JarJinJiaBo 2013

Back from the land of Tibet after what has been a great expedition to JarJinJiaBo. Two climbing objectives were accomplished, great Tibetan friends were made, and animals raided our camp multiple times.

We left from Chengdu and traveled for two days up onto the Tibetan Plateau on the famously dangerous Sichuan-Tibet Highway. The province we were in is in a Tibetan Autonomous region called Ganze and the area can be described as high grasslands with many mountainous uplifts. The average elevation is over 3700m and the highest peak reaches to 7500m. The main town/city, Litang, is at 4000m.

Zha Jin Jia Bo is right on the border of Sichuan and Tibet just north of the town Batang. It is nestled on the southern portion of the Garraspun massif in a valley just north of the Xiashe massif. Both have peaks reaching 5800m.

XiaShe Massif 5800m
XiaShe Massif 5800m
PB and N what else do you need?
PB and N what else do you need?
JarJinJiaBo at a glance
JarJinJiaBo at a glance
Base camp fun
Base camp fun

Our team, Andrew Hedesh, Zhoulei, Claire Thomas, Melonie, fellow BD Athlete Sylvain Millet, Thomas all looked at each other and thought “man there is alot of rock out here.”  I told Andrew that we were going to go straight up the center of the mountain.

We arrived and set up base camp with a massive fin of rock towering above us. It brought on such a presence that it became clear that this ridge of rock would become my climbing objective for the trip.

Andrew Hedesh. Mike Dobie, Thomas Vialletet Melonie, Sylvain Millet, and Claire
Andrew Hedesh. Mike Dobie, Thomas Vialletet Melonie, Sylvain Millet, and Claire
Looking up to the objective
Looking up to the objective
Rim route from base camp
Rim route from base camp

The next few days we went for a scouting/acclimatization hike up the valley to look for a mountaineering objective. We discovered an unclimbed peak that would be good for my Chinese climbing partner, Zhoulei, and I to climb.

Scouting
Scouting
The peak and planned route
The peak and planned route
Janmo tower on the left and Jabo in the middle
Janmo tower on the left and Jabo in the middle

Over the next few days acute mountain sickness set in and we were all regretting traveling from sea level to 4200m. Fighting headaches, the weather went for a change and winter came. Thus began tent living for the next week. Between breaks in the weather we were able to play hacky sack though…..

Hacky sack fun
Hacky sack fun
Wild Mountain Chickens
Wild Mountain Chickens

During our bad weather week a raccoon broke into our tent and aggressively ate some of our food before we realized what was happening. Our cooking tent quickly became a sleeping tent as Andrew fought off this raccoon nightly. We could not get a picture of it though. So here is a nice picture of some mountain birds that roam around the area.

Almost a week of this fun tent weather
Almost a week of this fun tent weather
Group effort to make fire in the wet
Group effort to make fire in the wet

When the weather got better Andrew and I mission-ed the looming fin and established a 16 pitch classic 5.10. Upon arriving at the top of the ridge we realized that we still had another 350m of climbing to reach the top of the mountain. Bad weather, snow accumulation on the ridge, and the mountaineering objective deterred us from finishing the route. We climbed the fin and felt like we got to the top of something with 2000 ft/700m between us and the valley floor. Counting our blessing we were satisfied with the progress and decided we had all the more reason to come back to finish the route. It is my opinion that when we get to the top of the mountain it will be at least a 1100m route and one of the longest in the Chinese alpine.

Scouting and exploring
Scouting and exploring
dirty clumpy first ascents!
dirty clumpy first ascents!
Looking over the edge of the ridge
Looking over the edge of the ridge
Andrew Hedesh and I at the top
Andrew Hedesh and I at the top
Rim route topo
Rim route topo
Rim route
Rim route

Next was the mountaineering objective. Zhoulei and I reached the summit (between 5500-5600m) on a bluebird day. Our visibility was amazingly good and we could see peaks far into Tibet and south into the Gen Yen range.

Unroped glacier travel
Unroped glacier travel..whoops
On the Summit of previously unclimbed peak 5446m
On the Summit of previously unclimbed peak 5446m
All of us with my monk friend Cheeka
All of us with my monk friend Cheeka

What a great trip. There is a guidebook for this area available. There is a section in the Dao Cheng Bouldering Guidebook. Download it here.

© All text, pictures, and media copyright Michael Dobie Do not reproduce in any way without consulting

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