Siguniang Mountains, the Oriental Alps

By Rosie Wu Feb 1, 2012

Siguniang Mountains, which means "Four Girls Mountain or Four Sisters Mountain" in Chinese, is situated in Xiaojin County of the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. Featuring primitive ecological condition and exquisite scenery, the area is reputed to be the Oriental Alps.

 

With different heights from 5,025 meters to 6250 meters, Siguniang Mountains consist of 4 snow-capped peaks in the northwest of Western Sichuan Plain. They are DaFeng (First Peak), ErFeng (Second peak), SanFeng (Third Peak) and Yaomei Feng (Forth Peak, literally "peak of the youngest sister"). The highest peak is Forth Peak, standing at 6250 meters, also known as the Queen of Peaks in Sichuan. It is also the second highest mountain in Sichuan Province. All four of the mountains offer relatively steep peaks which are challenging to climb.

 

The area on Mt. Siguniang belongs to the interim zone between a typical subtropical monsoon climate and a typical continental plateau climate, which ensures that the mountain remains relatively cool in summer, even though the temperature in the valleys in the midday heat is considerably higher than on the mountain. The area enjoys the usual four distinct seasons. The most striking feature of the area is the marked difference in daytime versus nighttime temperatures, which temperature spread can measure 20 degrees.

 

 

The scenic area of Siguniang Mountains consists of Mt. Siguniang, Shuangqiaogou Valley, Changpinggou Valley and Haizigou Valley, covering an area of 450 square kilometers (111,197 acres). It offers all kinds of landscapes, including imposing peaks, dense forests, limpid streams, fast waterfalls, zigzag valleys, splendid glaciers, alpine lakes, green grasses, and bountiful flowers.

 

The best spot to view Mt. Siguniang is at Guozhuangping, which is vast grassland at the entrance of Haizigou Valley. Locals often consider Mt. Siguniang as the dragon head and Guozhuangping as the dragon tail. The spot is especially beautiful in the summer when many flowers are in bloom.

 

Various ethnic groups, such as the Tibetan, Qiang, Hui and Yi, are still living here. The Jiarong Tibetan culture is especially deep-rooted and brilliant. The largest Jiarong Tibetan village - Zhangmu Village lies at the entrance of Changpinggou Valley. During the Mountain Worshipping Festival (May 4th in lunar Calendar), the local Tibetans will worship Mt. Siguniang, and congregate here to hold various activities to celebrate.