Day 6 (Ice Climbing Day 3.5 and Travelling to Ri Long): Mervin Ng
It was the final day of ice climbing. Today’s hike up to the frozen waterfall training ground is by far the steepest.
As I have just recovered from AMS (acute mountain sickness), this came especially shocking to me, as I even struggled to make my way to the toilet in the middle of the night. With my oxygen level percentage as low as 66 on the second day (healthy level being >90), I was not allowed to continue training on that day. Hence I had to take more time to further acclimatize as we ascended to the training ground and eventually up the ice wall.
The ice climbing yet again brings about a new set of challenges. It was particularly demanding for Vivian and I as we missed the first day of ice wall climbing. However, I overcame my fear and gained new found confidence in myself and trust in my own personal equipment. What I learnt throughout this ice climbing journey was not only the necessary skills and equipment knowledge that we might require in future expeditions, but also the importance of preparation, trust in your equipment and trust in your companions. AMS would’ve taken me down completely if not for my companions really. I am very thankful for their support, which allowed me to enjoy the ice climbing experience even if it was minimal. If only I had more time for ice climbing it would’ve been great but I can’t complain much given that I was lucky enough to recover from AMS quickly.
After we returned back to our lodge, we washed our boots and equipment. Then we packed our baggage and left shuang qiao gou for rilong to stay the night before we embark on a different challenge – Siguniang mountain range’s Dafeng (5025m)! We arrived with a warm welcome by Zhaxi – the backpacker’s lodge owner. Had a lovely dinner and briefing about the journey we’re about to begin the next morning.
The staggering number of yak heads hanging by the entrance of the youth hostel…
A very detailed map in the hostel!
Mao all ready to start the pool games behind him!
Before we hit the sack we went to explore the peaceful and quiet rilong town and looked around for a place a chill. We found a cosy cafe at a nearby hostel which had many animal skulls hanging on the walls and animal skins as furniture. It was pretty cool but feels kinda uncomfortable at the same time. We had warm Maggie cups and amazing Xiang piaopiao milk tea! They had a free-to-play pool table too and great wifi connection. We spent our night there before returning to our hostel to get ready for the climb then went to leep.