South face route (and alternatives)
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BETA PHOTO: Our fearless leader, Raymond Chen, cranking up a b...
. pitch 1. easy 80 degrees climbing, about 5.4. very dusty and fungi walls and leaders may need to wipe them off before putting pros. Above the pitch there is a 1~2 meters wide big ledge covered with loose rubbles where you can walk (CAREFUL!) on to the far left (to the south west face) and far right (to south east ridge) to find your route for pitch 2.
. pitch 2. typically has 2 easier alternatives, the only 2 places above the ledge are not overhanging at the beginning of the pitch. a) at the right, a 5.7 dihedral with a small overhanging step. rock quality is better. above the overhanging step, climbing up and slightly left to find a big ledge to belay, where some rosty retreat pitons can be found;
b) at the left, a small bush in the half way up a small gully, rock quality is poor in top section of the pitch, where climbers may choose to go around the top block from the left and traverse back to the right, or aid on the right face with the very thin vertical crack. To climb direct up along the gully where the rock is extremely loose is strongly recommended against. Belay at a ledge by a yellow colored wall.
The belay of (a) and (b) are a few meters apart but can not see each other.
. pitch 3 (YDS5.7 R). from pitch 2(a) climbing up and left, or from pitch 2(b) climbing up and right, to a small buttress feature, and continue climbing to under a small overhanging rock. To place a strong pro here is strongly advised (or the leader may hit the deck should s/he falls and the pro fails in the later half of the pitch where the rock quality is poor). Climbers may want to traverse left (loose rocks, very exposed, but easier) for the dihedral or right for the face (an abandon piton can be found on the face). Prepare to get dusty in the dihedral. Beware of loose rocks. Test your holds before weigh on. Climb up to a very huge ledge with loose rubbles and bushes.
. pitch 4. You are a few meters away from the summit. The final pitch is technically very easy (class 4 or easy 5) but the rock is very poor. Parties may choose to pass and traverse right (east) along the ledge and find the traditional route to summit.
. NOTE: after years of massive earth quakes and typhoons, it is now (observed in 2009) not easy any more to walk on the huge ledge at the top of pitch 1 (ie, the top of pitch 2 of south west face routes) from the left of south west face to the south east ridge to choose your pitch 2 route (but still easy to walk on for choosing routes on the south face). Parties should choose their routes either on the south or south west face before starting pitch 1 now.
. about 1 hour hiking the access trail (from "Zhongba shelter"). Along the north ridge, the base of west face, turning left and up hill along the base of south face. The south face is standing behind a dozen meter field of rubble slope by the side of the trail.
. using bushes above the pitch 3 as rappel point.
. summit and down climbing the traditional route (south east ridge). Rappeling the crux pitch with a bolt (or natural pro).
. Pitons, nuts, cams, small to fist size.
. Rosty retreat pitons or even cams and slings (possibly decades old) can be found at some BS'es or abandon on the wall.
. No bolt, no anchor.
. Beware of loose rocks, especially in top sections. Find BS where you can take cover.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2 (right alternative), a small easy overhang...
Pitch 3, looked very exposed and scary on the wall...
BETA PHOTO: Mt Dabajian viewed from the south (at I Love You p...
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