Due to the forgiving slopes & well-established climbing routes, Haba Snow Mountain (5396 metres) is considered an ideal climb for beginners who wish to experience climbing a real 5000m snow mountain. This trip allows you to experience the typical process of climbing a snow mountain, from trekking to base camp, acclimatization climb, putting on crampons, using ice-axes, & the final summit push.
Day 1: Drive from Lijiang to Haba Village (2700m). This will take approximately 5 hours, going through ‘Tiger leaping Gorge’. If you like, we can go for 1-2 hour walk or trek of Upper or Middle Gorge. Once we arrive at Haba Village, enjoy exploring the ethnically diverse Haba Village with at least 3 different minority villages, namely the Naxi, Hui (Muslim) and Yi living in harmony. Overnight in Haba Village.
Day 2: Acclimatisation Day 1. With our guide, we begin a 6 to 7 hour ascend up to Black Lake at 4200 metres, walking through pristine alpine forests. Horses will be used to carry our larger personal belongings and supplies. Black Lake is a holy lake of the Naxi ethnic group and it is said that if you shout at the lakeside, you will enrage the holy lake and make heavy rain. The landscape varies from season to season, and due to the black and blue stones distributed at the bottom, the surface of the water is black. Overnight Camping at Black Lake.
Day 3: Base Camp. We will set off in the early morning on a 5 hour trek to Base camp at 4100 metres. As before, horses will be used to carry our larger personal belongings and supplies. We will enjoy a simple lunch along the way. The base camp is located at 4100 m at the edge of the forest with a very nice view of the mountain. In the afternoon, we will do a training of our equipment in preparation for the summit push the following morning. Overnight at Haba Base Camp.
Day 4: Summit Day. With our guide, we begin the ascent to the summit at 4am. The first part of the route is through a huge grey slab on the left of the mountain left by retreating glaciers, before reaching a series of morainic hills and ridges until we reach the “snowline” at about 4950 metres. After putting on crampons, you will go up directly on a large snow/ice slope. About one kilometer away from snowline is the Desperate Slope, which is the last resting post before the final stretch to the top. The distance from the Desperate Slope to the summit is another 960 meters which will take you some time due to the altitude. The Desperate Slope deserves its name; when you climb one small slope, you think you have reached the top, only to find another steep climb ahead of you and no sign of the summit! From the summit, it takes another 3 hours to get back to Base camp before we descend to Haba Village. Overnight in Haba Village.
Day 5: After a tasty local breakfast, we will depart Haba Village and drive for an hour to visit Baishuitai (White Water Terrace), China’s Pamukkale, the famous “cotton castle” of Turkey. Return to Lijiang for overnight at The Bivou. Enjoy a special Bivou Victory cocktail on the house!