Pass 4230 (垭口4230)
Location: 0.5 kilometer northwest of Black Lake
Altitude: 4,230 meters
One of the finest viewpoints in the region? You’ll find it at Pass 4230. Haba Snow Mountain (哈巴雪山), topped by shining glaciers, lords over all. A cascade of lower peaks and savage crags completes the alpine splendor. Walk a short distance down from the pass for an even grander sight: Black Lake (黑海) in the valley below, Haba Snow Mountain soaring above.
At the pass, take a moment and turn your gaze north. On a clear day you can just make out a faraway white fang. That ethereal sight is Mount Chenrezig (仙乃日), a 6,032-meter peak in Sichuan Province. It lies within Yading Nature Reserve (亚丁自然保护区) at a distance of 120 kilometers.
Closer by, try locating Guongba Lake ensconced within its hanging valley. It takes an eagle eye.
The Lanhua Meadow Route (兰花坪路线) traverses Pass 4230.
Col 4460 (山坳4460)
Location: 1 kilometer southwest of Black Lake
Altitude: 4,460 meters
The ascent to Col 4460 offers splendid views, especially of the vast mountain terrain north and west of Haba Snow Mountain. Highly recommended in clear weather. On the way up, but before reaching the col, look for three snow mountains barely visible on the north horizon. They lie within Yading Nature Reserve in southern Sichuan.
From the col, you may catch a glimpse of snow mountains in the distant west. These peaks rise above the Nujiang (怒江) and Lancang (澜沧江) rivers near the border with Myanmar (缅甸).
Look northwest for a magical sight, a patch of pure white floating on the horizon at a distance of 190 kilometers. That is Mount Kawagebo on the Yunnan-Tibet border. At 6,740 meters it is the highest peak in Yunnan Province. Also known as Meili Snow Mountain (梅里雪山), Kawagebo lies on the north end of its massif. On the south end sits the awesome Mount Mianzimu (缅茨姆), counted among the loveliest peaks on earth.
To reach Col 4460, you should start from the southwest shore of Black Lake. Look for a drainage that cuts through a band of rhododendron forest on the lower slopes of Peak 4520. Follow a trail next to the drainage, pass through forest to the meadow above, then climb steeply to rocky terrain and the col. A knoll to the southwest provides extensive views.
Jizhi Pass (鸡枝垭口)
Location: 3 kilometers northwest of the Haba Snow Mountain summit
Altitude: 4,330 meters
The magnificent alpine scenery at Jizhi Pass includes the summit glacier, rocky crags, and the long Jizhi Valley. A person-sized cairn sits on the crest. Access via Jizhi Pass Route (鸡枝垭口路线).
Divide Pass (垭口分界线)
Location: 2 kilometers east-southeast of Haba Snow Mountain summit
Altitude: 4,180 meters
The divide between Haba’s main and east summits. Expert mountaineers can mount Divide Pass for access to Haba’s east face. The terrain is too steep for mules.
East Pass (东垭口)
Location: 4 kilometers southeast of the Haba Snow Mountain summit
Altitude: 4,300 meters
This seldom visited pass provides access to Haba Muru Sanctuary (哈巴雪山庇护所) from the east. Notable for its superb views of Haba’s rugged east face and south ridge. East Pass can be reached on the Haba-Bendiwan Route (哈巴-本地湾路线).
Miner’s Pass (矿工垭口)
Location: 3 kilometers north-northwest of Bendiwan Village
Altitude: 3,870 meters
Miner’s Pass provides access from Tiger Leaping Gorge to Haba Muru Sanctuary.
Impressive views of Haba peak and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山) await the intrepid trekker who makes the journey. For more details see the Miner’s Pass Route (矿工垭口路线).