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The Path to Shangri-La: Eastern Tibet’s Unclimbed Peaks

Climb hiker-friendly 16,000-foot summits--and maybe nab a first ascent--on a shoestring budget, plus get an unchaperoned glimpse of Tibetan culture.

Is your goal to summit as many mountaintops as possible? Learn more:

>> Avoid Jetlag
>> Adjust to Altitude

>> Get Foreign Beta
>> Transport Your Gear Safely

Tibet Trip Planner
Get there Fly to Chengdu, China, and use buses and taxis to reach the trailhead south of Luding. From there, it’s a 20-mile hike west and then north to Minya Konka Monastery. You’ll find countless peaks under 17,000 feet in the vicinity.
Season Spring or fall, on either side of the summer monsoons
Maps The best topo is a 1:100,000 Chinese map (H47-96; $20; Omnimap also has an English-language regional map (Southern China #1; $15). Find a free online orientation map at
Gear Pack for cold weather (nights down to 0°F) and snow travel. Take an ice axe and crampons, and know how to use them.
Visa U.S. citizens need a visa for travel in China. Find details at

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