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Asia, China, Yunnan Province, Hengduan Range, Hengduan Range, Crown Mountains, Possible First Ascent

Hengduan Range, Crown Mountain, possible first ascent. During the end of January 2001 I reached the top of a beautiful 5100m peak (according to my altimeter) in the north west of the Yunnan province in China. The peak can be approached from the road from Zhongdian around the last pass before coming down to Deqin. According to Chinese travel books the peak name is The Crown Mountain and it sits opposite of Mt. Baima, northeast of the road facing southwest, and therefore not very snowy on this side. The mountain is made of many small rocky peaks that give it its “crown” name. The highest of them is the one to the northwest. At the 4400m campsite is an old ruin of rock and wood that maybe belongs to yak shepherds or the road builders. We pitched our tents there, and the temperature went to -25° Celsius that night. My partner had mountain sickness for a few days, and so I went up solo and climbed all the peaks from southeast to northwest except the first big one on the southeast, which was probably first ascended by an American who lives in Kunming, Bob Moseley, who confirmed the heights. The start of the climb was easy scramble past rock fall on the ground, the last part involved one or two pitches of 5.7 at the most. A few meters to the northwest there is another lower peak, which seems to have a few rocks one on the other; the approach to the main peak from there seems hard. Therefore I assume my climb was a first ascent. The entire climb down was easier in a 5.5 chimney. The climb takes a few hours. Not far away sits the highest peak in Yunnan, the sacred unclimbed Meili peak, which can be seen from Crown Mountain.

Alon Hod, Israel