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Highway to Tibet: three hike suggestions

Western Sichuan is a vast mountainous area spreading at eastern part of Tibetan plane. The highest mountain scrapes the sky at 7556 meters. It is a rough part of the world sparsely populated and thanks to the earthquake in 2008 with bad infrastructure. Moreover it is closely watched by police and military due to Tibetan independence movement. Not many venture up there.

My trips were mostly improvised. I just looked in the morning around and thought: that mountain is pretty; let's get up there. I loved it. Since I didn't have a tent I made mostly only day trips but a tent would offer much more freedom. Once I spent a night in a ruined house of an abandoned village; that was an experience.

Seda(Serthar): Mt. Seladaze

Seda is a small town placed in middle of wide and long green valley. It is famous for its Tibetan Buddhist School which is thought to be the largest in the world. Grassy hillsides are full of yaks and when you get up on one of the hills you can get amazing views. Highest peak around is 4870 meters high Mt. Seladaze while the town is in altitude of 3900 meters.

Mount Seladaze

There is plenty of mountains to climb. Something I didn't do and I wish I did is walking from Seda to Ganzi. It might be around 80 kilometers so it would be doable in two days. The reward will be amazing views, mysterious temples built in rock, and more.

Be careful about dogs if you hike alone early in the morning or at night. Throwing a rock makes them only more angry.


Ganzi(Garze): Mt. Caodala

Crystal mountain

This was my most improvised hike. I ended up sleeping in a ruined house of an abandoned village. When you make your way to the Ganzi monastery, amazing view to Gongga Shan range with white peaks opens to you. I roamed towards the range and ended up climbing up to 4900 meters to what I believe is called Mount Caodala. This peak is almost as high as Gongga Shan range while there is no need to climb any dangerous rock or glacier. I got an amazing 360-degree view and even better sunset light. 

Ganzi

 

Kanding/Danba: Mt. Yala passage

This was my most extensive hike which actually required some planning (you should at least take a look at the map). The distance was totally 40 kilometers. While I did it in one day, it would be pleasant to stop and spend a night next to one of the three gorgeous glacier lakes. Except one Tibetan family of horse herdsmen there was no one.

On top of the clouds

I started in Danba: I took the bus going to Kanding and got off at the Dawu Taizhangou Nature Reserve entrance (30 kwai). When you reach to road, try to hitch a ride to Kanding. The road is not extremely busy but for me the first car stopped.

Waterfall of Mount Yala

Be prepared for crossing at least thousand of streams and rivers.

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