Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Autumn at Mt. Genyen – a trip you will never forget

The summer is too rainy and the sight is not often clear, and the winter is much too cold. Thus, the best seasons for travelling are spring and autumn. Spring is the season when all gets green and the birds are lively: ideal for bird watching. And Autumn features
the most beautiful colours and the best light for photography.

Mt. Genyen (Chin. Genie Shan; 6204m) belongs to the vast Shalulishan Mountain Range in Lithang county in Western Sichuan. It is a quite circular massif that sticks out of a never-ending hilly grassland.

You have to prepare at least three days from Lithang (Litang) for a decent stay in the main part of this mountain massif.

Since there are no public busses from Lithang, it is necessary to hire a car for the transport to Zhangla. From here it is possible to walk or to ride horses which are abundant on the grassland. With a lot of luggage such as tents and food it may be wise to ask a local Khampa Tibetan for horses and guidance.

Changqingchunker Lamasery in Lithang

Dusty road to Zhangla Township. In the background Mt. Genyen (left) and its neighbours are glimpsing out of the clouds.

The trek begins with a beautiful bend of the river and rolling hills.

'Public transport' is required, especially if the bridge is fallen and the river water is too high and rapid for human feet to pace through.

The path towards Mt. Genyen — the colours are so genuine and stunning — no need for Photoshop at all.

Pingli stretching out after a bumpy horse ride. In the back Mt. Genyen is greeting us. Here is a very wide pasture to cross until we got to the foot of the holy mountain.

At the river junction at the foot of Mt. Genyen we have to take the right hand river to get to Rongo Monastery and into the mountains. This picture shows some boulders that came down from the holy mountain itself.

Rongo Monastery and in the background: sharp peaks behind the glaciated Mt. Genyen.

The Rongo Gompa is very isolated and remote. Nevertheless the Gelugpa (Yellow-hat order) Monastery was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.

View from Rongo Gompa out of the valley.

In the monastery the monks like to present their treasures found in the mountains.

Another side valley not far from the monastery leads to a mirror-like mountain lake…

… and to swampy area

until you reach an enclosed basin with vertical cliffs and … a high waterfall.

This place is well known for its richness of caterpillar fungus (cordyceps sinensis), a precious medicine in TCM

You can’t get enough of these views! Here are some more spectacular sights in another marvelous valley on the south slope of Mt. Genyen.

View to the south

... and to the north.

Also a nice place to put up a tent and to enjoy the dusk and a little bit later the stars twinkling in the night