Camp on Haba Snow Mountain (哈巴雪山): Huangtupo Camp

Rate this Adventure 3.7 miles 2296.6 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Kyle Obermann

Pitch camp on the lower slopes of Haba Snow Mountain (5396m) above the tranquil Naxi village, Haba Cun (哈巴村). If you’re up for it, this route also provides access to the summit base camp (4200m) and the beautiful black lake (4100m). Reaching the barren field of Huangtupo (荒土坡) is a relaxing ascent offering spectacular views of the village below and surrounding mountains.

From Lijiang or the end of the Tiger Leaping Gorge (Tina’s Guesthouse) take a bus, small public van, or hire a driver to take you to Haba village. This is a spectacular four hour drive from Lijiang and about a one hour drive from Tina’s. Haba is a wonderful little local Naxi village spread out on the terraces of the northern base of Haba Mountain. This route takes you directly over the town to one of the lower pastures on the mountain slope. The pasture, called Huangtupo, is located at about 3200m and iswhere local herders often take their sheep. The name Huangtupo in Chinese means "barren slope," a literal description of the actual place. It only takes 1-2hrs one way.

Right before you drive into Haba village (approaching from the direction of the Tiger Leaping Gorge), the road will take you along some steep cliffs where you will first get a glimpse of the valley below. When the road descends from the cliffs and right before it enters the village, there will be another road splitting off to the left going up towards the mountain. This road will be your starting point and consult the map attached in the photo section for reference (the X marks Huangtupo).

Follow this road gently upwards as it turns into dirt, crosses a fresh stream, and continues upward to the mountain and forest. This section will take a while, and crosses by many fields and some village houses. In general, keep going gradually up with the mountain on your left side as you approach the forest and it’s hard to go wrong. When you reach the forest, the path will be very evident before you as it is very heavily trodden by cattle, horses, etc. It will steeply ascend over the creek below, and will turn into ascending switchbacks when there is a wooden bridge crossing the stream below you. Near this point there will also be sort of a landside/wash in the slope, don’t follow the path across it and instead follow the switchback going up. This will soon after take you past a concrete structure with a woven trashcan attached to a tree so you’ll know you are heading the right way. There will also be many blue fire warning signs attached to the trees. Follow the switchbacks all the way up through the forest and back across the wash several times until you reach the barren slopes of Huangtupo. It's impossible to miss - and you can also view it before you start from Haba Cun below.

Other Notes:

  • Normally people hire a guide when hiking this mountain since there are no good reliable maps out there. Guides are easy to find in the village but will cost you per person.

  • There is no reliable water source at Huangtupo, carry what you need up.

  • There are many affordable places to stay in Haba village, but nothing else to do there besides climb the mountain.

  • This area is very dry, especially in winter. Use all caution when using fire.

  • For more information on the routes going past Huangtupo to the summit and basecamp, see the last picture and check out these guys' notes:

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