China – Basic Ice Climbing Course + Mt Siguniang Dafeng Climb
The ice climbing course is aimed at those with little or no ice and snow terrain walking experience and would like some training in ice and snow mountaineering skills. Participants will learn to climb on vertical ice fall with the focus on developing good footwork, rope skills, and proper handling of ice equipment.
Ice Climbing Course in Sichuan
Ice climbing in Sichuan provides one of the most accessible and affordable venue to all adventure seekers. The varieties of the climbs are suitable for beginners to expert climbers. The ice climbing course is conducted in Shuangqiao Gou. Shuangqiao Gou has many spectacular waterfalls. These waterfalls freezes in winter providing the perfect playground for ice climbing.
The course involves introduction to basic ice climbing and mountaineering skills to enable participants to develop the motor skills in using climbing equipment such as ice axes, crampons, gloves, ice boots, etc. A series of lessons will be conducted to equip clients with sufficient knowledge in dealing with use of equipment, cold and high altitude environment.
About Dafeng/1st Sister Peak
Mt Siguniang is rise between Haizi Gou and Changping Gou. Mt Siguniang encompasses four peaks: DaFeng (Big Peak or 1st peak / 5038m), ErFeng (2nd peak / 5276m), SanFeng (3rd peak, 5355m), and Yaomei Feng (4th peak, 6250m). Aside from Yaomei Feng, the other three lower peaks are regular mountaineering destinations through all seasons.
Mt Siguniang DaFeng (四姑娘山大峰 or 大姑娘山; literally: "peak of the oldest sister", 5038 m). It is a suitable for those who have trekked or climbed peaks below 5000m and want to attempt a 1st 5000ers peak. While DaFeng is rated as relatively easier to trek then the ErFeng and SanFeng, the climb can be strenuous due to the altitude. In winter, the climb can become tougher due to the colder weather. In extreme cold winter situation, which is not so common these days, the snow conditions may warrant the use of crampons and, at times, double boots for the summit climb.
Ice Climbing & Trekking Seasons
The climate in the high mountain region in southwest Sichuan, mainly the Aba Tibetan Autonomous region depends on the altitude. The climate is alpine and even arctic in the highest peaks. In the valleys, the dry season and the rainy season are obvious. May to September is the wet season, and October to April is the dry season.
The best time to climb Mt Siguniang is during the autumn and winter season from September to December. Mid October when the leaves change colour to the autumn hue of red, brown, orange and yellow is the best time to visit.
The ice climbing season is only in winter from mid December to February.
From March to May, there are usually deep snow after the base camps near the peaks. The deep snow makes a summit attempt difficult and success chances low.
Pre-Requisite to Join the Basic Ice Climbing Course
For ice climbing course: No experience required but good to have Sports Climbing Level 1.
For Dafeng/1st Sister Peak climb: Good to have some high altitude trekking experiences. You will be trekking at above 3500m in undulating mountain terrain with a personal backpack load of 5-6kg. There may be snow condition. On summit day, the terrain will be rocky, at times, icy and with snow.
Equipment and Gear
You will need thermal base layers, a fleece jacket, a down jacket, an outer shell jacket, outer shell pants, a pair of waterproof gloves and warm gloves. A down sleeping bag is also needed for DaFeng and provided.
Ice climbing gear (provided): Harness, ice axe, helmet, crampons and double boots.
A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.
This Basic Ice Climbing Course and DaFeng Climb is a collaboration with Incredible Journeys.
- Group size: 5 - 12 people
- This Basic Ice Climbing Course and Dafeng Trek is a collaboration with Incredible Journeys.
|Day||Itinerary||Meals||Altitude At Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive Chengdu||NIL||500m|
|Day 2||Transfer from Chengdu to ShuangQiao Valley. Night theory lesson 1 in lodge. O/N ShuangQiao Valley.||B/L/D||3400m|
|Day 3||Ice Climbing Practical Session 1 in Shuang Qiao Valley. Night theory lesson 2 in lodge. O/N ShuangQiao Valley||B/PL/D||3400m|
|Day 4||Ice Climbing Practical Session 2 in Shuang Qiao Valley. Night theory lesson 3 in lodge. O/N ShuangQiao Valley||B/PL/D||3400m|
|Day 5||Ice Climbing Practical Session 3 in Shuang Qiao Valley. Night theory lesson 4 in lodge. O/N ShuangQiao Valley||B/PL/D||3400m|
|Day 6||Ice Climbing Practical Session 4 in Shuang Qiao Valley. Night theory lesson 5 in lodge. O/N ShuangQiao Valley||B/PL/D||3400m|
|Day 7||Trek to Dafeng/1st Sister Peak base camp. O/N base camp||B/L/D||4200m|
|Day 8||Summit trek (Dafeng/1st Sister Peak, 5038m) – return to Rilong. O/N Rilong||B/L/D||3200m|
|Day 9||Transfer from Rilong to Chengdu. O/N Chengdu||B/-/-||3200m|
|Day 10||Depart Chengdu. (Programme ends here)||NIL||500m|
- Return airport transfer in Chengdu
- All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Twin/Trip sharing accommodation in Chengdu, Rilong and Shuangqiao Gou
- Ice climbing equipment: Ice axes, harnesses, crampons, helmets and double boots
- Camping equipment during trek: sleeping tent (twin sharing), dinning tents with dinning table and chairs, sleeping bag and mat
- Ice climbing support: ice climbing instructor and crew (1 Singapore trainer & 2 local assistant trainers to 11 trainees)
- Trek support: climbing guides cum kitchen crew, porterage services by horses and herders
- Boiled drinking water during ice climbing and trek
- Permits & fees: Conservation, National Park fees, trek permit
- International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Visa Fee (if any)
- Single Supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- All tipping
- Personal porters
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover travel agency insolvency, trekking up to 6000m and ice climbing)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, trekking boots, backpacks etc
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions and Incredible Journeys
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the climb:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in Siguniang, possess intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture and are trained in emergency rescue.
Our DaFeng climbing guides carry a portable oxygen cylinder for emergency purpose. The ratio of guide to climbers is 1:2
The ice climbing course is conducted by Edwin Siew and his associate of Singapore and China instructors.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good five to six months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.