On September 25 Christof Looser, Martin Ruggli and I started out for
the Quonglai Mountains, in Sichuan province, some 280 kilometers east of
Chengdu. Our goal was to establish a new route on one of the rock peaks
north of Mt. Siguniang, the main peak of the range.
After some reconnaissance, we decided to set up base camp in Double
Bridge Valley at an altitude of ca. 3500 meters. Recently a (horrible)
road has been built into this valley to bring hundreds of Chinese
tourists from one scenic spot to the next. So far, the tourists stick
pretty much to the road, leaving the rest of the valley quiet.
A few days later we found the hidden south face of Eagle Rock Peak (ca.
5300m), the summit of which looks like the beak of an eagle. A mix of
snow, rain, clouds and a few spells of sunshine barraged us as we set up
a high camp at 4500 meters and hauled our gear. Because of the weather,
we used the few ropes we had to fix the first pitches, then started our
push, jugging our ropes and climbing to a point halfway up the wall,
where we could place a small tent. For the next four days, this was our
home; from there, we started fixing the headwall. On October 14 after
seven days on the wall, we reached the summit in evening light, probably
the first people ever.
All the rappel stations on our route, I Hate Camping (VI 7a A3, 700m),
are equipped. We placed thirteen bolts in total.
The east side of Double Bridge Valley sports many other rocky mountains
with big granite walls. Of course, there is potential for future climbs,
but many faces are very slabby, without many features.
Lukas Durr, Buchs, Switzerland