Alternate Base Camp Route (备用大本营路线)
Region: Alpine Lakes Region
Itinerary: Haba Village—Black Boulder Junction—Xiaoqila Meadow—Daqila Shelter—Base Camp
Distance: 9 km one-way
Duration: 5 hours one-way
Altitude in Meters: Start 2,650. Max 4,100. End 4,100
Elevation Gain: 1,450 meters
Hiking Times: Haba Snow Mountain Inn to Black Boulder Junction 1:05 hrs. Xiaoqila Meadow 2:30 hrs. Daqila Shelter 3:00 hrs. Base Camp 5:00 hrs.
Please read the explanation of hiking times, distances, altitudes and rating levels.
This route takes an alternate and less steep path than the lower part of the Base Camp Route (大本营路线). It leads to the meadow known as Xiaoqila (小七拉), elevation 3,400 meters. Just above the meadow the path merges with the Base Camp Route. This alternate route is used by mountain guides from Haba Snow Mountain Inn, which is located in the Naxi hamlet of Guluba (古鲁八). You will find reliable water at the hut with corrals, Xiaoqila Meadow, Daqila Shelter, and Base Camp.
Black Boulder Junction to Xiaoqila Meadow (1 hour 25 minutes)
At Black Boulder Junction, take the left fork and immediately cross an intermittent brook. Ascend for 20 minutes on a wide and often rocky path, to a ramshackle hut on a level spot. Continue another 20 minutes, to a large meadow with huts, corrals, and hollow logs serving as beehives. You may see yaks grazing here.
Cross the stream on log bridges and zigzag up the steep meadow above the huts. At the top of the meadow, enter the forest and continue climbing until you reach Xiaoqila Meadow, elevation 3,400 meters. You’ll reach the meadow 45 minutes after passing the huts and corrals. The path ascends the meadow diagonally, to the remains of a hut. A spring hidden within a stand of trees to the right (west) of this hut provides water.
Note on the descent from Xiaoqila Meadow
15 minutes below the lower edge of Xiaoqila Meadow, go left at the fork to continue descending the Alternate Base Camp Route.