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Tito Arosio, Luca Vallata and new mountaineering ways in China

The reason, that had taken us to this remote area in China, was to climb the little explored Genyen Massif. It was a great chance in mountaineering to take.


We were a team of 7 mountaineers, one different from the other. Together with me Luca, my friend, the British James (logistics organizer), Tom, Rob, the Irish Peter and during expedition Heather joined us as well.


In order to achieve the Massif we had to receive the permission from the monks who forbade us to climb the highest mountain, the Genyen (6204 m), since it was considered sacred. In the past, however, a Japanese and an Italian expedition had ascended this mountain.


Another reason that made me decide to take part in this expedition was my desire to experience the Tibetan culture. Officially, it is Sichuan, China but, historically, it is Western Tibet. Han people are a small ethnic group and the official language is Tibetan! In Litang sweet breakfast does not exist and so at 08.00 a.m. spicy noodles soup.


We had spent some time with the monks and drank together the delicious Butter Tea, a hot drink made of tea, salt and butter from yak milk.


In the Genyen Massif there is the Rengo Monastery built in 1100, one of the very few Monasteries that had survived the Cultural Revolution. The monks, a community of 200 people, live according to lamaist monastic rhythms in the new monastery under construction at the heart of the Genyen Massif.


At the base camp took place an interesting exchange of different cultural points of view. We learned to appreciate porridge and mixed vegetables at breakfast, while British realized that pasta without a lot of ingredients and spices could be good.


The weather was not good and we spent a lot of time under the rain, completely discouraged. James and Rob succeeded in ascending Hutza Mount and, one week later, James and Peter tried another way. Luca and me, after we had tried to ascend Hutza Mount along the western crest, aimed to a wonderful, nameless and virgin mountain (5912 m). We succeeded in ascending and descending in 3 days, with an average difficulty of climbing.


During this trip I understood that sometimes going to the mountains is more a reason to visit remote places, far from tourism areas and if it is possible to succeed in ascending a beautiful mountain, it is the cherry on top!


When you leave for an unknown place, all is more difficult, from the equipment to logistics variables. In addition to this, there is the continuous confrontation with a different culture that may make you misunderstand your aims.