American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Hutsa, Southeast Ridge and East Face

China, Sichuan, Shaluli Shan, Genyen Massif

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Liu Junfu
  • Climb Year: 2018
  • Publication Year: 2019

WHILE ACCLIMATIZING for another objective in the Genyen Massif, Zhang Qingwei, Huang Siyuan, and I saw the pyramid peak of Hutsa (29°54'2.96"N, 99°37'24.03"E). We knew its name and altitude (5,863m) but nothing else. This now became our major goal, but with no information we didn’t even know from which side to attempt it.

On October 24 we moved to an advanced base camp at 5,100m, and next day approached the mountain from the south. We spotted interesting lines on the south face and southeast ridge, which lay directly in front of us. A fine couloir on the south face was severely exposed to rockfall, so instead we opted for a line to the right that offered 50° névé and led to a col on the southeast ridge. [This appears to be the ridge to the right of that attempted by Dave Anderson and Szu-ting Yi in 2011 and 2014, while trying to make the first ascent of the mountain. In 2016, Hutsa was climbed twice by a multi-national expedition, once via the west face and once via a hidden couloir on the southwest side; see AAJ 2017.] Zhang led the next section on the ridge as only he had brought rock shoes. After four pitches up to 5.10, the terrain became steeper. We avoided an overhanging compact wall by descending to a mixed couloir on the east face and following it toward the upper southeast ridge, with compact snow up to 60­–70° and a little WI3. We simul-climbed this until, at 7 p.m. and at an altitude of 5,700m, we cut out a ledge and bivouacked for the night.

The next day Huang and Zhang led a total of four mixed pitches, up to M4+, taking us to the summit at 1 p.m. Hutsa is located fairly centrally in the massif, and the summit offers a fine panorama of surrounding peaks. We made 10 rappels on the southwest face to get off the mountain, reaching the bottom by 8 p.m., and were back at base camp three hours later.

– Liu Junfu, China, supplied and translated by Xia Zhongming, Germany

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