Haba Village to Black Boulder Junction
Region: Alpine Lakes Region
Itinerary: Haba Village—Seji River—Black Boulder Junction
Distance: 3 km one-way
Duration: 1 hour 5 minutes one-way
Altitude in Meters: Start 2,650. Max 3,000. End 3,000
Elevation gain: 350 meters
Hiking time: Haba Snow Mountain Inn to Black Boulder Junction, 1:05 hours
Reverse: 50 minutes
Note: Jian Shan Route (尖山路线) and Alternate Base Camp Route (备用大本营路线) follow the same route up to Black Boulder Junction (黑色盘石路口). At the junction they go separate ways.
Warning: In seasons of high water, the crossing of the Seji River (色吉河) might be dangerous or impassible. In that case you should cross the river on the auto bridge in Haba Village, make your way to the hamlet of Longwangbian (龙汪边), and ascend slopes to the west to connect with the “very rocky and well-traveled dirt track” mentioned in the text below.
At Haba Snow Mountain Inn (哈巴雪山客栈) in Haba Village (哈巴村), turn left (south) on the paved road and walk downhill. After one minute, turn right onto a road where the sign indicates Yi Village (彝家村). Walk up the road for 15 minutes to a patch of evergreen forest. If your destination were Yi Village you would continue ascending the road.
For Black Boulder Junction you should turn left off the road just after entering the trees. The path heads uphill through the forest. After 200 meters, join a dirt road that enters the wide, bare and rocky drainage of the Seji River. Follow the road to a washed-out concrete bridge, marooned with no roads leading up to it. Pack animals must cross the stream directly. A crude log bridge, if available, helps trekkers across.
After crossing the river drainage, follow a path that zigzags up a steep grassy slope dotted with trees. At the top of the slope the path joins a very rocky and well-traveled dirt track. Were you to follow the track downhill you would reach the Hui (Muslim) hamlet of Longwangbian.
Ascend the track high above the Seji River until you reach Black Boulder Junction, roughly one hour after starting out. The local name for this spot is Labalo, which means "pouncing tiger" in the Naxi language. The junction is located in a field of ferns with a black rock between forks in the path.
The right fork immediately passes a blue water-pipe fixture that emerges above ground, then enters thick evergreen forest a few meters beyond. The left fork crosses an intermittent brook and joins a rocky track.
Trekkers bound for Jianshan Waterfall or Black Lake (黑海) should take the right fork, which is the Jianshan Route.
Those headed to Base Camp (大本营) should take the left fork, which is the Alternate Base Camp Route.