DE | EN
Story Marmot Shells Catalog Wallpapers
Shuangqiao Valley - Thin Ice in Tibet
Marmot PROs Benni Purner and Albert Leichtfried
Albert Leichtfried and Benni Purner went to Asia in search of ice. They found it in the “Tibetan Alps”, east of the Himalayas, in the valley of the two bridges – Shuangqiao Valley.
In the old, black-smoke kitchen we could barely make out the man sitting opposite us. The kitchen was heated vigorously for our interview with the oldest person in the village. You could see the life experience of this seventy-plus year-old etched in every little of his face. He told us about the history of the valley. In the beginning there were only two bridges. Now there is a road through the 38 km long valley and tourists come to experience the fascinating nature and the mountains, which rise up to over 6,000 meters right and left of the valley. Tibetans live in the simplest way in the valley, which lies at about 3500 meters, with their sheep, cattle, yaks, pigs and other domestic animals, which are always roaming free. An incredibly friendly atmosphere emanates from the entire valley, where larch forests extend up to 4000 meters. The village elder spoke a warm welcome and was pleased that we had traveled so far to climb in his country. He thought ice climbing was cool and wished us all the best for our projects – saying that we were all like one big family. It was such an incredibly open and friendly philosophy on life it brought a tear to my eye.
After arriving in the metropolis of Chengdu and an outdoor temperature of + 19 ° C, I couldn’t believe that we would still be able to find even a single chunk of ice anywhere. But with each kilometer towards the highlands northwest of Chengdu, the temperatures got cooler and the air thinner. As we arrived in Shuangqiao Valley, we could even see the first ice routes. But first of all we a hard struggle with the altitude, the jet lag and the unfamiliar food – our physical performance was reduced to a minimum. During our inspection of the valley, which was made in comfort by taxi-bus, we could hardly believe our eyes – line after line of ice, one after the other. The locals speak of more than 100 icefalls. All this, with little snow and walk-ins between 10 and 60 minutes from the bus. We had arrived in ice climbing paradise!
Due to the altitude we had to start slowly. We knew that just a few steps would have us gasping for breath. But as the days passed, we noticed that the approaches were getting easier and we were able to increase our selection of routes to go for. We climbed some beautiful lines – the choice was simply overwhelming. By the dry lake we left our mark and created a new sector - the "Austrian Corner". "Mira kim" WI6 and "Mei mei" (“Little Girl”) M10 + were two absolute highlights. "Mei mei" is probably the most difficult mixed route at this altitude (3850 meters). I had to draw on all my climbing skills to redpoint the three pitches of this shapely line.

Now I look back on an inspiring time in Tibet, with many beautiful moments on the ice, but even more profound moments with the people who welcomed us into their family.


Text: Albert Leichtfried | Images: Elias Holzknecht
Shuangqiao Information Details/Extras
Best season December to February Extreme radiation on sun-exposed ice in February
Getting there Flight to Chengdu Take care about a visa!
Transfer to Tibet By bus or Jeep 6-7 hours (2015)
Accommodation 5 colour mountain Lodge | Mr. Su Xiao Bing | Nr. 3 Shuangqiao village | Xiaojin, Aba state | Sichuan, China Very simple with little luxury – especially with regards to warmth
WLAN available
Food Traditional Sichuan kitchen If you prefer continental breakfast, we recommend to bring marmalade, tee etc.
Guidebook www.xiaotup.de Selection of the 30 most known ice falls
Routes Ice falls from WI 1-6, up to 500 meters
Mixed routes up to M10+
Dry tool sector with many routes
Very high potential for new routes, especially for mixed routes.
Language Chinese, most Tibetans speak no English It is very helpful to know a local who speaks Chinese
Altitude The Lodge is located at 3,300 meters Ice falls: the routes start between 3,500 and 4,000 meters
Price Level Lodge: 100 RMB/full board
Bus: 100 RMB/day
Entrance to National Park: 30 RMB/day/person
Transfer: 1000 RMB/ride
An ice climbing trip to Tibet costs about 1/3 less than a similar trip to Norway.
Protection in all Conditions
Marmot’s technical shells
Engineered to outsmart the elements and offer maximum protection in all conditions. With their high-performance functional membranes and sophisticated designs, Marmot’s technical shells are the go-to choice for all outdoor adventures.
GORE-TEX® Pro
Garments engineered with GORE-TEX® Pro product technology are built for maximized ruggedness and are ideal for extreme and extended use. 3-layer construction.
Technical Information:
Water column min. 28.000mm
Alpinist Jacket / Wm’s Alpinist Jacket

Calling this shell the top of the line is just the tip of the iceberg. Made to fit over fleece or softshell layers, this three-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell can take you to the wildest landscapes on Earth, and with style. Cut and sized specifically for the female form, the Alpinist is mountain tough and brimming with all the right technical features.
Spire Jacket / Wm’s Spire Jacket

We didn’t skimp on anything when designing our most affordable offering in a three-layer GORE-TEX® Performance Shell. With exclusive features like the laminated wire rim of our Gale Force hood, and laser drilled pocket backing for enhanced breathability, the Spire jacket is the perfect go-to shell for intense outings.
Spire Pant / Wm’s Spire Pant

We didn’t skimp on anything when designing our most affordable offering in a three-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell. With exclusive features like the laminated wire rim of our Gale Force hood, and laser drilled pocket backing for enhanced breathability, the Spire jacket is the perfect go-to shell for intense outings.
GORE® C-KNIT™
Garments made with the new 3-layer GORE® C-KNIT™ backer technology are durably waterproof, breathable and windproof. The lightweight construction delivers improved comfort for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, trekking, all mountain skiing/snowboarding and freeriding.
Technical Information:
> Up to 15% more breathable than other GORE-TEX® 3-layer products
> Up to 10% lighter than other GORE-TEX® 3-layer products
Cerro Torre Jacket / Wm’s Cerro Torre Jacket

A shell built for the alpine world, the Cerro Torre Jacket utilizes the new GORE-TEX® C-Knit fabric. This fabric is more breathable and comfortable than conventional three-layer GORE-TEX®, with its soft backer that is quieter and less crunchy. A technical silhouette, state-of-the-art fabric and stack of indispensable features make this jacket a top-rate contender for tackling mountain terrain.
GORE-TEX® Active
Garments engineered with GORE-TEX® Active fabrics are built for extreme breathability and ideal for highly aerobic, done-in-a-day activities.
Technical Information:
Water column min. 23.000mm
Nano AS Jacket / Wm’s Nano AS Jacket

GORE-TEX®’s proprietary Active Shell Technology gives the Nano AS Jacket maximum breathability and optimum weather protection, even during extended periods of aerobic activity. This highly technical jacket also impresses with its minimal weight and small pack size, making it a must-pack item for any kind of backcountry action.
Marmot Winter 2016 Catalog
Marmot Winter Wallpapers
Click on an image to enlarge and download it.