9th-15th June, 2013

About Mt Helan
Mount Helan, elevation 2000~3000 meters, is an important geographic boundary in the Northwest of China. It borders the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The main peak Aobao Geda , is located at the northwest of Yinchuan area, 3556m, which is also the highest peak in Ningxia district in China.

The northeast-southwest Mt. Helan is located between the Yinchuan Plain and the Alax Plateau. According to historical records, the mountain was covered with trees in white, looking like a horse, which the northerners call helan, hence the name.

The Helan mountainous area has been inhabited by many minority peoples in north China. In 1982, the mountain was listed as a state-level nature reserve.

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The Helan mountain has plenty of vegetation, such as alpine shrub meadow, deciduous broad-leaved forest, coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, Chinese pine, Qinghai spruce forest, grassland, and so on. The most important forest belt is Qinghai spruce forest density, 2400~3100 meters altitude. There are 665 kinds of plants, such as Qinghai spruce, Aspen, birch, pine and so on. There are more than 180 kinds of animals, red deer, roe deer, wild animal, leopard, stone marten, etc. In 1988, the State Council announced that the Helan Mountain Nature Reserve was a national protected areas with 61000 hectares.

The Helan mountain is not only China’s rivers watershed between outer and inner flow, but also is the boundary between monsoon climate and non monsoon climate. It is China’s 200 mm isohyets too. Besides, the Helan Mountain is the divide of China mountain steppe and desert. Eastern of it is semi-agricultural and semi-pastoral areas, and the Western of it is Pure pastoral areas.

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D1:  Trekked almost 7km from 1369m to BC 1808m.

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D2:  Spent 2 hours to cross a rocks ditch before reaching C1 (2169m). A very small place but with good source of water. We managed to climb to the pass of one peak of Mount Helan (3187m) at 16:10pm. Too tired today, completely exhausted.

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D3:  Started at 9:00am, we managed to reach the top of Shaguozhou by 13:00pm. We spent another 3 hours to cross a mountain meadow back to the pass of highest peak. We stayed there, took a rest and waited to climb down at night.

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D4:  Started climbing down at night. Successfully arrived at the root of the Mount at 1am.

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