China – Haba Snow Mountain

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  • Duration: 9 Days
  • Grading: 3C
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Haba Snow Mountain is one of our Ice And Snow Peak Challenge . It is suitable as an entry level mountain that require basic ice and snow skills (ie: crampons, walking ice axe and fixed rope). The terrain is straight forward without crevasses. The 950m long snow slope, at the last section of the summit, famously known as the “Hopeless Slope” (绝望坡), is an onerous challenge on exposed terrain that requires a high level of fitness and endurance, but is also an ideal ground for crampons footwork practice.

Shaluli Mountains (沙鲁里山), known in Tibetan as Powor Gang, are a large mountain range in western China between the Upper Yangtze (Jinsha River) and Yalong River. The Haba Snow Mountain massif, which Haba Snow Mountain is a part of, is in the most southern end of the extensive Shaluli Mountains.

Haba Snow Mountain or Haba Xueshan 哈巴雪山 (5396m) is located in southeast Shangri-La 香格里拉 and northwest of Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡). One of the tallest peaks in Yunnan province, the peak is covered in snow all year round. “Haba” means golden flower in Naxi language. Rising opposite the higher and better known Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山/5596m), legend has it that Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain are brothers. The two majestic mountains are wedged with the Jinsha River flowing between them, forming one of the deepest and most gorgeous gorges in the world  – the scenic Tiger Leaping Gorge, a world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Majority of tourists do not venture beyond Tiger Leaping Gorge to Haba Snow Mountain, except only for mountain climbers. Improved road accessibility from Lijiang to Haba Village (3 hours drive) in recent years has helped Haba Snow Mountain gained popularity, as a mountain climbing destination, among the locals and climbers from Asia.

About The Climb

Haba Village (2600m) is the base where trekkers stay before and after climbing Haba Snow Mountain. From Haba Village to Haba Snow Mountain Base Camp (4100m) is a dramatically sharp increase in elevation of around 1500m in a single day. We included in our  itinerary,  an additional acclimatization day in Haba Village, before heading up to Haba Snow Mountain. This additional acclimatization day, with a trek to a small peak (3500m) near Haba Village, is paramount to allow for better performance and higher success chances on summit day.

Haba Snow Mountain’s trail head (2900m) is a short drive (15mins) from the lodge in Haba Village. The trail head, which is a dirt trail that leads into an alpine forest, is not marked by any signage. Emerging from the alpine forest is an open meadow, where there is a rest hut (3600m), that is used as the lunch point. After the hut, it is a series of uphill switchback into the alpine forest again, before a short rock trail that leads to the base camp (4100m). It takes about 6-8 hours to reach the base camp from the trail head. At the base camp, there is another acclimatization day with a short day hike to 4500m. Summit day starts at around 3am on a short gentle slope up to a vast grey morainic slab left by retreating glaciers. Continue the uphill climb on the gigantic morainic slab, with a sharp rise in elevation gain, to reach the glacier (4950m/3-4 hours). Beyond the glacier is a 950m snow slope up to the summit. This snow slope, which requires crampons, is famously known as the “Hopeless Slope” (绝望坡). It is seemly endless, with countless slopes, and can take 2.5 to 3 hours to complete. Fixed ropes might be required on the “Hopeless Slope” should the snow conditions warrant. From the summit, the descend (3-5 hours) is the same way back to the base camp. Rest and recover at the base camp, after descending from the summit before packing up to further descend to the trail head on another route. This alternative route, which takes around 3-4 hours to complete, is a short diversion from the ascend to the base camp but steeper and more scenic.

Trekking Seasons

The best time to climb Haba Snow Mountain is in spring (late March to mid June) and autumn (mid September to November). The rainy season starts from end June to early September.

The fringe/low climbing season is in the winter months of December to February. Winter typically brings hash and extreme cold weather conditions. Mountaineering boots are required for protection from the extreme cold and snow.

Experience Required

This trek is graded 3C.

You should have above 5000m peak climbing experience. Good to have crampons skills but not essential. While Haba Snow Mountain’s straight forward terrain, without crevasses, make it suitable as an entry mountain that requires ice and snow skills, it is highly demanding on fitness and endurance. The sharp gains elevation, from the trail head (2900m) to the base camp (4100m), and from base camp (4100m) to the summit (5396m), require the body to be able to adapt fast and quick to high altitude. The 950m snow slope at above 5000m can be an onerous challenge on exposed terrain.

Equipment and Gear

You will need thermal base layers, a fleece jacket and an outer shell jacket. When at the base camp, after sundown and during the summit trek, a down jacket will help keep you warm. A down sleeping bag is also needed and NOT provided.

You will also need climbing equipment like crampons, ice axe, harness, slings and karabiners. The climbing equipment are provided.

You will also need the following equipment for Haba Snow Mountain summit attempt:

  1. Climbing harness
  2. Climbing helmet
  3. Walking ice axe
  4. Crampons
  5. Karabiners
  6. Sewn slings

Equipment are provided. You can also bring your own equipment if you wish.

A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page for information on the layering system and how to choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.

DAY DESCRIPTION MEALS
1

Arrive in Lijiang.

Overnight: Lijiang hotel (2400m)

-/-/-
2

Visit Tiger Leaping Gorge. Transfer to Haba Village.

Overnight: Guesthouse at Haba Village (2600m)

B/L/D
3

Acclimatization day. Day hike to a peak (3500m) near Haba Village.

Overnight: Guesthouse at Haba Village (2600m)

B/L/D
4-5

Trek to Haba Snow Mountain base camp. Acclimatization day and hike to 4500m on Day 5.

Overnight: Dormitory at base camp (4100m)

B/L/D
6

Summit day. Descend to base camp.

Overnight: Dormitory at base camp (4100m)

B/L/D
7

Descend to Haba Village.

Overnight: Guesthouse at Haba Village (2600m)

B/L/D
8

Drive to Lijiang.

Overnight: Lijiang hotel (2400m)

B/-/-
9 Depart Lijiang B/-/-
DATES PRICE
12-20 June 2021 (with a trek leader) $1,950.00 (SGD)  / person
  • Group size: 6 – 16 people
  • This Haba Snow Mountain climb is part of our  Ice and Snow Peak Challenge  To promote mountain climbing and to encourage people to challenge themselves physically and mentally, we have initiated and introduced a few Mountain Climbing Challenges into our calendar each year. These Mountain Climbing Challenges trips are accompanied by a team leader.
  • You can also form a private group for this trek. For enquiry, send an email to us at contact@aceadventure.com.sg
Inclusions
  • Return airport transfer
  • All land transfer as in itinerary
  • Meals as in itinerary
  • Boiled drinking water during trek
  • Accommodation: Local hotel in Lijiang (twin/triple sharing). Dormitory (mixed/non-heated) in Haba Village and Haba Snow Mountain Base Camp
  • Trek support: Climbing guide (1:1) and cook. Horses for porterage support.
  • Climbing equipment: Crampons, helmet, climbing harness, karabiners and walking ice axe
  • Emergency support: Comprehensive first aid kit and portable oxygen cylinders
  • 1 x trek leader from Ace adventure Expeditions
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge entry fee
Exclusions
  • 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 agency insolvency and trekking up to 6000m)
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel & trekking gear (Sleeping bag up to -15°C)
  • 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
Pre-trip Support

1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Complimentary group training sessions
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)

Local Support

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 Haba Snow Mountain, possess  intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture and are trained in mountaineering skills.

Visa

Holders of ordinary passports issued by the following countries do not need a visa to enter China as long as their trip does not last longer than the visa-free period listed below.

Duration

Countries

30 days

Bahamas, Ecuador, Fiji, Grenada, Mauritius, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Tonga

15 days

Brunei, Japan, Singapore

For latest updates and details of visa application, please visit https://www.visaforchina.org.

Money

In Lijiang, currency exchange services are available at the airport, hotels, malls, local banks, and moneychangers throughout the town. ATMs are plentiful, most accepting international credit cards and debit cards. Credits cards are commonly accepted in most mid-range to high-end restaurants and hotels. However, these are all scarce or not available at all in the remote towns and areas. 

In recent years, mobile payment and going cashless has become mainstream in China (E.g. Alipay, WeChat Pay and QQ Wallet). Otherwise, for foreigners, cash is still the most reliable form of payment in China.

As of November 2019, travellers can now use AliPay and WeChat Pay mobile payments. AliPay and WeChat Pay are the 2 dominant mobile payment platforms in China accepted by everybody from big brands to street vendors.

AliPay lets tourists create a prepaid account and fund it with Visa, MasterCard, JCB or MasterCard. WeChat Pay links to a credit card and supports Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover, JCB, and Diners Club.

Electricity

China’s electricity is 220V and 50HZ. There are three types of plugs used in China. Two flat parallel pins (Type A) is the most common; two narrow round pins (Type C) and three-pronged angled pins (Type I).

Language

Mandarin is the official language spoken and taught in schools all over China. There are 56 official ethnic groups, some having their own language and writing system. Even the majority Hans which make up 91% of the population speak many different dialects and their variations, according to the region they hail from. So their common language is hence Mandarin (普通话).

English is gaining popularity in the young and professionals as a window to the world, but common usage is non-existent. It is hardly understood or spoken by anyone including those working in the tourist service industry, except in international chains of hotels.

Drinking Water

Tap water is not drinkable in China, even in major cities. Bottled water is easily available from supermarkets to hotels.

Tipping

Giving a tip to tour guides is a common practice in China but other service staff in hotels, restaurants and taxi drivers in general do not expect a tip from tourists.

 
Travel Safety Advice

With evolving world situations that may occur unexpectedly due to natural disasters, pandemics/epidemics, conflicts and unrests, it is best to read up and keep tabs on news and developments at your destination country and region before the trip. Check on the country’s official website and/or your own foreign ministry website for any travel advisory or safety precautions to be taken while abroad.

As with traveling in anywhere in the world, regardless of the local crime rate, stay vigilant and take care of personal safety. Good to read up on any possible exposure in the country prior to departure.

It is a good practice to register with your respective foreign ministry if there is such a service provided to citizens, to contact you in order to make sure that you are safe and, if need be, assist you should an emergency (e.g. natural disasters, civil unrest, etc.) occur when you are overseas.

For Singaporeans, this is the link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ eRegister:
https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/eregisterportal/common/preLoginEregisterView.action

 
Travel Insurance

It is highly recommended to purchase comprehensive travel insurance(s), upon payment of your trip, to cover adverse situations that may occur while you are overseas or even before departure. Ensure that the coverage is suitable for your destination and the activities that you are participating in. Be familiar with the terms and conditions before purchasing and travelling abroad.

 
Travel Immunization Advice 

There is no compulsory vaccine to be taken to enter China. You should, however, be up to date on routine vaccinations, especially vaccines against water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (examples: hepatitis, typhoid and tuberculosis) while traveling to any destination. You are encouraged to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition.

Recommended routine vaccinations for travellers in general:

Hepatitis A

Spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route. Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation are poor.

Hepatitis B

Spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.

Rabies

 

Spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.

Tetanus

 

Spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A primary series of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine is recommended for life. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.

Typhoid Fever

Spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.

Influenza

A vaccine specific for a given year to protect against the highly variable influenza virus.

For more information and professional advice on travel vaccinations, please consult your doctor or travel clinic.

For people residing in Singapore, you may visit The Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic (THVC) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital:

Travellers’ Health & Vaccination Clinic
Address: Level 4, Clinic 4B, Tan Tock Seng Hospital Medical Centre
Contact number: 6357 2222
Website : https://www.ttsh.com.sg/Patients-and-Visitors/Medical-Services/Travellers-Health-and-Vaccination-Clinic/Pages/default.aspx.