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
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
Written by CBP in November
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