We are back from China. We spent 4 fruitful days in Shuang-Qiao-Gou to ice climb. What made this trip more interesting was that there were other Singaporeans ice climbing with us. The SWET team was never lonely 🙂
We stayed one night in Chengdu, and the following morning, we headed direct to Shuang-Qiao-Gou (3400m a.s.l).
Each day, we made day trips out to the nearby ice falls to ice climb, and return to the lodge for dinner. Shuang-Qiao-Gou offers interesting trails that lead to various ice falls. For one of the ice falls, we had to cross a “half-frozen” river …
We took another 30mins to trek up the overgrown trails and the majestic ice falls appeared right before our eyes.
We were geared with Marmot shell (top & bottom), Marmot beanie, Black Diamond helmet & ice axes, Smith sunshades & goggles, and Buff neck warmers …
We started with ascending on fixed rope with an ice axe. For the first two days, we moved around the ice fall without carrying a pack.
The remaining two days, we trained with a 16-18kg load (we put rocks into our packs to make the weight). Kim Boon and his technical crew fixed up a 400m fixed rope circuit for us to practice. On an average, we took about 1hr 20mins to complete one circuit. The time taken is equivalent to a 12km road run. We managed 4 circuits, about 1.6km of fixed ropes at 3,600m a.s.l. The ice climbing trip was to prepare ourselves for a 1.3km fixed ropes at Lotse Face of Mount Everest at above 7,500m.
For lunch, we had tibetan bread, eggs, and PowerBar gels from Hivelocity!
Ice climbing is a sport enjoyed by many, and over the years, I have made new friends.
Shang-Zhu (centre), a tibetan, is one of the climbing instructors from the Chinese Mountaineering Association (CMA). I climbed with him in winter 2004. He is part of the CMA team to conduct advance ice climbing course this winter.
We returned to Chengdu on the 26th Jan. Back to the city, we unwind with a foot massage, and enjoyed the many good food in Chengdu.
We have less than 50 days to departing for Nepal. It is now back to stairs climb, running and trail circuit. Way to go!