing the bergschrund, Peng led the first four pitches, Liu the next six, and Gu the final three to the summit. Difficulties were AI3+ 70°.

The Tatsienlu (Lamo-she) Massif lies immediately southeast of the town of Kangding. It is a compact range with all the main peaks situated on a ridge running north-south and ca 10km in length. Wupingfeng, at 29°58'56.32" N, 102°03'02.16" E, was first climbed in October 1996 by Fred Beckey’s expedition. (Beckey had reconnoitered the area in 1993, while other members of his expedition were climbing the massif’s highest peak, Lamo-she.) John Chilton, Jia Condon, and Rich Prohaska climbed the lower west face and moved right onto the moderately angled west ridge, which they followed to the summit. Meanwhile, Mark Carter and Steve Must climbed the corniced north ridge. They referred to the summit by a local name, Snake Lake Peak (AAJ 1998). However, Snake Lake Peak is Shehaizishan (5,878m on the PLA Map), which lies immediately north. She means “snake” and haizi means “lake.” This was also climbed by the 1996 Beckey expedition, via the northwest ridge. Beckey’s team then moved into the next valley north and climbed Sanpingfeng (ca 5,910m) via the north ridge. All three peaks were likely unrepeated until 2010. The highest peak in the massif, Lamo-she (6,070m), toward the southern end of the chain, was climbed by Americans in 1993 (AAJ 1994).

Yan Dongdong, China, with historical information from Pedro Detjen, Germany, and Tamotsu Nakamura, Japan

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.

Photos and Topos Click photo to view full size and see caption