Day 7 – 双桥沟 (Shuang Qiao Gou)
It’s our 5th day of ice climbing training today! We have been really fortunate to have clear skies for the past few days, but today, it was a gloomy morning. It was quite hard to get out of bed today!
We were more or less comfortable with our crampons by now. It’s really nice to see everyone moving so comfortably on ice. Edwin gave us some introduction to the different ratings of frozen waterfalls and they ranged from Water Ice (WI) 1 to 8. We were attempting a waterfall with a rating of WI 3-4 today. Feeling really excited to try it! I hope that we can successfully scale the route.
When we arrived at the climbing site, it was really cold. We were all hoping for the clouds to disappear and the sun to emerge but that didn’t happen. In any case, training continued, and Edwin gave us a demonstration on how to climb a frozen waterfall with perfect placement of the ice axe.
We moved around a lot to keep us warm. The climb was challenging but most of us managed to complete both routes! We had some snacks for lunch and we began our training again.
Yi Qian and Samuel scaling a vertical section of Ice.
Yiqian scaling the frozen waterfall curtain and Samuel scaling… something?
Raymond taking a break.
As expected, the weather became really harsh and it started snowing heavily! (naturally, we did not take any pictures from then on) It got really cold but all we could do was to endure the cold and focus on the task at hand; whether we were belaying or climbing. Safety is of utmost importance and we cannot afford any accidents!
Towards the end of training, the snow stopped and we were really happy. The sun did shine a bit, but we will be expecting more snow tonight and tomorrow morning. We were all hoping that we would have clear skies during the trek to 大峰 (Da Feng), 5038m. Tomorrow’s training will be the waterfall opposite our lodge. It’s a WI5 waterfall. Really excited to face the challenge this waterfall presents.
Once again, back to the lodge for more BBQ food. This time, Yi Qian decided to give the BBQ a shot!