In Sichuan the women are the most beautiful, the food the most delicious

In September 2006, we went to China to explore the Qionglai range in Sichuan province. We made the first ascent of a beautiful, big granite mountain, made some great friends and escaped into the role of travellers in Asia for two months.dagou-valley.jpgdagou-valley.jpg


This valley is used by a local family to graze yaks during summer. They leave them in the upper basin to roam freely among the boulders and meadows, the steep valley walls form a natural enclosure.

Above them, at the very head of the valley, stand the Dagou peaks. A big landscape – of rock, snow and sky.


This is the line we climbed on the south face of Dagou West.

The route is 800m or so long with perfect granite free climbing leading to an exposed ridge traverse and then some snow fields to the summit.



Beneath the west face of Seerdengpu.

An unclimbed giant.

The Barbarian.

Still waiting…






Tong Huay runs a bar in Rilong town called the Ice – Rock.

He makes all of his money during the two week long national holidays when his place is over-run by holiday-makers from the cities.

The rest of the year he plays his drums, hangs with his wife, walks his dogs and smokes his pipe.

He also knows where the best Mein-Kwa in town is.


These girls helped us out when we first got to town. Found us a great place to stay and taught us how to order Tsing-Tao beer….


This is Rilong town.

Rilong is a working canvas of changing government policy and public opinion. The government near-legislated the town a tourist destination for Chinese vacationers in 1994, declaring the park “the state key place of scenic interest.” To accommodate visitors large and gaudy hotels were built; mirrored walls and pagoda roofs accented with gold chrome stand like street fronts in a western town, hiding broken and sometimes primitive interiors.

The locals (Tibetans) see the changes as a mixed blessing, but most harbour a definite (and justified) sense of resentment toward the Chinese people.

This turned out to be beneficial to us when Mr Ma, longtime local resident, was willing to help us sidestep some shifty local beauracracy concerning national park “fee’s”.


Map of the Qionglai range.

Chinese military topographical maps exist but are hard to come by, a line drawing map like this one is the best we could find.


~ by kester on January 15, 2007.

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