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Minya Konka, Sichuan

Minya Konka (or Gongga Shan 贡嘎山 ),the 'King of Sichuan Mountains', is the highest mountain in Sichuan. Situated in the Daxue Shan mountain range in the southwest of Sichuan, it is a sacred mountain to the Tibetans.


Hailuogou Valley 海螺沟:

Located in the east side of Minya Konka, the valley is a national glacier park, and a popular tourist spot. One can admire a magnificent glacier with huge stunning frozen waterfalls (冰瀑布). Unfortunately it is difficult to see the summit as the mist hangs over the mountain almost 300 days a year. There are several hot-spring pools. Moreover the valley is covered with primitive forest, an eco-paradise, having one of the highest diversity of plants and animals in China.

Chinese tourists normally spend one day in the park, heading directly for Camp Four via cable car in the morning and dunked in the hot-spring pools in the afternoon. So the rest of the park is quiet.

The entrance ticket is Y70. Travelers can take a tourist bus (Y70) from Moxi Town (1600m) to the Cable Car (around 35km) passing through Camp One, Two and Three. Camp One and Two have hot springs. The cable car (Y160) bring travelers to Camp Four at 3400 m.

Accommodations: Moxi offers hotels from budget to 4 stars. There are also hotels at Camp One, Two and Three. Getting there: Chengdu Xingnanmeng Bus station has daily bus for Moxi.

Link: Hailuogou - A Unique Glacier Forest Park contains practical travel information.

Konka Monastery 貢嘎寺:

Konka Monastery is located at the west side of Minya Konka. This monastery of the Kagyu (Black Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism was damaged during the Cultural Revolution, but today is again thriving. The monastery itself is like any other Tibetan monasteries in China but it is scenic due to its location. It sits within a narrow valley with snow-capped mountains on three sides. On most mornings, one can enjoy an unimpeded million dollar view of the west face of the main peak of Minya Konka.

More pictures: click here


Trekking in Minya Konka

There are different trekking routes around the mountain range, the most popular being a trek to the Konka Monastery (Gongga Si) 老貢嘎寺 (3665m) at the foot of the glacier from the main peak (7,556m). This trek can also be done in many permutations as well as directions.

1. Shangmuju village - Konka Monastery (3 days - round trip)

I trekked to the Monastery from the west, starting from Shangmuju village 上木居. This is the last village before ascending the Tsemi Pass 子梅山埡口 (4440M) towards the Monastery. Therefore this is also the place to look for a guide or to hire mules. I paid 130 RMB per day for the services of a guide and a mule for my backpack.

The major sceneries on this journey are the Minya Konka mountain range as well as the main peak and glacier at the monastery. The sceneries at the various villages are also commendable. The walking was enjoyable traversing high mountains and some steep slopes. More detailed information on this trek: click here. Picture link: click here.

2. Laoyulin - Konka Monastery - Shangmuju village (7-10 days)

This classic Minya-Konka trek often appears on the programme of various hiking outfitters around the world with price ranging from us$3300-us$5000, minimum 5 or 6 participants. For the same itinerary, Chinese outfitters in Chengdu offer the price from us$1300/pp.

It is possible for independent travelers to do this trek on a self-organised basis. At the village of Laoyulin, one can hire a guide together with horses for carrying backpacks. Link: Info on this trek can be found at Michael Woodhead's blog In the footsteps of Joseph Rock

3. Climbing Minya Gongga

If you are a qualified alpinist, you can contact directly Sichuan Mountaineering Association for the climbing permit.

Web Maps:

Web information:

Written by CBP in November 2006

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