Mt. Gongga Hiking with Affordable Price - 9 Days
Mt. Gongga(Minya Konka) is the highest peak(7556meters) in Hengduan Mountains, boasting for "the King of all Sichuan Mountains" and also a famous mountain in the world. This mountain itself is 7556 meters high and mountains around the Minya Konka are Zhongshan peak(6886), Edger(6618), Reddomaine(6549), Tianhaizi(6070), Baihaizi(5924), Bijiashan(5880), Shehaizi(5878) and many other peaks(over 20 peaks 6000 meters above sea level). Glaciers in the Minya Konka ranges are also spectacular.
Day 01Chengdu – Kangding driving day
Journey starts in Chengdu. It is a day on vehicle when we arrive in Kangding after 7 hours' riding. Be briefed the on the trip the former day before we begin. Enjoy the views and landscape changing from plain into mountain ranges along the way. Kangding is a traditional Tibetan town at the traditional border of Tibet and China. In the old days people exchange tea and horses here. Kangding is one of the important towns on the Tea-horse Road in ancient times. Wonder the street of Kangding after arrival if time allows.
Day 02Kangding – Gyazela Hiking day
After breakfast we drive to Laoyulin 20kms south to Kangding to meet our porter team and start our journey by the end of bumpy road in the Gyazela Valley. Behind us are the visible Wuse Mountains among which the highest named Tianhaizi peak with a height of 6070 meters. Along the river we witness the incredible alpine landscape from rugged horse trail into pristine wildness until we reach our campsite at a meadow by the foot of rough rocky mountains at Gyazela. (approx 5 hours)
Day 03Gyazela - Upper Riuchi hiking day
Weather is rather unpredictable as the terrain rises dramatically. We may wake up in dense fog or bright sunlight or sometimes a brash this morning. Today we have views not only the ice-capped mountains but also a variety of unknown flora as we ascent. Melted water flushing down the rocky streambed where many rocks have been polished edgeless. Jiazi peak, Melcyr Schan, Reddomaine peak and peak of little Konka are visible today but the floating mist may possibly veil the snow peaks in drizzling seasons. Camp after rocky terraces at another spacious yak-pasturing meadow. We have streams rustling through our campsite, with old huge mountain on the other side. (approx 6 hours)
Day 04Upper Riuchi - Reddomaine Camp Hiking day
Today is more physically demanding to cross over the Riuchi Pass which has an elevation of around 4900 meters. More Reddomaine views when we ascent to the pass. More peaks become visible as we reach the top. Glaciers and snow show a light blue color in distance offering honorific pictures. Camera break at the pass where mountains rolling further and further into faintness. Resume our discovery trip down in the Moxi Nazha(Moxi Valley), a valley of plenty rhododendron and dense bushes and properly-shaped pastures. Snow peaks after snow peaks behind green mountains along our trail. We camp at a temporal settlement used by local herdsmen in the valley. (7 hours)
Day 05Reddomaine Camp - Winter Pasture hiking day
One whole day trek in this Moxi Valley. Millions of flowers bloom in this alpine valley in spring and summer time. Prepare for one or two chilly rivers(small) crossing before more flowers and greenery. Rhododendron bushes scatter on both sides of the trail when we reach today's campsite. It is also a herdsmen settlement.(approx 5 hours)
Day 06Winter Pasture - Gongga Gompa hiking day
Bushwhack through primitive rhododendron forest on the trail of gradual ups and downs. Muddy underfoot until trail becomes wider where it is decorated by hundreds of prayer flags. These Tibetan Buddhists prayer flags waft the trail leading us to Gongga Gompa. Read the bilingual "Notice" before step towards the Gompa at the prayer-flag doorway. Gongga Gompa is a Kargyupa monastery that has long been a basecamp for Minya Konka expedition teams and a good place for Meditation. Gonga Gompa offers excellent views of Mt. Minya Konka, one of the killer mountain in eastern Tibet for climbers, the highest in Hengduan Mountains: 7556 meters. Visit the Gompa temple when available. (approx 5 hours)
Day 07Gongga Gompa – Shanmuju hiking day
A little walks around the Gompa, waiting the Minya Konka show itself in the morning light. Leave late in the morning and retrace the track we traveled the previous day. Trek ends in Tsemed Camp when we have our lunch and a possible family visit if available. Transfer to Shanmuju by local vehicle en route catch the last splendid view of Minya Konka at Tsemed Pass. Overnight camping or at the guesthouse in the village of Shanmuju. (approx 3 hours trekking)
Day 08Shanmuju – Kangding driving day
Tibetans in this area are called Minya Tibetans on a historical basis. Constructions and many traditions are of a distinctive character in Shangmuju. Have a walk in the village if intersted before we drive back to Kangding for another stopover to Chengdu.
Day 09Kangding – Chengdu driving day
Say goodbye to Gartse. Today we ride back to Chengdu. Minya Konka hiking trip ends.
About the elevation and walking:
Total walking 6 days. Average altitude of Minya Konka trekking is about 3870 meters with the highest at 4900 meters. Total elevation gain is about 1800 meters during the trekking. Total elevation loss is about 1500 meters during the trekking. This 4900 meter is at the pass after an 800 meters’ ascent from the campsite. The walking distance each day is between 12 and 15 km. Normally the sun hits at 9am and it is also the time of starting your trekking each day.
About weather and climate:
“When you are in the mountain, you never know the weather.” Indeed the weather changes quickly in Minya Konka as the elevation of the trekking are very high, up to 4800 meters. Generally the trekking season is from late April to early November each year. Each season you have the possibility of unpredicted weather conditions. Late April, May and late October, early November are cold as the temperature drops below -10C sometimes during night time. From June to October, you have fewer possibilities of unpredicted conditions due to bad weather. The best trekking season is summer in July and August as it is not very cold but the rivers are high, so you will need to cross some small rivers where necessary. Elevation of the campsites ranges from 3500 meters to 4100 meters, so at night time it is very cold and windy. At Minya Konka, the temperature/weather changes quickly in a day especially after midday, the difference between highest temperature and the lowest temperature is up to 25C. Even at the same time it is cool in the shadow but warm or even hot in the sunlight. Trekking at Minya Konka one will usually experience windy weather especially by the pass.
This is the classic itinerary to do a Mount Gongga Hiking from Chengdu, not too tight as traveler may need time to acclimatize and not too long to waste unnecessary time for your holiday. Alex has been to Minya Konka many times and knows all the up-to-date information of the hiking and logistics. Please contact me if you are interested in this tour or if you want to ask some information about Minya Konka from Alex.