Backpack Kawariluo (卡瓦洛日神山) Holy Mountain Pass

Rate this Adventure Gengda Village, Ganzi Zangzuzizhizhou, China

  • Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Backpacking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    18.6 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    4593.2 Feet


A pretty epic and secluded out-and-back route near the town of Ganzi in western Sichuan which gets you some pretty amazing views of a holy peak and close up with wildlife. 

Theroute starts right off HWY 317 on the opposite side of the river atGengda Village (更达村),elv. 3450m. Follow the road through the village along the rivervalley, soon crossing a bridge to the right side of the river (trueleft). Follow the road up the valley above the river for 5k or sountil you reach the next village at which point the road will descendinto the valley below. This is where the real trail starts.Alternatively you could cut out this first 1hr+ slog by taking a cardown the road from Gengda to the start of the trail at the lastvillage. If you can, I'd recommend this.

There are three mainvalleys splitting off from the village, take the middle one close towhere the houses are located by the river. Large paths big enough fora trucks lead up both sides of the river. Take the true right to saveyourself a crossing later. There are still a few crossings you willhave to do later on in order to follow the trail (it's really alogging road).

After a while theroad gives out into an actual trail on the true left of the river andthe steep valley eventually shallows out into a long, gentle slopingvalley above the tree line. There are plenty of fresh water streamshere coming down from the mountains above and camping spots if youneed. Head up the valley towards the small triangular peak in front.

Near the end of thevalley, the stream becomes quite steep and it is best to take to theright slope early on to the true left of the stream and begin toslowly gain elevation towards the ridge on the right of the smallpeak. There is a low pass near the small peak but that adds distanceto the route. A direct ascent to the ridge is steeper but has betterviews of Kawariluo. The elevation of the ridge is about 4840m. Theridge is also wide enough at some points if you want to bivy on top.

From the ridge youhave the option of descending the scree (it's quite nice) down 400mor so down to the low bowl below and camp there. The ridge is alsowide enough at some points if you want to bivy on top.

  • Extra: This linkshows this pass linking up with a 3-4 day route descending into theother valley below the ridge and around the near face of Kawariluo,it is also a good map for the out and back route. Note: we tried todo this route but failed, after you pass over the ridge and ascend tothe low bowl we found the stream too steep and flow too heavy todescend and the surrounding rhododendron brush too thick. In theory,it's possible, but we couldn't do it and spent a miserable night in apoorly put up tent in bushes. Would be a beautiful route if you couldmake it, however.

Pack List

  • 50L pack
  • Food for two days
  • Capacity to carry at least 1L of water
  • Tent
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Kyle Obermann Explorer

China Environmental and Adventure Photographer || 探险中国 || Speak Chinese to Protect Nature @kyleobermann

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