This summer I went back to China to summit the Mount Chola. Mount Chola in Tibetan means “Lake Pass” it is located in the eastern Tibetan plateau, the highest peak Rongme Ngatra is 6168m ( 20236 ft ) above sea level.
It’s not an easy task to get there we had to travel for 2 days from Chengdu to Mannigango village located Garze province in western part of Sichuan. There is only 1 road to get to this place and it’s a busy one with trucks, bus …this trip made me realize China is vast and ful of contrast from the modern city of Chengdu with it’s high speed train to the remote area of Garze province with it’s only road !
Next morning, It was very sunny day, we hiked our way to the basecamp ( 6 km ) and it took us one and half hour to get there ! We walked past a large moutain lake this place is probably the most beautiful I have ever been so far !
Day2: Three of us were so tired ( Especially me ) during our acclimatizing and route finding from the day before, so we took a rest and hanged out at BC, but we still need to do something to stay fit, we decided to do what we got to do at BC. We found tree and did some pull up training there!
After a very long hike of 6 hours , I felt a bit headache, I think I was probably dehydrated, you must drink a lot of water up there but you somehow don’t feel like drinking so you need to constantly remind yourself to drink ! At night i decided to leave my tent window open , Oh my buddha! What a view!!!!
Day:4 Jon, Liu Xing, Xiao Liu and I went for our route finding to C2 (5500 meters) and I made the trails for our team. It’s only about 2-3 kilometers hike but oh man it felt like the longest hike of my life. We did rope team travels on the glacier and oh man! I didn’t drink enough water that day, and I felt so bad after we came down to the camp 1
Day5: We travels up to C2 on the huge glacier, on the the way there we had to climb pass many crevasses. This route is not the classic one to get to the summit, it’s more technical and we need to be very careful to avoid the many crevasses on the way, and guess what we found? The snow leopard foot print, We think he was looking at us some where on the mountain.
Day 7: our team go up to C3 to check the trail, I had to stay at C2 as I could not function well and needed to take a rest and drink plenty of water. The team had to face whiteout all day and we could heard many avalanches from C2, Jon Liu Xing, Xiao Liu are real hard core mountain guide !!!
Day8: We had to reassese the situation and we came to the conclusion that the route was too technical and difficult due to the weather codition for me to go. I also had some altitude sickness symptomes so the wiser decision for me was to go down. It was a difficult decision, it’s hard to go all the way up and decide you won’t go summit but i think it’s part of the learning process, you can’t always summit and you need to be able to take the responsible decision in this kind of extreme environment. It was the right decision is to go down, the mountain is still there and I always can come back when i am ready! That day the team made it to C3 and prepare for a summit ascent the next day.
I learned humility from this trip and also realized it’s not always easy to stay hydrated and move up on the mountains carying heavy loads of 50 lbs bags. It was a challenging and overall a great experience.