Summit Four Girls Mountain Second Peak (四姑娘山二峰)

Rate this Adventure 20.5 miles 6594.5 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Kyle Obermann

Get over summit fever with 17,000ft+ of elevation. No special gear necessary. 

The route is most easiest found fromthe front of the hostel 日月山庄(Ri Yue Shan Zhuang – 3254m, phone no. of manager:18384253062 (he speaks OK English)). This is not the official startof the route, but it's a back way that avoids going through the maingate and paying a ticket fee. Across the road from the hostel is ariver and a small forested hill. There is a fence along the bottom ofthe hill but there is also a gap in the fence, presumably for localsto use. Cross the bridge almost directly in front of you and the pathwill be pretty clear leading up the hill towards the right andthrough a large gap in the fence.

Follow this path upwards until youreach the grassy crest of the hill. At this point turn and head upthe the gradually ascending, wide ridge where you will pass animpressive stupa with many flags and on a clear day will haveimpressive views of the Four Girls. Shortly after this, you will haveto head down the grassy slope 50m or so to hit the main trail, whichis quite obvious given all the horse tracks. Follow this trail intothe woods (it can get quite muddy), where after a few hours ofgradual ascent you will pass a small rest house which serves food andmany Chinese hikers stop here for lunch.

After the rest house the trail soonascends through the tree line. Once above the forest there is abranch off going steeply upward to the right, this is the path toascend First Peak. For Second Peak, continue straight along thetrail, instead gradually ascending along the side of the mountain.Eventually, the trail will turn steeply upward and lead to aconglomeration of small stone huts at around 4300m where Chinesehikers and their guides usually stay. If you continue following thetrail upwards there is another flat space at around 4468m with goodviews of both First and Second Peak. From Ri Yue Shan Zhuang hostelto this camp is about 13km.

From the camp, it is another 3.5km and2-3hrs to the summit of Second Peak. Continue to follow the trailupward toward Second Peak, navigating up the rocky slope which youcan clearly see from the campsite. At times it turns into a bit of atechnical scramble, but is nothing to serious. There are cairnsmarking the way up the side of the rocky slope until you reach asmall col, where the path takes a sharp turn up the ridge of SecondPeak to the summit. There are steel poles and a wire affixed alongthe whole of this section, so, baring there is not too much snow orice, no technical gear is needed – but it can be a bit of achallenge for those not comfortable with heights or scrambling, thewhole section is still quite exposed.

For a sunrise at the summit I recommendleaving camp no later than 4am. It is no problem to returnall the way back down to the hostel the same day. If the snow isheavy it may be very difficult ascending, especially if there are noprevious tracks in the snow and you have no guide. We ascended insnow, but there were previous tracks and we followed a guided groupup to col where we then took the route ourselves.

Dry Season: Late September – EarlyNovember  

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