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Bogda Mountains Trekking

December 12, 2017

Bogda Mountain Introduction
     Bogda Mountains is a branch of the Tianshan Mountains in the eastern section, extending eastward from the Urumqi fault belt, a total length of more than 300 kilometers. Bogda Peak is located in Fukang County in Xinjiang, which is the highest peak of the eastern Tianshan Mountains and consists of three peaks, the main peak elevation of 5445 meters; Turkey Palati peak elevation 5287 meters; Zhu Wan Tie Lek elevation 5213 Meter. Three peaks spread within 2.5 km in line, the mountain shaped straightly. Mountain top is snow covered the whole year, at the bottom of exposed bedrock exist suspended glaciers, snow pits, makes climbing more difficult, which are technical snow-capped mountains.
     The highest temperature during the day in Bogda Mountains is about 5 to 10 degrees and the temperature in the minimum at night is about minus 20 degrees. In July and August, the temperature is higher and the precipitation is more plentiful. From September to May the next year is the snow-capped period. The thickness of snow can reach 65cm. It is difficult to enter the mountain during that period. The best climbing period is July and August

 

Second, Trekking Route
1. The basecamp (3520 meters above sea level) to campsite C1 (3900 meters above sea level) route is: glacier hiking route, about 10 km, hiking for four and a half hours.
2. The route from Campsite C1 to Campsite C2 (4700 meters above sea level) is a suspended glacier with an average slope of about 40 degrees. The surface of the glacier is 30 to 50 cm thick. The route is about 3 kilometers long and needs to climbed for more than nine hours.
3. The routes from Camp C2 to Camp C3 (5080 meters above sea level) which includes ice slopes with a slope of about 50 degrees and a snow thickness of about 40 centimeters. Ice chutes and ice rocks with a slope of about 60 degrees are more difficult than WI3 and M4.
4. Routes from C3 campsite to peak (5445 meters above sea level) include: 30 degrees to 50 degrees of ice slope; about 60 degrees ice trough route, the difficulty is about WI3.

 

 

Climbing time: September 24, 2017 to October 5, 2017.

 

September 24, sunny. Flight from Beijing to Urumqi, arrived after noon and climbing collaboration Dili convergence, accommodation in the Dazhaigou Super 8 Hotel. In the afternoon get dehydrate food and other supply in the city, finishing the mountaineering supplies at night, ready for the next morning to hit the mountains.
(A) rushed to basecamp
     September 25, sunny and cloudy. 9:00 am starting from Urumqi car, drove 2 hours to reach the "three fork" Yamaguchi. We unloaded the heavy equipment and materials from cars, and changed the herdsmen's camels to transport. The team members only carried some light items and began to hike across the trail.
     From the trailhead to the basecamp location, covers about 20 km of mountain road. We hiked cross the valleys, alpine meadows, gravel slopes, and bypass the mountains and lakes. There were full of mountains and autumn along the way, and as the elevation rose, we gradually entered the ice and snow world. After about 7 hours of trekking, we reached the snowline at the foot of the Bogda Mountain at about 18:30 in the evening, at an altitude of about 3520 meters. The camel fleet that supplies the supplies also arrived and we set up a base camp here.

 

As the sky faded, we seized the time to unload supplies and equipments, build camp tents, cook tents, and allocate camping equipments. After the establishment of a stronghold, it was nightfall, beccame windy, snowy, the weather in the mountains really changed. Collaboration Li made a sumptuous dinner for everyone, we ate while negotiating, decided to organize inspection equipment in the base camp tomorrow, took a rest and adapted to the environment the other day.

 

 

September 26, sunny and cloudy. Yesterday we were kind of tired after the long hike, woke up to from sleep naturally. After breakfast, we started counting the climbing equipment. Rope, hanging fast, the main lock, protectors, seat belts, ice ax, crampons, ice cone, rock cone, alpine boots, etc., each debugging personal equipment. Tents will also be prepared for four temporary camps, two of which will be set up at Campsite C1 until it is descended and demolished. The other three-person tent and a double-deck tent will be used for Campiste C2 and Campsite C3. Then each of us were tidying climb clothing and food. In addition, I also prepared a 50-meter flat belt and tightening system, planning to go flat at altitudes of 5,000 meters above sea level. That was an important task for this climb. When ready, we were free to move around the base camp to run a bit and to adapt to high altitude environment.
    Our climbing route was on the northeastern ridge route (ie: North Slope Glacier and Northeast Ridge). The staff climbed in two groups, I and Lily (I lead climbing); Dili and a group of two photographers (Di force to climb). Two groups can improve the climbing speed, but also for photographers to take photos of my partner and climbing process.
    In the evening, we asked about the recent weather via satellite phone. The forecast was: clear tomorrow, snow after two days and good weather for a few days. So we decided to ship heavier equipment to camp C1 tomorrow and set up camp C1 but still return to base camp tomorrow night and waited for the weather to turn good before climbing again.

(B) From base camp to camp C1
     September 27, cloudy and gusty. About 9 o'clock everybody had breakfast, heavier equipment distributed into packages, ready to transport equipment to camp C1. The route from base camp to C1 were with most of the long flat glacier, walking on the ground need to be cautious about the danger of glacier cracks.
     11:30 departure from the base camp, along the gravel slope close to the glacier, the surface of the glacier is covered with snow, thick snow thicker than 20 centimeters, traveling became more laborious. As the glacier crack is covered with snow, people who are in front of it should be especially careful. When encountering glacier depression or deep snow, they must use canes to probe forward and avoid hidden glacier cracks.
     Although there were some sections of thick snow, everyone's physical strength were very plentiful, traveling faster. After about four and a half hours' walk, it reached about 3900 meters above sea level near the gravel slope at the base of the suspended glacier on the northern slope of the main peak around 16:00 pm. We set up Camp C1, set up two of the three-person tents, and temporarily put climbing gear in the tent. At 16:40, we began to descend back, returned to a comfortable base camp about two hours later.

 

September 28, overcast and snowy. Temperatures were significantly lower than the previous two days, hiding in a warm sleeping bag, 9:00 before eating breakfast. Under the snow circumstance, it's inconvenient to go out for activities, we sat in the camping tent inside, talked to the sky, ate snacks, playing card games, or do push-ups to spend time. Until three o'clock, the snow stopped for a moment,  my partner Lily quickly and I climbed up the nearby hillsides, did some hiking activities, experienced rare leisure time. Overlooking the Bogda Peak on the hillside, clouds obscured the summit, adding a mystique to the steep, rugged mountains.

 

 

Passing by three gravel piles stacked on the hillside, there were memorial stone carvings on the rock below. In 1998, three climbers in Hong Kong lost their life while climbing this mountain. Lily said: When she was young in Urumqi, once saw the helicopter to searched and rescued, many local elderly people knew that the mountain was difficult to climb. Looked at the mournful stone, feeling a little heavy, standing silently praying: Let them go all the way. I turned around and looked firmly at the Bogda Peak, my heart wished: I hope this time we climb in safe, peaceful and successful. Suddenly the sky floated snowflakes, we quickly returned to the campsite.

 
 

September 29, light snow, we continued to wait for the weather in the base camp to turn better. Drinking tea, chatting, exercise, there was still time to spend. These two days in the base camp, the meal was still great, thanks to collaboration Li teacher's superb cooking, cooking for our delicious hand pilaf, noodles, cooking. Delicious diet to protect the physical condition, so that our physical and did not reduce due to high altitude. Two days of rest allowed us to adapt to the high altitude environment, everyone's mental outlook was very good.
Until about 16:30 pm, the weather began to slowly clear, the clouds gradually dispersed, the blue sky appeared, Bogda Peak gradually revealed the whole picture. It seems the weather started to turn well, everyone dull mood also relaxed a lot, ran out of tents, with their own perspective recorded a beautiful Bogda.

 

 

September 30, sunny. Good weather really approaching, climbing challenge was about to begin. From base camp to camp C1, only took us four and a half hours away, so we did not have to start too early, as long as we arrived in C1 before the evening on the timeline. Most of our climbing equipment had been retained in the C1 camp, we only needed to carry sleeping bags, clothing, moisture mats, food, cooking utensils, light hiking would be very easy. Camping in Camp C1 that night, carrying climbing gear tomorrow, climbing the hanging glaciers on the northern slope.

 

 

 

We set off at 14:00, arrived at Camp C1 about 18:30. Due to the snow two days ago, the snow on the surface of the glacier was thicker, but the impact was not great. The route passed again, more familiar, so all the way is very smooth. The south side of the camp tent C1 was buried in the wind and snow, there are some water in the tent. We split the snow, clean up, and quickly clean up. Moisture-proof paved rest, use gas furnace to melt snow, easy to heat up simple food.
     Tomorrow's climbing route is about 40 degrees of ice slope, which will be more difficult. Expected to reach the C2 camp location, need to climb 9 hours, so the weather just blackened, we had to rest.

 

 

(C) C1 to C2 campsite
     October 1, sunny. At 7 o'clock in the morning, made hot water with a gas stove, melted snow, and ate simple instant foods. Today's planed heavy load, in addition to carrying camping equipment and food, but also worn climbing gear. I climbed the group with Lily, and I took the heavier strapping equipment, so I and Lily's tent were born by Lily. Collaboration Dili and two photographers climbed in group, Dili born another tent. Seize the time to pack up, we started around 7:50.

 

 

We used a 60-meter main rope for each team. The distance between the two groups should be between 20 and 30 meters. We would take the approach of running protection without setting up a protection station. Partner to maintain a fixed distance, with the rope to contain protection, this simultaneous climbing efficiency will be high.
    C1 Camp was 3900 meters above sea level, C2 Camp was 4700 meters above sea level, the vertical elevation of them was about 800 meters, the average glacier slope was about 40 degrees, the glacier surface snow thickness was 30 to 50 cm. The steep slope, initially a bit worried about the avalanche, but the snow was hard snow, fairly stable. In most of the lots, the ice ax was forced to climb in the snow and travels faster. However, in some locations, the ice surface was bare and going ice climbing. The steep slope needed to be protected by ice cones and travels slowly. In a 60 degree ice climbing cross-climbing, the partner Lily feet did not step on the steady, slippery fall of 78 meters, but fortunately I had turned over a rock in front of a deep snow area, braking, a scared risk.
     The route of this day is rather long. We have climbed for more than 9 hours and arrived at the pass of about 4700 meters above sea level at about 17:30. Set up two tents in the flat ridge Ridge, the establishment of C2 camp. Pass the wind about four levels, blowing face are numb, and everyone hid in a tent to avoid cold.
    Due to the bad windproof two tents, negotiable decision: Dili, Ye Feng, Lily, I, four people live in three tents; Wang Zhen camping tent. Everyone melting snow to do hot water, eat mashed potatoes, fried noodles, stirrup, energy bar, walked all day are very tired, then have to sleep sleeping bag to rest.

 

 

(D) C2 to C3 camp
     October 2, overcast snow. Got up at 7 o'clock in the morning, the sky was gloomy, Pass were gale blowing. We decided to keep climbing upwards. Two person tent was not good enough in windproofing, they stayed in the C2 camp, carrying only three of the tents to Camp C3, squeezing and barely accommodated five people in it, and the above route was steeper, less equipment was brought up, which can improve the climbing efficiency. Cooking, eating, breaking down the tent and tidy up, wore equipment, starting at 9:00.
     Camp C3 was about 5080 meters above sea level, with a vertical elevation difference of 380 meters from Camp C2. The 500-meter route started with nearly 50 degrees of snow and ice. The thickness of snow above the ice was about 40 cm. Snow was slightly harder and more stable. Near the C3 camp, a section of more than 100 meters was a mixture of icy trough and ice rock with a slope of more than 60 degrees, the climbing difficulty was about WI3 and M4, a strong sense of exposure.

 

About 11 o'clock to noon, sporadic snow started, route with ice climbing about 15: 00 pm , the snow was growing heavier, accompanied by strong winds. Two teams climbing in the narrow ice, close to each other, the above teammates chopped pieces of ice hit me and Lily from time to time, also attended to too much, seizing the time to climb! With the increase of snowstorm, the snow above the ice trough pouring down from time to time, repeatedly washed into a snowman.

 

 

At 18:00 pm, we climbed up the ice trough, trekked through a snow along the body exposed on the ridge, snow started blowing violently, visibility was about 10 meters ahead, and there was shivering cold wind blowing. Camping location was close at hand, at this time we did not paying attention to wearing down jacket, simple storage rope, pace against the wind, took our partners, and walked to the campsite. At this point, Di forces have set up tents, I quickly let Lily got into the shelter, for a good jacket. The rest of us fixed the tents one by one, and quickly hid in. Three people barely accommodate five people, squeezed out a little room Rongshu boiled water, taking turns to eat energy food, we all went into sleeping bags, crowded with each other tired and fell asleep.

 

(E) C3 camp to the peak
     October 3, there was a clear gale. The wind still kept blowing, the sun came out, the wind seemed smaller. Last night, the outer curtain was popped by the strong wind and was awakened from time to time. It was very worried that the tent was torn by the wind and fell asleep in the doldrums. Five people were crowded and finally survived the night.
     We put on the cold mountain boots, wearing good climbing equipment, 10:50 am as we departed. C3 camp to the peak vertical height of 365 meters, the route length of about 600 meters. At the beginning, the more than 200-meter course was close to 50 degrees of ice slope and 60 degrees of ice. Due to the cold and strong winds, everyone's hands and feet were frozen. They stopped only for a while and continued to climb with pain. After climbing for more than 100 meters, there was more than 50 degrees of snow slope, trekked through the snow edge, summit at about 15:00.

 

The main peak of the snow package stands in front of us, only two hundred meters away, non-stop towards the peak. Lily and I summit at 15:30 , 5445 meters above sea level. Then all the team members climbed to the summit one after another, and everyone shot the scenery around and took a group photo.

 

We started to get down hill around 16:00 pm, a total route of more than ten paragraphs down, two paragraphs for the rope down, the rest of the more modest place to take the group to hike down. Around 18:00 in the evening, we returned to camp C3. The ridge was in great wind, we can only snagged in the tent to avoid the cold and natural elements, took turns to boil water and eat something, crowded in the tent and slept.  Food was almost finished, we need to withdraw back as soon as possible.

 

(Vi) Escorted from Camp C3 to our base camp
     October 4, sunny and windy. 8:00 am in the morning, still windy, wind power was five level roughly. Collaboration Dili said: "This year the snowstorms were large, this weather was OK, to successfully climbed the summit was already very good." Ugh! We decided to withdraw as soon as possible.

 

Eat something, tok down our tent, we started to went down at about 10: 00 am. The ice wall and the rocky area were rope-down; steep snow slopes could not be used for the protection of the station, and the group would take the down-climb movements. At 13:40 pm, we got down to the C2 camp position, broke down the tent we left at camp C2 before, continued to descend. Route from C2 to C1was relatively long, we climbed downward or used a rope on steep slopes, hiked on the group during moderate slopes, around 19:00 pm we exhausted to Camp C1.

 

We saw the weather was still early, and decided to continue the next withdrawal route, there would not only be decent meals back to the base, but also comfortable rest. After contacted with the base camp, we took down our tent quickly, put away two tents, began to trek down. As we have been very tired, the sky was gradually dark, so our pace were relatively slow, after more than four hours of trekking, at around 23:00 pm, we finally returned to base camp. Teacher Li prepared us a delicious dinner, everyone ate a full meal.

 

 

 

 

 

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