Trip Report
The Qionglai Mountains, Sichuan, China...a visit.
Tuesday October 15, 2013 10:19pm
Angela and i got an e-mail from Phil Kirchilsky, a West Point buddy of Greg Crouch, proposing a trip to the beautiful peaks above Chengdu in the Sichuan Province of China. I had been there in 1981 but Angela had never been to China and Phil was running a business out of Beijing/Shanghai and would be the perfect host.
Phil and I planning the trip in his Beijing apartment...Angela was sho...
Phil and I planning the trip in his Beijing apartment...Angela was shopping.

Is that your foot Phil?
Credit: donini
The first two days were sight seeing in Beijing.
Heading to the Forbidden City.
Heading to the Forbidden City.
Credit: donini
Mao watching over the Forbidden City.
Mao watching over the Forbidden City.
Credit: donini
Don't litter!
Don't litter!
Credit: donini
Or climb
Or climb
Credit: donini
The Imperial Gardens
The Imperial Gardens
Credit: donini
And then on to Chengdu which has perpetual overcast.
Credit: donini
And up into the mountains just west of the city.
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Rilong is a Tibetan majority town at 10,500 feet a couple of miles from the trailhead
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Ten miles to basecamp at 12,300ft. but horses did the work.
Credit: donini
First four miles is on a two meter wide boardwalk, wasn't there in 81.
Angela with Celestial Peak
Angela with Celestial Peak
Credit: donini
Too jetlagged for organization what follows are some pics in no special order
First view of Siguniang.
First view of Siguniang.
Credit: donini
Himalayan Blue Sheep
Himalayan Blue Sheep
Credit: donini
Snow one morning in basecamp
Snow one morning in basecamp
Credit: donini
Phil and Angela
Phil and Angela
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Angela's new friends
Angela's new friends
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Siguniang
Siguniang
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Mordor
Mordor
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Camel Mountain
Camel Mountain
Credit: donini
Texting
Texting
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
looking down valley
looking down valley
Credit: donini
We had some bad weather and Phil's short window had passed. We had put in a tent at 14,500 below an unclimbed 17,000 ft. peak that I hoped wouldn't go unused. Fortunately I was able to recruit Cameron Kern from the newly arrived Becky Expedition and off we went in perfect weather.
still needs doing
still needs doing
Credit: donini
photo not found
Missing photo ID#325657
The face above looked like too much with the time we had, so we headed up and left on snow.
Credit: donini
Some route finding and a little spicy hard snow (in approach shoes) led us to the final four pitch headwall. At this point my camera ceased to function and Cameron is still in China. I'll post his pictures of the last section when he returns. It wasn't hard except for an in you face ten feet of gently overhanging rock on the penultimate pitch.
Cameron and me with our peak in the background.
Cameron and me with our peak in the background.
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Ciao!










  Trip Report Views: 2,570
donini
About the Author
donini is a trad climber from Ouray, Colorado.

Comments
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RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Oct 15, 2013 - 11:12pm PT
Nice! What a wild looking place.


How's the stone quality??
Mark Rodell

Trad climber
Bangkok
  Oct 15, 2013 - 10:27pm PT
Very nice looking area. I want to visit. Thanks Jim.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Oct 15, 2013 - 10:33pm PT
Damn, Beckey's gonna be pissed you beat him there!

Looks like a climber's paradise.
John M

climber
  Oct 15, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
Nice !!! Thanks for sharing this Jim. Reports like this always stoke the fire.

Edit. what Tami said below. I like the flowers too.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
  Oct 15, 2013 - 10:40pm PT
Wow, fabulous, wow. Love the shots of flowers. Oh, yeah, mountains too.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Oct 15, 2013 - 10:48pm PT
Congratulations!

Fun, beauty, hiking, climbing and photography.

A nice wide range of photos too.

Awesomeness is upon you once again!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Author's Reply  Oct 16, 2013 - 06:46am PT
Yes RyanD the rock is good.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Oct 16, 2013 - 07:29am PT
Thanks Jim,
Glad ya had fun!
steveA

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
  Oct 16, 2013 - 07:36am PT
Looks like you both had a great time!!

Quite a place!

Best, Steve and Joan
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Oct 16, 2013 - 07:50am PT
Nice photos, Jim.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Oct 16, 2013 - 08:00am PT
This is why it pays to be Donini.

He's got the horses!
L

climber
California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
  Oct 16, 2013 - 08:01am PT
Incredible photos, Jim. The mountain shots were spectacular, but so were the macro (flowers and foliage) photos.

"Is that your foot Phil?" Very funny.

Thanks for a lovely TR.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Oct 16, 2013 - 08:21am PT
I guess your turn to make me jealous! Awesome looking place and photos. Seems like quite an adventure. Thank you for posting!!!
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Oct 16, 2013 - 08:22am PT
Nice .....

ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
  Oct 16, 2013 - 09:18am PT
Amazing looking place. Were there many other climbers?
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
  Oct 16, 2013 - 09:42am PT
Cool! Looks like a great destination.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
  Oct 16, 2013 - 10:35am PT
A Great look at it all,TFPU.Hope to get there someday.
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
  Oct 16, 2013 - 10:40am PT
Awesome! TFPU!
BFK

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
  Oct 16, 2013 - 11:09am PT
Looks rad! TFPU
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
  Oct 16, 2013 - 11:11am PT
Awesome photography and TR...
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO
  Oct 16, 2013 - 11:16am PT
Yaks, horses or llamas.

Which makes the "best" pack stock?

What great peaks! So big!

Welcome home!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Oct 16, 2013 - 11:23am PT

Okay, Jim, is Chengdu overcast or is it just smog?
Celestial peak, OMG! An almost perfect mountain.
What photos--thanks for sharing!!!!

ps. Did you get to see the street where the guy stared down the tank?
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Oct 16, 2013 - 12:33pm PT
Beautiful!
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
  Oct 16, 2013 - 12:58pm PT
Beautiful
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Oct 16, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
Thank you Jim.

Aside from your insuperable historical contributions, you have become one of the leading current contributors. Armchair enthusiasts everywhere are grinning :D
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Oct 16, 2013 - 03:02pm PT
Jim, that looks great. The school I work with was parterning with a school in Chengdu to send students to the Black Hills. I bet it is a little culture shock the first time they go to deadwood. Getting a work sponsored trip over there looks like it would be the bomb. Now if I can only round up some Llamas.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 16, 2013 - 04:48pm PT
Awesome Jim, love the mountain pics, I hope to get to that region someday !!!!
Thank you!!!!!
moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  Oct 16, 2013 - 05:02pm PT
Wow......Thanx for sharing Jim.....

Stevo
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Oct 16, 2013 - 05:43pm PT
good stuff
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
  Oct 16, 2013 - 06:06pm PT
Thanks Jim, wish I'd been there.
gf

climber
  Oct 16, 2013 - 07:31pm PT
nice jim
i have some free time in china near end of month and may fly to chendu for a few days and motor around -would 5 days return out of the city give enough time to fire off a bit of trekking?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Author's Reply  Oct 16, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
gf, it ia about six hours by car from Chengdu to Rilong. When in Rilong go to the Ice Rock bar, it's a trip. The hike in from Rilong, after a ten minute bus ride, is only 2/3 hours to the base of Siguniang and another hour to where we base camped. Truly beautiful especially with the Larch trees turning color. If you go up one of the side valleys for an hour or so you will likely see Himalayan Blue Sheep.....enjoy!
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
  Oct 16, 2013 - 09:23pm PT
Good stuff!!!
Trusty Rusty

climber
Tahoe Area
  Oct 16, 2013 - 09:38pm PT
Thanks for sharing your experience Jim, excellent photos.
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
  Oct 16, 2013 - 10:34pm PT
Thanks for taking the effort to post all those cool pics, you old rodent-eating wonder.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Oct 16, 2013 - 10:39pm PT
wow - this is incredible
MisterE

climber
  Oct 16, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
Great report Jim - the pictures are stunning.

The texting one finally snapped me back to...the other place.

Thanks for the share, my friend.
gf

climber
  Oct 17, 2013 - 05:26am PT
Thanks Jim -much appreciated -now to start the juggling of schedules to open up a window
nopantsben

climber
  Oct 17, 2013 - 06:35am PT
looks great! funny, i thought i would be there in september this year but the trip fell through. we would've had a blast!
what's the plan for winter? patagonia?
Leggs

Sport climber
Made in California
  Oct 17, 2013 - 06:52am PT
Wow.

Incredible.

A great way to start the morning.
pc

climber
  Oct 17, 2013 - 07:35am PT
Awesome! Thanks for sharing with us.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Author's Reply  Oct 17, 2013 - 04:43pm PT
Ben....Angela and I are going to Patagonia in January, what are your plans?
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Oct 17, 2013 - 07:46pm PT
Wow
nopantsben

climber
  Oct 18, 2013 - 02:05am PT
cool, maybe i do the same! hopefully! depends on partners and summer plans and money ..
i'll let you know! cheers
WTF

climber
  Oct 18, 2013 - 06:43am PT
Ho Li chit Radness
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Oct 18, 2013 - 06:57am PT
Another Gneissly Granetic Donini report. Thanks for taking the time to post up those photos! Beautiful place!
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
  Oct 18, 2013 - 10:49am PT
TFPU! Especially for sharing some gorgeous shots of some less familiar mountain scenery :-)
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Author's Reply  Oct 21, 2013 - 01:07pm PT
Some more China photos....the urban side....Shanghai
.
2078 ft. skyscraper nearing completion
2078 ft. skyscraper nearing completion
Credit: donini
Angela on rooftop bar of our hotel
Angela on rooftop bar of our hotel
Credit: donini
lot's of traffic
lot's of traffic
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
Credit: donini
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
  Oct 21, 2013 - 01:41pm PT
Nice!! Thanks for posting up Jim... I will never go there so this is the next best thing!
mstearns

climber
CA
  Oct 21, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
How are the rest of Beckey et al. holding up? I have received some texts requesting weather forecasts, but no other info.

Any successes for those guys?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Author's Reply  Oct 21, 2013 - 05:15pm PT
I climbed with Cameron Kern, one of their group. The day we climbed Eric, Neal and Felix were off trying a new route on Daogou. Eric's dad, Bill, hike up to a high pass with my wife Angela. Fred still hadn't made it to basecamp but was due shortly.
That's all the info I have.
mstearns

climber
CA
  Oct 21, 2013 - 06:36pm PT
Thanks Jim! Glad to hear anything.
John_Box

climber
  Oct 21, 2013 - 06:39pm PT
Haven't even read this yet, but I just wanted to post on a cool climbing related topic rather than some of the other stuff floating around. Thanks for some evening entertainment Jim!!
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
  Nov 11, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
BBST!

(As a reminder = BBST = donini for Bump for a Better SuperTopo)
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