Friday, 30 March 2007

The End

After our (Nusu and myself) departure the remaining three, already a quite homogenous team by now, managed to put up a new route, roadside at the end of Shuangqiao gou:


TD+, 6a/b, M5/M6, A3+, 8 pitches, 350m (3860m to 4200m)

21 February - 1 March 2007

The story in (Romanian) here.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Working hard in Shuangqiao gou

After we relocated to Shuangqiao gou and we had some more "events" with a haulbag the porters forgot in ABC but counted for the pay (go figure) I managed to climb a WI5+ with Zhao Kai who was there on an ice climbing fest and I withdrew from a WI5 which I hopped on with Nusu due to poor ice conditions. After further thought, calendar consultation and the certitude that with the days Nusu and myself had left will be able to achieve nothing at all we decided to return to Guangzhou- me to arrange folr most of the gear to be sent y train and to tend to some family business long overdue and Nusu to spend last the three days he had left before his departure climbing on the limestone of Yangshuo.

In the meantime Leslie, Liviu and Esposito with two more weeks on their hands (and for Leslie with family visiting in Rilong soon) there was still some time for serious business. After eyeing Potala Peak and deciding against due to the size of the project they settled for a shorter line on a smaller wall, right off the main road in Shuangqiao gou which we noticed while driving there the first day. With no logistics to be sorted out involved and requiring only climbing the boys are hoping to come home with a line in the bag.

In the last message, from today, it seems that they are bivying and that the line doesn't let itself too easily in while the snow seems to keep coming. Fingers crossed and as soon as I have more news about their progress will post it up here.

In the meantime for me the bell calling me to class is ringing....


Tuesday, 20 February 2007

No winners and no loosers





Wednesday, 14 February 2007

The mountain won

As often happens the mountain won this time. That makes this endeavour so exciting and compelling. To return after success to re-live it or to return after dissapointment to change the odds.

It seemed yesterday that this time there will be little scope for success in achieving a line in the time frame we had and with the resources we had and remaining in ABC became counterproductive the least. This combined with an increasingly snowy weather front setting in made us decide yesterday evening to come down, initially to BC in Mulozi then last night to Rilong.

We still have some gear up on the mountain and we are arranging for that to come down in the next couple of days as well. With time left we are putting some warmth in our systems here in Rilong and as soon as all our gear reaches us will scout the area for alternative objectives, some of which include nice icefalls in Shuangqiao gou.

The Englishman we met, Rufus, was also chased down by a combination of lack of required permits and unconsolidated snow on the line he had chosen.

The "Fourth Sister" might delay this winter an ascent but there is always the promise of return.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Still setting camps

we stayed in BC a couple of days. Now we moving it up to 4050m and we hope to set up ABC at around 4900m. we met an englishman, Rufus, who has plans of his own here. Everybody is OK.


Friday, 9 February 2007

BC/ABC - 9 February

Hello to all back home.
First of all we are all OK. We got a bit buggered by our porters - not as many as agreed and not as much work as we agreed either but instead asking for more money. I had to come back down to Rilong today and put some more pressure that things are working as we discussed. I trust it worked out in the end. Things in China, for those who don't know, have a logic of their own sometimes at odds with ours, especially when doing transactions.

We had the BC in Mulozi. My memory served me badly and the distance between our BC and our proposed ABC is double than I remebered so we had to move our BC, yesterday 5oom or so higher. We hope to have ABC all geared up by tomorrow and jump at the wall on the 11th (or 12th the latest) - one day later than planned.

Over the last three or four days it started snowing a bit in the evenings and mornings but not enough to cause a problem.

Everybody sends their love back home and is thinking about our loved ones. Tommorrow I'll be back in BC/ABC and hopefully will have no reason to come all the way down again (to kick butt or otherwise) till we climbed the rock.

Monday, 5 February 2007


We arrived yesterday to Rilong. As ususal I took advantage of my headache to talk to a bucket last night. The boys seem excited about being here and so am I. Never really been in such a big group before, usually climbing by myself or in a team of two so the sight of so much luggage took me aback a bit. Seems like i underestimated our need of horses. I thought 4 or 5 but we ended up with 8 for the way in and we agreed for 6 for the way out. He San Ge, our local contact is quite helpful and my meagre mandarin seems to be doing the trick.

This morning we were supposed to set off but tiredness and lack of sorting out the gear the night before made us delay the departure for BC for tomorrow morning. Just as well since this helps with acclimatisation. We are at 3260m altitude and will set up BC at 3900m with the hope for an ABC at 4700 but will see to that. In BC doen't seem like we will have phone network but I was assured by HSG that we will have on the top of the mountain. So i guess will better get to that top so we can call home or otherwise will be carying our little devices for nothing...

I am optimistic (when sunny), maybe a bit too much according to Leslie, but what does he know...I'll show him when I make that call...

Weather is good although a bit cool, and we are in good shape - litle surprise though since we are still in the village.

Till next message all our best wishes to those at home and those thinking about us!

PS: something I forgot to do and here is as good a place as any: many thanks to my friends who helped in no small way in different ways over the last few days - Calvin, Geordie and Jeff - cheers on you mate!

Sunday, 4 February 2007


we are about to leave Chengdu. Yesterday we met Gao Ming of the Sichuan Mountaineering Association and we obtained our permit for the modest sum of 700 USD. I was happily surprised to see entering the room Zhao Kai(followed by a guy filming) whom i met just the weekend before at the Ice Comp in Beijing which he won. We shook hands, posed for the camera and made plans to meet in siguniang where they are headed to make a film about ice climbing in Shuangqiao Gou. Done shopping in carrefour, had a massage and went to bed. Now, at 7am we took off to Rilong where we have to arrive quite early in the afternoon so we are allowed to cross the pass.

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Taking off

Well, the last few days were really hectic. Organizing stuff, having the
boys coming over (Leslie on Thursday 31st morning, Liviu and Esposito on
Thursday afternoon and Nusu on Friday 1st morning) and getting ready for

We're basically out of the door - in an hour or so to arrive in the airport
and take off to Chengdu where He San Ge will be waiting for us, take us to
Carefour and then to the hotel. Will sort out the permits with the SMA
tonight and tomorrow morning will be setting off to Rilong.

I guess we're on now; no mistaking it...


Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Comunicat in legatura cu prezenta in media.

In doua communicate de presa care mi-au cazut sub ochi azi dimineata am constatat ca avintul gazetaresc a distorsionat cu ceva anumite realitati legate de proiectul pe care il avem in Siguniang shan. Desi pentru cititorul neavizat astfel de detalii pot insemna putin, in comunitatea alpina care este informata ele reprezinta erori care tinem mult sa le corectam, iar “Lista Costila” si “”sint, credem noi, mediile cu cea mai larga difuzare.

1] In legatura cu articolul aparut din “Online Sport” si disponibil online aici:


dorim sa facem urmatoarele corectii:

" Asociaţia ProExpedition România va organiza în perioada 30 ianuarie 2007 - 5 martie 2007 expediţia alpină «SIGUNIANG 2007»"

Asociatia Pro Expedition este unul dintre sponsorii lui Liviu si Esposito insa NU ESTE organizatoarea expeditiei. Proiectul este o initiativa privata apartinind celor cinci membri participanti.

"scopul expediţiei este cucerirea unui vârf de 6.250 de metri din Himalaya"

Siguniang Shan nu este situat in Himalaya (chiar daca asta suna mai bine) ci in
Qionglai Shan in Tibetul de Est, mult mai la nord decit lantul himalayan! (informatii corecte pe ROC sau pe blog)

“prin escaladarea peretelui de 1.500 de metri al vârfului Siguniang, încercat până acum fără succes de zece echipe de alpinişti din lume"

De fapt doar 5 – puternice e adevarat, insa doar 5, incluzind echipa Fowler/Ramsden care a si deschis un traeu, de gheata.! Peretele e intre 1100 si 1300m, depinzind de unde il abordezi, conform informatiilor primite de la alte expeditii. Linia Fowler Ramsden are integral in jur de 1500m insa este o diagonala si include si partea somitala. (informatii corecte pe ROC sau pe blog)

"şi stabilirea, în premieră mondială, a celui mai dificil traseu posibil pe acest perete."

Este vorba de a stabili UN traseu - vom vedea cit e de dificil DUPA si
DACA il stabilim! Stabilirea in premiera mondiala a unui traseu in pereteele
NW a Siguniang shan a fost facuta de Mick Fowler si Paul Ramsden cu o linie de gheata „The inside line“ premiata cu Piolet d’Or!

"Expediţia Siguniang 2007 este considerată vârful performanţei în tehnicile moderne de escaladă a pereţilor mari (Big Wall), fiind o combinaţie de escaladă sportivă şi expediţie.

Desi ne bucura sa auzim asta adevarul e ca noi doar mergem in vacanta..... Nu cred ca
nici unul dintre noi se afla in pozitia de a fi in virful performantei mondiale si inca nici un alt for extern sau intern nu ne-a acordat un astfel de rol vizionar, prin urmare de distantam total de aceasta apreciere, orict de magulitoare!

"Este prima expediţie de iarnă din Himalaya, la minus 10 grade Celsius."

NU - este prima TENTATIVA de iarna PE acest perete. Siguniang shan, desi putin explorat si cu multe virfuri ne-escaladate este incomparabil mai putin izolat decit sa spunem ceva similar in Nepal unde marsul pina in BC dureaza saptamini.

" Cozmin Andron, alpinist din Baia Mare, stabilit de şapte ani în China“

COSMIN Andron. Eu am ajuns in China in Oct. 2004

2] In legatura cu articolul aparut in “Buna Ziua Brasov” si disponibil online aici:


dorim sa facem urmatoarele corectii:

" Isprava se va alege cu cel puţin o nominalizare la marele premiu din domeniu."

Putin probabil ca aceasta afirmatie (impreuna cu celelalte legate de Piolet d’Or) sa fie o realitate mai ales dupa ce Leslie a fost impreuna cu GHM promotorul retragerii GHM de la Piolet d’Or 2007 (vezi scrisoarea GHM de pe ROC)! In plus va fi si o chestiune de stil, presupunind a vom avea un traseu! Pd'O se va duce pe apa simbetei cu primul spit pe care l-am pus!

"Siguniang shan sau „Munţii celor patru fete” este un lanţ muntos format din patru vârfuri. Cel mai înalt dintre ei atinge înălţimea de 6.250 de metri, se numeşte Qionglai Shan şi se află în provincia Sichuan, din Tibetul de Est."

E invers - Siguniang shan e in lantul muntos Qionglai shan din Tibetul de Est

"Costul total al expediţiei este de 15.000 de euro, adică 3.000 de euro de persoană."

De fapt ostul e undeva in jur de 2000EU/persoana pentru cei ce vin din Romania si in jur de 1000EU pentru mine care sint in China. Costul total va fi calculat si dat publiitatii la final.

"Nu vom folosi şerpaşi sau porteri care să ne care proviziile. [...]Un simplu calcul arată că fiecare va căra 250 de kilograme în spate."

Vom folosi cai pina in BC si porteri din BC pina in ABC. Vom cara (haul) noi in perete
insa nu o tona. Echipamentul trimis la la Chengdu si care este majoritatea echipamentului tehnic si de campare inclusiv alimentele liofiliate cintareste 215kg in total! La astea se adauga echipamentul personal al celor ce vin din Romania, alimente pentru BC si combustibil (60 de canistre mici de gaz). Probabil greutatea maxima va fi in jur de 500kg incluzind cinci alpinisti echipati, cu bocanci in picioare si pioleti in miini....

3] Pentru informatii „direct de la sursa“ si conforme cu realitatea va rugam sa va orientati fie spre blog-ul care este disponibil la adresa la care sinteti acum, fie la pagina dedicata de pe In ambele locatii veti gasi materiale semnate in nume propriu si reflectind „realitatea de pe teren“. Orice alta informatie media, fie in scris sau audio va rugam sa o luati „cum grano salis“ si sa va adresati celor doua surse de mai su pentru confirmare sau infirmare.

Cu scuzele de rigoare pentru eventuala confuzie creata,

Cosmin Andron, Leslie Fucsko,
Ion Neagoe, Liviu Neagoe
si Emilian Camerzan

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

The Clock is Ticking

Yes indeed! The clock is ticking! Leslie shipped his gear from France and am waiting for it to arrive any day now. Liviu and Esposito are running mad after sponsors and Nusu, … well he’s preparing more quietly but knowing him, I bet very efficiently.

Will be packing in quite a bit of gear so it gives us the freedom to shift between objectives if needs be and to work as independent teams in kaleidoscopic configurations.

I really hope will be having fun and enjoy climbing over there – I always did and hope this turns out to be a pattern.

Leslie will be arriving to Guangzhou on the 31st of January while Liviu and Espo will arrive later the same day. Nusu will e landing to Guangzhou on the 1st of February morning and after some “acclimatisation” to China and its subtropical thrills will be setting off to Chengdu on the 3rd.

I hope will be able to send every now and again reports via sms and have them emailed to the blog.


Thursday, 11 January 2007

Japanese Attempt

3 January 2007
Well, the rumour has it that around the 20th of December a Japanese team was in the area, apparently attempting the North face of Siguniang. At this time I have no details besides this piece of info. Unfortunately for us history shows it that if a Japanese team wants to climb something they usually do... without much fuss about style or other lame issues.

EDIT 4 January 2007

I learn from Mr. Okawa who is a Japanese photographer and conservationist living in the town of Rilong that the Japanese team was indeed in the area from the beginning of November until mid December and that they attempted the North West face but it seems that without success.

A Story

When I left Europe for China the main reason was that I wanted to put myself in real proximity to un-crowded alpine and Himalayan settings which was meant to make my pocket happier and my seasons fuller. I, as many others, came across Mick Fowler and Paul Ramsden’s trip report about their climb on the ice line of Siguninag 4 while I was in the UK and thought: “Damn! Cool but thanks no!” Then, a few months later, I saw the picture and I was hooked!

When I arrived in China the internet was my best friend till I met real people; some of them were kind enough to allow me to join their trip to Siguninag shan that following winter.

First thing I saw, the morning after we arrived, was her: the Fourth Sister! Right there I knew I want to climb that baby and I knew am in no shape for it…

We had a blasting time albeit adapting to China subtracted 12kg from my anyway diminutive mass, we got bogged down in deep snow while trying an FA, climbed icefalls that went down in the sun hours after we topped out, broke some fingers on the last day while convincing myself that running water is actually ice, and more – we became good friends, and I was in dire need of that. Also, in one sunny day, I trekked (actually rode a horse) with Bob to the end of the valley and there I found the gem – the NW face. It looked even better than in the picture! We turned around and I knew I’ll be back.

And back I went: to climb a North face with Bob in the valley next door and a South West face with Geordie on the peak itself.

Since then I met Leslie whom I knew, again, from the internet, and I knew I found my man for those trouser filling A4/5 pitches I was willing to belay and photograph…. The question was how to lure him? We climbed a couple of days in Turzii Gorge, back home in Transilvania, while we were both home during the summer months and he could not resist my charm...

Actually I think it was more because he never been to China before and our little trip was a good excuse for some intensive course in using chopsticks….

Geordie was out – the coward took a job that actually paid him to fuss around with college girls teaching them how to abseil in Borneo rather than paying a couple of grand to freeze his arse with me on a wall. Nusu was next on the line and all started to look like we were getting somewhere. [Last summer, during some horrendous weather in the Bucegi Mts., again back home in Romania, Nusu was the eternal Duracel-Bunny.] We needed that quality as to complement a team made of an old bear and a lazy pen-pusher, that is to kick us into other kind of action besides boiling coffees; plus I needed somebody to free climb the pitches I’d belay and photograph!

Leslie also called on board two young guns from back home whom I briefly met, again, last summer. I don’t know much about Liviu and Esposito (a chat around a bottle of Coke doesn’t count) but sure as hell I’ll be finding all I need to know about ‘em fellas by mid February! Oh - and from what I know, Liviu sounds like he might be the one to take on the ice pitches I could belay and photograph! Sounds like a plan! I'm sorted! Gotta go out and buy an ATC and some film rolls!


The Team

Leslie Fucsko

Prélenfrey, France
38450 Le Gua
45 years old, married, 1 child

Leslie has been climbing for more than 30 years. Born in Romania he learned the ropes at the communist school, then emigrated to Australia and finally settled in France. His travels have always been with keeping the mountains in sight and he graduated from the North faces of the Alps soon after his relocation to France. Leslie is an all-around climber with a penchant for big walls and aid climbing and a passion for travelling to climbing destinations, whatever kind of climbing that might be. He has repeated or opened new routes in the mountains of four different continents.

His sponsors are: Beal, Millet, Ripair, Petzl, Espace Montagne and he is also supported by La Mairie de Grenoble the GHM and the FFME.

Contact Leslie

Cosmin Andron

Guangzhou, China
30 years old

Cosmin's website

Cosmin was born in Romania where he began climbing in 1989 in the mountains around his native city in the north-west of Transilvania. In time he extended his explorations into the vertical world visiting most of the climbing areas in the country. Following his move to Ireland and then England he learned to enjoy climbing in the rain and slate and on dodgy gear and, as often as time and finances allowed, visited the Alps, some of the Italian crags and the East coast of the US. In 2004 he decided to move to China with the plan to take advantage of the huge, untapped, alpine potential there. He climbed extensively throughout the country, helped in opening new sport and trad areas and put up alpine and big wall first ascents in Eastern Tibet as well as enjoying the sunny beaches of more tame climbing destinations as Thailand. He enjoys and practices all aspects of climbing (sport, ice, trad, big wall, and alpine) albeit the lure of a good epic, the exposure and grandeur of nature make him to see himself more as an alpinist than anything else. However he still doesn't know how his club-mates (in Romania CS Alternative and in China Open Team) see him, given the fact that he’s either not around or always out of shape and hanging of some bolt…. He works as a teacher in an international school in the city of Guangzhou (Canton).

His sponsors are: Black Diamond, Arcteryx, Blue Ice Adventure Equipment

Ion Neagoe (Nusu)

Brasov, Romania
35 years old, married, 1 child

Nusu was born in 1971 in a city in the heart of the Carpathians, in Romania. He has been climbing for 20 years and he is a certified climbing coach albeit he makes his living from working as an engineer in a telecommunications company. He took part in countless and won many climbing and cross-country and alpine skiing competitions. He is also a ski referee and since December 2006 a member of the board of the National Climbing and Mountaineering Federation of Romania. He feels at home both on ice and rock and has a penchant for long, old and forgotten trad routes while he also authored quite a bunch of lines of his own all over the Carpathians. He is supported by ATTA

Contact Nusu

Liviu Neagoe (Mr. G)

Oradea, Romania
26 years old

Liviu has been climbing for eight years. His hit list includes ZugSpitze, Joghsberg in the Alps, Peak Elbrus, Peak Ushba North, Nakra Tau, Kogutay in the Caucasus, ice falls in Romania, Germany, Norway (where he had a go at Vettysfossen, but the ice won that time...) Also he competed in ice climbing events and took part in the 2006 Busteni and Hemsedal IWC stations. He was responsible for new routing at his home crag, Vadul , the West of Transilvania. Liviu is a physician training towards a specialisation in surgery (although last I heard he was paying his bills working on rope access projects...).

Emilian Robert Camerzan (Esposito)

Tileagd, Romania
27 years old

Esposito makes a living working in rope access, which means he’s used at hanging around in belay seats and rigging – at least for the last eight years… He has done his apprenticeship on the walls in Romania and climbed also in Slovakia and ice in Norway as well as taking part in climbing competitions in Romania. He is Liviu's regular partner and co-author of routes at their home-crag, Vadul Crisului.

Contact Emil

Liviu and Esposito are
supported by Sport Expert, Kayland, Echipot, Spelemat, Gotech, Hannah, Solo, and Mountain Expert.

About our Objective

Siguniang shan is a chain comprising four main peaks, the highest of them reaching 6250m in Qionglai shan, Sichuan Province (also referred to as Eastern Tibet). The status of the routes and attempts on the fourth sister is, in December 2006, the following:

South Side:
1981 - Japanese team, SE ridge. FA of the mountain. Summit. Style: expedition siege.
1992 - Japanese team, SW ridge. Summit. Style: expedition siege.
1997 Charlie Fowler (USA), variation of the first Japanese route. Summit. Style: solo/alpine
2003 - Jon Otto (USA), T Boelter (USA), variation on the first Japanese route. Failed. Style: expedition siege
2004 - Jon Otto (USA) and a Chinese team, variation on the first Japanese route. Summit. Style: expedition siege.
2004 ? - Russian attempt on S face. Failed. No details.
2006 - Cosmin Andron (Romania), Waiwah Yip (UK) (July) - SW face FA; no summit intended. Style: big wall
2006 - Sun Bin (China) - (September-October) several attempts on th SE face (Ch. Fowler route). Failed. Style: solo/alpine
2006 - P Batoux (France) and French team (October-November) - attempt of new line on the S face. Failed. Style: alpine

North Side:
1981 - Jack Tackle (USA), Jim Donini (USA), Kim Schmitz (USA) - attempt on the NW face. Failed. Style: big wall
2002 - M. Fowler (UK), P. Ramsden (FA) (April) - FA of the NW face. Summit. Style: alpine
2004 - Tom Chamberlain (UK), Dave Evans (UK), Andy Sharpe (UK), Dave Hollinger (UK) (May) - attempt on the NW face. Failed. Style: alpine
2005 - Chad Kellogg (USA), Joe Puryear (USA) and Stoney Richards (USA) (September-October) - attempt on the NW face. Failed. Style: big wall
2006 - P Batoux and French team (October-November), FA of Siguniang N independent peak. Summit. Style: alpine
2006 - Japanese team (November-December) - attempt on the NW face. Failed. Style: ?

The northwest face of the main peak(6250m) of Four Girls Mountains

Photo © Kenzo Okawa (picture linked from Click on the image for a larger version from the original site.

Photo © Bob Keaty (picture linked from
Click on the image for a larger version from the original site.

Map of Siguniang Shan Photo © (picture linked from Click on the image for a larger version from the original site.

The Project

We have as main objective to open a route on the NW face of the fourth peak. Secondary objectives are ice climbing in Shuanqiaogou, Chanpingou and opening new alpine routes in the area.

As far as the main objective is concerned the plan is to attempt a new line on the main wall of Siguniang NW, somewhere to the right (as facing the wall) of the ice line climbed in 2002 by Fowler and Ramsden. Our time frame is 3 to 25 February 2007. This will be the first ever winter attempt to climb the fourth peak of Siguniang shan which makes the challenge even greater. We intend to approach the wall in style big wall and we are looking at some mixed and ice climbing if reaching the serac that is looming over the face. The estimate height of the wall is over 1000m.


L’expédition est prévue sur 4 semaines au total pour une présence effective “ à pied d’oeuvre ” de 3 semaines , du 3 au 25 fevrier 2007. C’est la première tentative hivernale sur le Siguniang Shan , notre choix se porte sur l’ouverture d’une voie nouvelle, car c’est bien là l’objectif le plus motivant dans cette face qui offre encore de très nombreuses possibilités d’ouverture.

Our Sponsors

These companies and organisations are supporting our efforts:



Liviu and Esposito