The Minshan or Min Mountains are located in Songpan country of the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, China.
En route from Huanglong to Maoxian where we stopped over for the night; we travelled up the steep slopes of Minshan where 2-lane roads carved out into the mountains seem to rise up higher and higher until we could almost touch the sky.
From the viewing point of Mt. Xuebaoding which literally translates as “Snowy Treasure Peak” the magnificent panorama did not fail to elicit a couple of ooohs and aaahs! Minshan serves as a watershed and headstream that feeds 2 prominent rivers, namely the Minjiang and Fujiang.
Mt. Xuebaoding is the highest peak in the Min Mountain range standing at an elevation of 5,588m above sea level. It is also the first snow-covered mountain in South China. The north, east and west faces of Xuebaoding’s summit are treacherous , sheer cliffs with hanging rocks of over 70 degrees angles to climb. The eastern side is slightly gentler in gradient but is perpetually blanketed in snow.
A stupa is erected here as Tibetans venerate Xuebaoding as a holy mountain and some pilgrims are said to have prostrated and move painstakingly towards their destination in anticipation of a reward for their devotion.
Halfway up the mountain, ravines and gullies crisscross areas scattered with enormous rocks.The challenges and dangers are plentiful for those who wish to ascend Mt. Xuebaoding yet a daring Sino-Japan Mountaineering team successfully conquered it in 1986.
Chairman Mao Zedong eulogized in a poem: “I am overjoyed by the vast snow stretch of Mt. Minshan.” Where we are on the Snow Mountain Ridge the elevation is 3960m and with the breath-taking, snow-clad majestic mountains surrounding us, I concur with Poet Mao as I am totally impressed with the rooftop of Sichuan!