We are planning a mountaineering trip to Tiger Leaping Gorge / Jade Dragon Snow Mountain range in October 2021. We are experienced climbers and are looking for a local (mountaineering) contact who can help us get some questions answered and organize some logistics for us. Does anybody know someone they can recommend? Thank you!
For Tiger Leaping Gorge and Haba Snow Mt you might find some useful info at TrekHaba.com. I'm not aware of any local mountaineering contact. I do have aerial photos of Haba, TLG and parts of Jade Dragon S.M. If they might be of interest you can pm me.
Several Chinese mountaineering groups have a base in Haba and you might get contacts via them.
The local “Hostelling International” guesthouse is the central guesthouse and a lot of climbing groups stay there. The lady owner is very knowledgeable about all things going on there and the central place for information. She speaks limited English so it is better to get somebody who speaks Chinese (Or Naxi) to speak with her.
Telephone numbers are: 0887-8866596 / 13988765396 / 13988749869
PS. TLG is not really mountaineering but trekking. Even small children do it.
Thanks for the helpful answers. I will check out these contacts.
To clarify, we are planning to climb one or more of the 5000m+ summits north of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
I do not really know, but as far as my out-dated information goes, it’s not allowed to climb Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. So better check this.
That said. Several of these mountains in this area have a sacred standing in the local populations mind and are therefore, even if officially permitted, not culturally appropriate to climb. An example of this is Meili Snow Mountain.
Enjoy your climb.
PS: The Chinese label a mountain a snow mountain if it has a permanent, thus year round, snow cover. However, due to global warming, several of these mountains hardly have any permanent snow any longer.
There are reported to be something like a dozen peaks over 5,000 meters in the Jade Dragon massif. A mini-mountain range it is.
About the climbing ban, I offer the following. There are two types of wardens that I am aware of. The first are fire wardens who man stations on certain roads in the general Lijiang area.
I have encountered them on the road to Puji Temple, also above Nanyao Village north of Lashi Lake. I was on the way down and out, so they didn't bother with me at all. One of them told me his job was to stop traffic attempting to pass through during the dry season, generally November to May and perhaps as late as mid-June. I presume he allowed known local residents to go on through. I noticed that he left his station after 5:00pm.
There may be fire wardens in the Yuhu Village area or areas to the east of Jade Dragon Snow Mt, but I have no knowledge. All I can say is that on several trips in the dry season I have never encountered fire wardens on any of the roads or trails from the Yuhu Village area up to Jade Dragon Reservoir and then down to Wenhai Lake.
The other type of warden might be called mountain wardens. A trekker friend encountered one at Yuhu Village, and the message was clear: no climbing on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. My friend hired a guide and did a long day trek from Yuhu reaching above 4,000 meters. Apparently this is an acceptable practice. Limited details about treks from Yuhu Village may be found here:
Another friend, a guide in Lijiang, told me that if one is caught camping
on these hiking routes above Yuhu, you might well be told to get off the mountain.
Thank you all for your valuable feedback. Due to Corona and some other circumstances we had to reschedule our trip to China to 2022.
Are there any recommendations for local guides that speak English, can act as translators and can help organize some logistics? We realized this might be one of the biggest challenges for us, and we would like to hire the services of a local guide for this.
In Lijiang you can try Adam (陈靖友, Chén Jìngyǒu), WeChat: AdamChinaDali; phone: 158-1222-1660; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Speaks good English. I have hired him on several occasions, though not for mountaineering.
It was Adam who clued me in to a new mountaineering objective on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. That would be Snow Lotus Peak (雪莲峰), summit elevation 5,260+ meters. Located 6km north-northeast of JDSM main summit, 6km west-southwest of Yak Meadow cable car. Groups of Chinese mountaineers have been making the ascent in the last several years. Initial access via Yak Meadow cable car, the two or three-day climb ascends the eastern slope and north ridge. Judging by photos on the Chinese app Liang Bu Lu (两步路), the ascent requires no technical climbing and no glacier travel. If that is so, it's a true trekking peak and possibly the easiest 5,000-meter summit to reach in Yunnan Province.
You can see a photo of Snow Lotus Peak here (JDSM main peak at left, SLP at right):
That's great, thank you very much. Will happily get in touch with him. And as I said, we don't need a mountaineering guide - just somebody who knows the overall area, speaks the language, and has some local contacts. Cheers
Account in English of an ascent of Snow Lotus Peak in 2020. Superb photos show the east face of peaks north of the main summit (these are the peaks lining Tiger Leaping Gorge, where only the west faces are visible).
Notes from the article: ice axe and crampons in use. Commercial expeditions have begun making the ascent.