Pt. ca 5,600m, north-northeast face, Largo’s Route
China, Qionglai Mountains, Siguniang National Park
On November 5, Christophe Dumarest and I made the probable first ascent of Pt. ca 5,600m at the end of the southwest ridge of Chang-gou (a.k.a. Lara Peak, 5,700m). This rocky summit is situated immediately north of Siguniang North at 31°07’29.00” N, 102°54’04.32” E (Google Earth). From a camp at 4,500m, above the Changping Valley, we first acclimatized by climbing a nice ridge close to camp, following it to 5,000m. From here we saw an attractive gully on Pt. ca 5,600m and decided to leave some gear at the end of the ridge and descend to camp for the night.
Next morning we made an early start, walked up to 4,900m, collected our gear, and climbed a 200m mixed section (M5 maximum) to reach a small notch in the northwest spur. From here we traversed a steep snow slope across the north-northeast face to reach the base of the gully. The first pitch of the gully proved to be the crux: very committing, quite runout, and a steep mixed snow/ ice section. Above, it was still sustained and hard to protect, but the climbing was excellent. We completed five or six pitches of 60m before reaching the summit ridge, where a final 50m rock section of 5c led to the top. On the summit we estimated we were 100m to 150m below the top of Chang-gou. We rappelled the gully using a mixture of pitons, nuts, and jammed knots as anchors. We named our 800m line Largo’s Route (ED- WI6 M5 X 5c).
Thomas Vialletet, France