Hey guys, here is a more detailed trip repot from Mike Dobie on their new peak in the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain region near Lijiang, Yunnan (as written about in my previous post). Again, I am stoked to see these guys doing their thing!
Trip: Lijiang, Yunnan, China - Southeast face of Smaug Peak (jade dragon snow mt)
Trip Report: Darryl Kralovic and I climbed an unclimbed peak in the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain area in the Lijiang county of Yunnan in China.The peak itself was between 16,500 and 17,000 feet and there was no evidence of previous human beings presence at the top. The Jade Dragon Massif itself is commonly known for its major peak of 18,306 foot peak but most do not know that the area consists of 13 other significant peaks that have never been climbed. Smaug peak is one of them and the furthest south along the south to north oriented ridge that these peaks lie on.
Gear Notes: Brought the whole get up. Small rack to 4, snow and ice pro and rope and didn't use it. Only used ice axe, crampons, and helmet. Night was very cold that time of year recommend a -20 F bag for that time of year.
Approach Notes: Red Tape: We traveled to a small village named Yuhu "village" from the Lijiang old town, bought a ticket for 120 rmb each. We were harassed by police and government officials as to how long we were going to bein the area and they told us to be back that same day before 4 pm. (I think they were trying to get us to buy another ticket or something) I told them that we will be staying up in the mountains for at least 2days. They got someone on the phone that spoke english and they gave the phone to me. The man on the phone told me that they were afraid that we might die in the night and I responded by telling him that weare experienced outdoors-mans and where prepared to spend the night. He said OK and to call him if there where any problems. At no point do they say that climbing the mountain was illegal. So I guess the thing to do is tell them that you are backpacking and will probably be staying the night, and not climbing the summit. They might charge you for additional days if that is the case, but the experience is worth it.
Approach: From the ticket office we headed up the prominent horsetrail/road towards the beginning of the snow mountain ridge. There was one trail that seemed the most obvious and we passed a few horsestalls (used for Chinese horse tourism) and buildings as we headedtoward the peak we had in mind. We went off trail at about 11,000 feet and headed straight up the grassy slope to an alpine basin where weestablished a base camp. (see pictures) From here we camped at 13,900 feet. The following morning we traveled up a snowy scree field to a Southeast facing gully. Once in the gully we headed up and left till we could reach a few gully systems thatheaded to the right until we reached the summit ridge. We met highwinds and a developing storm as we ascend a 4th class block to the summit. Descended the same way. Downclimbed with no rappel. Steep snow and ice travel (50 degrees) Class 3-4 rock steps.
From the summit it looks like there might be a few other gully systems that access the summit further to the north.
Thanks again to Mike for the beta, keep it up boys!