American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, China, Daxue Shan, Riuchhi Gongga (5,928m), Southeast Ridge; Jiazi (6,540m), West Face, Attempt; Peak 5,200m

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2009

Riuchhi Gongga (5,928m), southeast ridge; Jiazi (6,540m), west face, attempt; Peak 5,200m. From September 23 to October 24 French guides Sébastien Bohin (GMHM), Pascal Trividic, and I visited Sichuan. We climbed in the Minya Konka Range, where for the first half of our stay the weather was still influenced by the monsoon, and we experienced only a few half-sunny days. During this period Bohin and Trividic made the probable second ascent of Riuchi Gongga, (Little Konka or Tshiburongi), a beautiful Matterhorn-like peak to the northwest of Jiazi (Rudshe Konka). They approached from the Riuchi Glacier and climbed a 400m snow slope at 50° to reach a col on the southeast ridge, where they bivouacked. The following day they climbed the crest above, which was generally 50–60° and often narrow. The climbing was mixed, with snow and ice gullies at 70–80° maximum and rock to UIAA IV+. The overall grade was D.During the second half of our stay the weather was more stable but colder, which allowed all three of us to attempt our main objective, the 1,600m west face of Jiazi. We climbed 600m up a steep snow couloir on the right side of the face and bivouacked at 5,400m below a narrow ice gully. The site was uncomfortable, and we were disturbed by spindrift and rockfall. Next morning the wind was strong, the spindrift bad, and we retreated. Later Trividic and I went up the Tshiburongi Glacier, northeast of Riuchi Gongga, and climbed a granite ridge to an unnamed rocky 5,200m summit. The Minya Konka Range is easy to reach. Base camp is seven or eight hours from Kangding, which is accessible in eight hours from Chengdu on a comfortable bus. A permit ($800-$ 1,500 per group) can be easily obtained in a few days.

Sébastien Moatti, France

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