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Climbing Season: all year
Address: Heishui County of Aba Prefecture in Sichuan province
In Heishui County of central Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in northwestern Sichuan province, at eastern foothill of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, there is a fairyland which is not frequented by humankind. She is very gorgeous, because there are continuous mountains and hills, towering snow-capped peaks, various rivers, brooks and valleys, and lake with mirror-like surface. This is Three “Ao” Snow Mountain, also known as “Climbing Heaven”, 16 KM from Luhua town in Heishui County and 310 KM from Chengdu.
Three “Ao” Snow Mountain is constituted by three separate snow peaks which are all pyramid-shaped. The three peaks are juxtaposed with each other in the shape of “品” (Chinese character). The main peak, Ao Taiji (means father of mountains in Tibetan), is 5286 M above sea level; Ao Taimei (mother of mountains), 5257 M above sea level; Ao Taina (son of mountains), 4780 M above sea level.
Three “Ao” Snow Mountain is the “Deity Mountain” in the eyes of Tibetan people. Here is the mysterious description for the main peak Ao Taiji inTibetan Buddhist scriptures: in eastern Jiarong, there is a place called Cuoqu (Heishui County), where there is a Deity Mountain called Ao Taiji; there are the greatest Buddha and Lama god on Ao Taiji; as Ao Taiji is the leader of the deity mountains, as long as people show the sincere respect to him, he will be able to drive monsters and pesticides away, to bless people, and to mitigate suffering. Therefore, on occasion of festival, wedding and harvest, locally Tibetan people will pray to the deity snow mountain, for good weather and good luck next year.
Ao Taina is an excellent mountain for primarily entry-level climbers to dophysical training, acclimatization, altitude sickness and other climbingtests. The traveling route is long, the environment is changeable, the physical requirements are strict, the climbing level is low and there is no dangerous section. Additionally, it is also a good choice for enjoying magnificent snow mountains, taking unique photographs and experienceculture.
AoTaiJi (奥太基 / 5300m), AoTaiMei (奥太美) / 5200m) and AoTaiNa (奥太娜 / 4800m) make up the SanAo mountain range (三奥雪山) on the eastern foot of the Tibetan Plateau in the Aba Tibetan Autonomous Region, Sichuan, China. Of the 3 peaks, only AoTaiNa (奥太娜 / 4800m) can be climbed. The terrain to the peak of AoTaiJi (奥太基 / 5300m) and AoTaiMei (奥太美) are too steep and dangerous. It is possible to climb AoTaiNa (奥太娜) all seasons with each season showcasing different sides of the mountain. In spring, Rhododendron (杜鹃花) blooms in abundance while in autumn, the mountain range burst into fiery colours of yellow, red, orange and brown and, in winter, it is transformed into a winter wonderland. Of the four seasons, AoTaiNa’s (奥太娜) peak is almost snow-free only in summer.
The mountain is covered with snow accumulation during the period from October to May next year, the lowest temperature of around -10 degrees.There is no any snow accumulation on the mountain from June to September, the lowest temperature of around 0 degrees.
Chengdu—Dujiangyan—Wenchuan—Mao County—Heishui County—Bajiazhai—Ao Taina—Chengdu
Schedule and detail arrangement: (6 days needed in total)
Chengdu—Dujiangyan—Wenchuan—Mao County—Heishui County—Bajiazhai—Ao Taina—Chengdu
Day 1: Chengdu—reception station (2500 M, 310 KM in total)
At 7 AM in the morning, tourists start the trip from Chengdu by bus, passing by Dujiangyan(Qingcheng Mountain), the world heritage, along Min River(the spectacular trip), then passing Wenchuan(steep and dangerous mountains, valleys and pass along the trip), lunch at Mao County, and arrive at Heishui County around 2 PM in the afternoon.Tourists can appreciate the magnificent natural scenery and characteristic Tibetan architecture on both sides of Min River. After that tourists will continue their trip to the hill-foot of Bajiazhai by chartering a bus. Tourists can enjoy the charming landscape of Ham Lake. At 3 PM they will get off the bus at Deshiwo village and walk to the reception center on mountain around 3 KM.
Day 2: the reception station—the Base Camp (3800 M, 10 KM in total)
Tourists get up at 8 AM in the morning. After breakfast, carrying their package, wearing gaiters, snow goggles, alpenstock, and sunscreen, tourists happily walk 2 hours to arrive at Laoniupeng after passing over 2-KM log sluice and through forests with carriers. When tourists take a rest and have lunch at Laoniupeng, they can breathe the fresh fragrance of mountainous brooks, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of glaciers in Ao Taimei closely. After lunch, tourists go through forests, climb upwards along the brook, and the forests bath will make them feel refreshing because of old and towering trees at both sides of the brook. After 3 hours of walking through forests, they will reach a vast alpine meadow with the altitude of 3800 M, accommodation at the base camp in wooden house. At night, after dinner they will join a bonfire party, where they can join some entertainment activities and be taught about climbing tips. They should sleep in wooden house or tent before 10 PM to reserve more energy. Tourists should pay attention not to fall down while go upward or downward slope during this section.
Day 3: the base camp–climb to the summit (4800 M, 6 KM in total)–the base camp
Get up at 6 AM in the morning. After breakfast, climbers start to climb to the summit in groups at 6: 30 in the morning. The section from the base camp to the viewing platform around 2 KM is a steep slope of around 40 degrees, so climbers would better to slow down their pace. They will have lunch at the place of 4500 M at 11 AM, and again to repeat the technical requirements and safety tips. At 1 PM in the morning, they begin to climb to the summit, to experience the vast ice world, with continuous snow mountains, broad view and spectacular scenery. They can enjoy the charming scenery of Ao Taiji, Ao Taimei, Zimei Mountain, Muzhi peak and Jiuhua Mountain to their heart’s content. Standing before the landscape, people will feel better about the holiness of Three “Ao”Snow Mountain. They will return back after taking photos on the summit. When they arrive at the base camp at 5 PM, they will join another bonfire party, where they can communicate about climbing with each other, go for Guozhuang dance and have dinner like toasted meat and other gathering activities between Han and Tibetan people. Talks and laughter resounds in the air. Pay attention to plan your energy properly and drink much water before climbing during this section.
Day 4: the base camp—Bajiazhai
Get up at 8 AM in the morning. After breakfast, tourists need to pack their belongings, decamp and return Bajiazhai through valleys and forests at 9 AM. Pay attention not to walk too fast while going down the mountain to avoid any hurts to your knees during this section. Tourists will arrive at Bajiazhai and have lunch at 3 PM in the afternoon, and join the party of Guozhuang dance, drinks and other entertainment activities in the evening.
Day 5: Tourists can experience Tibetan culture at Bajiazhai, like celebrating New Year, drink barley wine, dancing Guozhuang and toasting meat with Tibetan people, and return the reception station in the afternoon.
Day 6: the reception station—Chengdu (accommodation at Chengdu)—finish the trip completely
Snow goggle, alpenstock, sleep bag (temperature of -15 degrees), waterproof mat, backpack (50 L for female, over 65 L for male), sneakers, tech jacket, fleece coat, down jacket, gaiters, down gloves, socks, down cap, sunscreen, lip balm, headlight, personal hygiene items, snack foods, water bottles
Personal medicines: cold remedy, painkillers, Laxatives, drug for traumatic injuries, pad for stop bleeding, vitamins / minerals and food on the road for 3 days
one of seven god mountains of Bon religion in Tibetan area
trekking & hiking in yunnan province
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