Summits: Mt Kangze’gyai (22/8/2013-26/8/2013)

Mt Kangze’ gyai:

Kangze’gyai (a.k.a.Tuanjiefeng), the highest peak in the Qilian Mountains, is located in Tianjun County within the Haixi Autonomous Prefecture of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.


By north latitude 38 ° 30 ′longitude 97 ° 43 ‘, SE of Mt Shule, 500 km NW of Xining city, Mt Kangze’gyai is the highest place of the water divide between the upper Shule River Valley and Hala Lake Basin. Its surface widely covered by snow and ice. The snowline of Mt Kangze’gyai is above 4400m, covered with 89 sq km glacier and snow. By far, most of the area in Qilian range is not suitable for human living. Only small amount waterweeds in the valley during summer the can be used for nomad.


Next to Mt Kangze’Gyai is the second largest lake of Qinghai, Hala. A salt lake, 593 sq km 4077m, at bottom of Qilian mountains.

Hala Lake, sources by 16 rivers and glaciers from mountains of 5600m above with Ulan Gol River as the largest, is the main plateau vegetation and an important wetland for breeding birds, geese, ducks, waders and gulls. Large populations of wild life such as huangshui fish, wild antelope and wild ass can also be found.

Summits record:

Kangze’gyai is too remote that only 4 climbing are recorded. September 1958, Chinese team by southeast up Ganalou Glacier where Xu Jing together with 2 teammate summit on the 14th while 10 climbers followed on the 15th.

August 1999, a Sino-Japanese joint-expedition team of 35 people which consist 7 Japanese and 8 Chinese climbers, repeated this route.

2008, Chinese team Cao Yi-zhou, Lv Wei-bo, Pu Bai-lei and Zhen Han-bo ascended by SW route north bank, un-summit.
Oct 2009, ChineseYong Li, Zonghua Huang and Wei Yuan summit by a new route and named it ‘the darkness wall’.

The itinerary:

D1 (Aug 22) Yinchuan – Xining

D2 (Aug 23) Xining – Delingha

D3 (Aug 24) Delingha – Hala Lake

D4 (Aug 25) BC 4400m – C1 4700m

D5 (Aug 26):C1 4700m — 5776m

D6 (Aug.27th):5776m- BC

The unmanned Hala make roads complicated. Our 4w-drive had been stuck in the mud several times on the way to Mt Kangze’gyai.


No human activities but wild animals. Photo: Wild asses

Water went inside 4w-drive during river crossing. Our equipments soaked. We thus set up BC nearby.


D4: BC 4400m to C1 4700m

With the supporting of BIGPACK, our team reached Hala Lake, Tianjun, Qinghai 4400m. Weather was nice. Everybody felt good, no obvious altitude sickness. BIGPACK COULIOR JKT got high performance, high-breathable and good waterproof.


(from left to right: Cuihua‘s brother, Michael wolf, Ji Xiang , 5% , Fish in the sky)

Weather always changes. Black cloud came from north within half an hour while we cook.


Glacier is mild at ending section. We enjoyed and took some pictures.

‘Ji Xiang’ and ‘Fish in the sky’


There are lots of huge and wide crevasse in Mt Kangze’gyai.


We had encountered various weather situations. The delicate and versatile BIGPACK gears provide outstanding comfort and high performance all the way during our climbing.


The 4-w drive had broken down, we got to climb overnight. Just a bit less than 30m to the summit, we found lots of huge crevasses and cornices. For safety reason, we decided to climb down, reached 5776m.