After I’d fallen by the wayside, H went on with the horse trekking down into the valleys. Meanwhile I was suffering in the frozen hotel bathroom.
Mount Siguniang translates as “Four Maidens Mountain” (or Skubla in Tibetan) and is the highest peak of the Qionglai mountain range.
The four peaks are individually named. DaFeng or Big Sister is 5025m. “Peak of the Second Sister” is 5276m, “Peak of the Third Sister” is 5664m and the hardest to climb.
The next two along are imaginatively named Second Peak and Third Peak.
The highest fourth peak is known as Yaomei Feng, or “Peak of the Youngest Sister”. At 6250m it’s also the second highest peak in Sichuan Province. (Mount Gonga is the clear winner at 7556m).
Mt Siguniang National Park is marketed as the Oriental Alps and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries.
Siguniang Visitor Tips
The first valley is the most tourist friendly. We stayed in the second valley, in a town called RiLongZhen . It only takes 20 minutes to walk the full length of the town. From 7pm to 6am the town appeared dead.
It’s cold. Very cold. Even the bottom of the three valleys that make up the national park are at considerable altitude.
When booking a hotel it’s worth checking that they have electric blankets as there was no heating in our rooms. Even if they do, power cuts are common throughout the day and night.
Restaurants in RiLongZhen were uniformly dull and the food shops mostly sold hiking snacks.
One of the best parts about visiting Siguniang is the beautiful drive there over the JiaJinShan Pass. This is not the shortest route, but is the most drivable road into the area.
The cold weather wear down camera batteries quickly, so keep a spare handy, as despite all the pitfalls above the town does lie in the middle of some amazing scenery.