Haba Mountain review

January,09 2022 BY Mountaineering China

This long review from our guests not only tells about the Haba Snow Mountain climbing trip, but also provides you with some helpful advice and climbing experience in a friendly way.

Haba Mountain is close to Lijiang in Yunnan province in the South West of China. Lijiang is a lovely city with a traditional old city center. On the way from Lijiang to Haba Mountain, you pass by a few sightseeing spots that you should take a look at.

Very interesting is the Tiger Leaping George, the first bend of the Yangtze River, and the Iron Chain Bridge. I suggest hiking close to the Tiger Leaping George along the Yangtse River. The Yangtse rapids there are very impressive, and there are some outstanding views.

Tiger Leaping George

Tiger Leaping George

The climbing to Haba Mountain starts at Haba Village, which is at an elevation of 2800m.

Haba Mountain is 5396m high. The glacier starts approximately at 4800. The base camp is at 4200m.

haba snow mountain summit

haba snow mountain summit

You usually stay overnight at Haba Village and leave for the base camp in the morning. Donkeys carry your luggage to the base camp, making the climb more convenient. You can also ride a donkey to the base camp if you wish.

I, however, suggest hiking/climb. There is plenty of time, and the hike will get you better accustomed to the altitude. In addition, the views during the hike are outstanding. You pass by grazing yacks, and with the elevation, you notice the change of vegetation.

haba snow mountain hiking

haba snow mountain hiking

haba snow mountain hiking

haba snow mountain hiking

I did the hike in October 2020, and the climate during the climb to the base camp was relatively mild. We were lucky with the weather and enjoyed the sun.

The climb took around 7 hours and was not very exhausting.

The base camp is with bigger tents and some solid buildings. We had dinner, were given instructions for climbing, and prepared the equipment.

The climb started early in the morning, around 3 am. At such time and knowing what lies ahead of me, I asked myself why I was doing this. But with the first minutes climbing and knowing the reward, questioning fades away and is replaced by a positive spirit to make it to the summit.

You have to take a backpack with you for the crampons, ice ax, clothes, and other stuff.

My tour guide was pushing, and I managed quite well to follow him. As mentioned before, the guide has to follow the climber's speed, so I at any time could have requested him to slow down.

The first hours were relatively easy and not very steep. Later it became steeper, but also that was ok. A few more hours, we reached the snow line. At that time, it had brightened already a bit, and I could get a better view of the surroundings and saw the snow ahead of me.

The guide helped me with crampons and safety gear. We secured ourselves on the security rope and ascended to the summit. Unfortunately, the surface was very icy, which made it more challenging to climb. At the beginning of the year, it seems to be snowier.

Now also this part was not as difficult as I had expected. I felt a bit dizzy when turning my head around and looking behind me but otherwise coped quite well with the altitude.

Unfortunately, the weather was not that good anymore, and there was ice rain. So I could not see much. Not being able to see anything, the climb became endless.

I cannot remember how long we climbed on the glacier. It must have been between 1 to two hours.

When the ascent had flattened, the tour guide told me that we were almost there. There were another 5 to 10 minutes to get to the top. The weather had worsened, and there was not much to see. I did not care very much. I was happy to have reached the summit.

We spent 15 minutes at the summit and returned. The ascent took around 5 hours and the descent 3 to 4 hours. I was tired and took a few breaks. We returned around noon time back to the base camp.

The clouds were only at the summit. In the base camp, the sun was shining. I felt terrific and was in an excellent mood. We had a late lunch, rested a bit, and had dinner in the evening.

haba snow mountain base camp

haba snow mountain base camp

The next day we climbed downhill to Haba town. Instead of loading it on a donkey, I took all my stuff with me.

We arrived at noon in Haba town, and from there, a driver brought me back to Lijiang.

Haba Mountain was my first 5000m mountain climb. It felt great. Once you start something, you aim for more, and on my return to Shanghai, I thought what my next target could be.

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