Climbing Mt Yinhaizi
Little Frog team, Nov 2013
Personally I have strong emotion with Minya Konka. I have been the area there for so many times, and each time I managed to get closer and closer to its wall. Nothing exaggerate, it’s the ‘Himalaya’ of Sichuan China! As the greatest part of mountain range, Minya Konka has the most beautiful snow mountains and glaciers. Each mountain has its own name with many stories. Minya Konka, is also one of the geographical coordinates of Asia. I dream every one of it: Shangmuju, Quanhuatan, Yulongxi, Zimei Pass, Zimei Village, Moxigou Ditch, Konka Temple, Bawanghai, Laoyulin, Panpanshan, Grosvenor Valley, Gongba Glacier, Mt Nama, Yanzigou, Hailuogou, Yangyanglacuo, Baihaizi, Shehaizi….. Minya Konka is like a magic box full of amazing!
I keep looking for answers to my curiosity, but there are always new findings. The exploring is endless…
I always want to find something for my clients in this area. Easy to approach, not too difficult to climb, 4-5days route, 5000m. That’s why I went to Mt Nama, Mt Shehaizi and to explore Mt Jiuhaizi.
Mt Nama was easily to climb but it’s very hard to approach because it is in the middle of the range. The route was around 10days and our schedule can’t! To move on, we went to explore Mt Jiuhaizi 5376m but stopped at the bottom since the climbing route was complicated and the rock was quite broken for reaching the main peak of Mt Jiuhaizi, so we decided to give up,. Mt Shehaizi, 5598m, with beautiful shape, its ice-snow route looks not difficult. Feb 2007, our team stopped at a 200m icefall. What would happen to climb Mt Yinhaizi, 5388m? Would it bring us surprises?
Seen from the pictures, Mt Yinhaizi also has a graceful shape, looks like a huge pyramid in the Grosvenor valley where the elevation is around 3800m. You can see its fantastic north face route seeing from Xueliangzi when you trek in Yangyanglacuo.
‘Haizi’ means small lake in valley.
Walking from Shashichang to Grosvenor valley , there’s a ditch called Yerengou, and Mt Yinhaizi is located at the end of it.
Yerengou is make by the converge of two ditches- Jiuhaizi and Yinhaizi. Yinhaizi got its named because of the two hidden ‘Haizi’ in it.
The Tibetan name of Yinhaizi is ‘Languoja’. We didn’t know the exact meaning of it. But Dorje, a mountain guide in Old Yulin, told us in the old days local people thought the two faces are different mountains thus gave 2 names.
By the way, there are lots of mountains named after ”haizi” in the Minya Konka range such as Mt Tianhaizi, Mt Baihaizi, Mt Shehaizi, Mt Heihaizi, Mt Jiuhaizi… Even Mt Yarla is also called Mt Haizi in data.
2008, un-summit, Little Frog and Bian Cheng reached 5000m
2009, un-summit, 4 climbers including BBQ and Suifeng reached 5000m
2009, un-summit, no exact details
2012 un-summit, Little Frog and Xing Liu reached 5100m
2013 un-summit, the team of Little Frog, Xing Liu, Ke Li, Yue Xiaobai reached 5200m
Mt Yinhaizi is still a un-summit virgin peak!
D1 (15th Nov): Chengdu – Kangding
D2 (16th Nov): Kangding – Old Yulin – BC
D3 (17th Nov): BC- C1
D4 (18th Nov): C1- ascend to summit – C1
D5 (19th Nov): C1- BC – Old Yulin –Kangding
D6 (20th Nov): Kangding – Chengdu
L to R: Fang, Xiao Bai, Xing Liu, Ke, Little Frog
Our climbing of Mt Yinhaizi with BIGPACK’s sponsorship was supposed to set out at 3rd Sep. Xiao Bai regretted that he couldn’t join us because of his busy schedule. But I broke my wrist right 3days before setting out. The climbing had to be postponed to this Nov. Xiao Bai was very glad that he could join the team to climb Mt Yinhaizi with us. He made jokes to me ’You might break your wrist on purpose to wait me to climb it together,: )’.
We assembled in Chengdu at 14th Nov. Our team had 6 climbers including Xing Liu, Ke Li, Xiao Bai ,Fang , Yangzi, and me. We need nothing more except tickets and pitons.
D1 (15th Nov):
We rode the bus to Kangding. I was very excited. How’s Mt Yinhaizi after one year? I slept all the way. When I woke up, we already arrived at Kangding. I had made some calls to my friends to ask the weather. But now I was a little worried when I saw mountains around covered by white snow. Last year I brought all my ice equipments to climb Mt Yinhaizi, but it had no snow. This time, I took rock climbing equipments with me, but now it seemed all snow.
We divided equipments, foods and fuel for carrying.
D2 (16th Nov): We walked to BC. Very nice weather, clear and blue sky. But I was still worried about the snow when I saw the snow cover on the top of mountains far away.
Mt Tianhaizi and Mt Baihaizi in front
Arrived at BC. Mt Yinhaizi right above us.
After “Alpchef”, we took some sun bath and made fire to get warm, enjoying happy hours before climbing. Yangzi still coughed all the time. We had no medicine for him. We would decide if he climbed with us or stay at BC tomorrow.
Beautiful golden mountains at sunset.
D3 (17th Nov): Yangzi wasn’t getting better with his cough and had to stay at BC. The rest of us got set to C1 with 2tents, 2ropes and 2days’ fuel. We plan C1 5000m, can go back BC or C1 after ascend the second day. It would give more time to manage route unknown.
After 2hours’ trekking along the valley, Fang didn’t want us to wait her and decided to go back BC alone with a tent. The way was tough with screed and snow slope. Sunshine in the past days didn’t help some melting of snow. Snow was thick to our waist in some place. We didn’t bring snow covers with us and had to clear our pants and shoes while we took rest.
Ascent 40L: very useful with capacity like 65L!! All of us share the same comment!!
Reached 4800m after 7 hours’ trekking. We set C1 in this small pass.
I couldn’t forget how squeeze it was when 3 guys slept in this tent for 2 during our last climbing Mt Nima! Now we were 4!!! I found a small cave 3meters below C1. Just fine for my mat, my bed tonight!! Moonlight dazzling on mountains was so amazing!
D4 (18th Nov):
Nice weather. We started to ascend along the ridge at 9am. When we reached the place we came last year, we roped up. The route of traverse had been covered by snow. So we had to go straight route with no snow covers!! I lead in the front and Xing Liu reclaiming anchors at the end. The rock was too broken, the route was getting narrow, and the edge was very sharp. Sometimes we had to walk on the snow at the north face.
At 13pm, I stopped!! The ridge to summit disconnected here??? Does it mean this was not the real summit of Mt Yinhaizi?? If we keep going, we had to descend 100meters to the bottom and climb again to summit. Are you kidding? We didn’t expect that. We searched goggle earth many times We were depressed!!
Well, descended to C1 without choice. After 5pitches descending on the north face, we traversed back to ridge along a snow slope. Then 3pithes. We went back to C1 at 17pm.
The East Ridge route was proved unfeasible, and there might have big wall routes. Since now, I felt the real fun of climbing virgin peak and started knowing more of Mt Yinhaizi.
L to R：Mt Edgar 6618m，Mt Jiazi 6540m, Mt Little Konka 6027m, Mt Grosvenor6376m, Mt Roddmain 6112m
Thanks BIGPACK for the support with technical equipments. We liked the design and the cutting fit oriental bodies. The jackets had outstanding waterproof and breathability, we felt warm, safe and comfortable while climbing.