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Life and Death at Mt Bogda, Three Men Rose from Th
浏览次数:711次 更新时间:2021-02-28

Rock and Drink

In 2006, the car drove north with the ignorant Li Zongli in it to climb mountains. In the meantime, a train was carrying Kang Hua, a young man from Beijing, back to Beijing after he had drifted in Tibet for four years. Kang Hua is seven years older than Li Zongli, and he, who was covered in the frost of the high plateau, was one of the first group of Chinese which crested the Yaomei Peak. He was on his way back to Beijing to be the Chinese coach of CMDI.


As one of the earliest programmers who had access to the Internet, he was amazed by what he found about American bouldering culture. As early as forty years ago, a group of the Beat Generation gave up materials and walked toward the mountains. They had no home and job and wasted their days in picturesque places drinking and bouldering.


Four years later, in Beijings Huairou District, a group of innocent young men gathered at the base of the Chinese Mountaineering Association because of mountaineering. Li Zongli, who took a train for two days to get here, was one of the eight new people they selected nationwide.


Zero experience

Comparing to Li Zongli, who had no experience, his future partner Dili had been around the mountains for ten years. They met due to a small fight. At the end of the 90s, when Kang Hua was exploring the boulder wall of Baihe in suburb Beijing, Dili Xiati was observing the foreign mountaineer team in Mount Bogada region curiously as the liaison of Xinjiang Mountaineer Association.


Dili, why do you climb mountains? Are there jades on it?” His Uighur relatives asked him. Dili used to think those foreign mountaineers paid to be tortured here as well. However, by then, he didnt know one day he would go all the way to Beijing to climb mountains.


New growth

A year later, at the foot of Mount Bogada, when Kang Hua was training another group of new people, he saw Dili and Li Zongli again after graduating for two years. Their faces were full of weariness and frustration because they were forced down on the third peak of Mount Bogada by a snowstorm.


Dili had longed for this route for a long time. Mount Bogada, the heavenly mountain, bloomed in the sky of Urumqi like a snow lotus. He watched this mountain as he was growing up, and he had been working here year by year. He fantasized about opening a new route instead of climbing the way the Chinese used when they climbed to the main peak for the first time in 1998.


Kang Hua, whom they reunited by accident, found it interesting as soon as he heard their idea. Three of them agreed to do it from the start. But they didnt anticipate that this road would haunt them for ten years, and one of them almost lost his life.


They reunited in Bogada in the summer of 2012, and Li Zongli was different and sparkled. A year prior, he had topped Yaomei Peak successfully and known by the world over one night. At least he didnt have to depend on Dilis sponsor.


The most significant breakthrough came within, Yaomei Peak used to be Li Zonglis ultimate dream, and he never thought he could accomplish it three years after his graduation. His end had become a new beginning, for individuals, this is a major breakthrough, and boosted their confidence.


They marched toward the old goal with a new experience together; however, this mountain was still harder than anticipated. They climbed a 900-meter-tall ice wall for 16 hours, and they couldnt find a platform to stand or camp. A one-meter-wide ice ridge was just enough to stand; four feet of the tent was hanging in the air. They half squatted back to back with their safety belt on throughout the night.


A fatal mistake occurred when the sun rose —— their only camp stove fell off the cliff, which means they couldnt have proper water and food in the upcoming days. They had to eat snow when they were thirsty and eat an energy bar when they were hungry. They kept going upward while suffering extreme hunger and thirst. When they finally saw the peak, a giant rock was like a wall that stood between them and the last 200 meters.


Among partners

In the summer of 2013, the sky was covered in stars, and three men set off at midnight toward the third peak of Bogada for the third time. They used all their powers and reached the ice wall in six hours. The same road they used 16 hours last year.


The acceleration in speed was not only because of weather and morale but also compromised his belief. While climbing the ice wall, Kang Hua couldnt help but warn them when nobody was covering. But when no one responded, he gave up. I was too cautious last time, and it was not good for climbing fast. But this time, I set the standard too low in order to avoid conflict.


At 7 a.m, they finished the road they had planned. We were too cocky. We thought our condition was incredible and could reach the top that day.


They altered their plan last minute because they were overly optimistic, and they kept going upward. The golden sun shone upon the snow-white mountain, and they marched forward with excitement. No one saw this day, which was going so well, would fall into the abyss.


They arrived at the stone that stopped them last time at 11 a.m., and they were still very confident and even planned to let Dili go first when they crest. However, unexpectedly, after the giant rock, there was a taller and steeper rock wall.


The last 200-meter was much more difficult than we thought.” Their strength, time, and confidence were worn out by one high-level obstacle after another. They climbed until 7 p.m; Kang Hua pulled the plug. It was too late, and retreating in the dark would be extremely difficult.


Why do we have to retreat? We were only two rope lengths away.” They could see the top when they had to retreat. Li Zongli, who climbed the furthest, found it hard to accept. His stressed nerve snapped suddenly, and he felt tired, cold, hungry, and thirsty. When they climbed up, their hearts were filled with enthusiasm; and when they climbed down, all they felt was numbness.


I was extremely disappointed and reluctant.” Years after, Li Zongli reminds the new people constantly, your life, death, and success depend on your partners. If there is something on your mind, you have to spill out soon.


But at that time, he wondered why they had to quit along the way and kept it to himself.


The day was getting darker, and the wind was howling. After twenty hours of climbing, they reached a ridge five thousand meters above sea level. Who would lead the climbing during the next phase? In the extreme environment, and during extreme tiresome, no one volunteered for the most challenging job.


No one spoke, and we stood there quietly for a minute.” After that minute, Li Zongli descended first. He didnt say anything, but he was unwilling.


He was on an emotional rollercoaster, burned out, and couldnt think straight. He was moving according to muscle memory and didnt realize he made a rookie mistake. He used an old rope left by the Japanese thirty years ago, coincidentally, a deaths rope that was going to break; he wouldnt use it under normal conditions.


I was confused as well. ” Dili was descending with his head down, and then he heard a cry behind him. When he looked back, Li Zongli was falling, not a meter away from him. A person turned into a small black spot in an instant. Dilis eyes were wide open, and he was stunned.


Zongli fell...” Kang Hua heard the voice and came. He stared down at the abyss, and his heart sank. They looked at each other in the eye and didnt say a word. They didnt know what to say.


It was ten oclock at night, the day went dark in Xinjiang, and coldness ran through them.


Thrilling night

My first thought was that there was no hope.” Darkness was coming, and danger lurked. What should the two people on the mountain do?


Dilis heart was beating so fast that he couldnt speak. Kang Hua calmed down fast: the Chinese Mountaineering Association held a training class at the base camp, and they needed to radio for rescue. They needed to retreat to C1 to save themselves first, then come back to find Zongli. No one could be in danger again.


Mr. Kang, I think he is moving...” While they were retreating, Dilis eyes focused on the black dot bin in the distance, and it appeared to be moving. Dilis heart started to beat again. It was far, and I might be hallucinating. But a small black spot was still a person. I couldnt bear to left him there.


C1, which meant safety, was 150 meters away. However, they changed their mind last minute and went toward the small black dot in the valley in the dark, in case Zongli was still alive.


Li Zongli was fortunate, at one oclock in the morning, after lying there alone and tormented for three hours, he heard a familiar voice in the darkness, Zongli is still alive, Mr. Kang, hurry.


The next thing he felt was the familiar embrace. A blood clot blocked his right eye so that he couldnt see clearly. He felt like dreaming, and he could hear Dili calling the helicopter, and he said, I can sell my house in Urumchi right now. Though I may be broke, I need to get my brother out.


The long night was torturing; about every other ten minutes, Li Zongli would struggle to get up and call Dilis name. Dili would hold him and say, the rescue will come soon.” Before the radios battery died, the base camp said the rescue team was on the way. This sentence was their only hope in the darkness.


Hope is magical; otherwise, we would be freeze to death.” As soon as they found Zongli, Dili and Kang Hua gave all the down jacket to him. They were exhausted in the howling wind after they took care of the wounded. Kang Hua squatted with his arms around himself. And Dili was stepping at one place because he feared that if he stopped moving, he would fall asleep, freeze to death, and never wake up again.


For three of them, that was the longest night. Time went by, and their desire to live increased and dropped. Dili was trembling due to coldness, and he had never longed for clothes and a cup of hot water so much. In the end, he wanted nothing but a ray of sunshine, even for a second.


When the dawn came, and the first golden sunshine appeared in the valley, Dili looked at it and felt alive, that was the warmest and most lovely sun that I had never seen.


Several shadows appeared on the ridge in the distance with the rising sun. The rescue team finally arrived, Zongli is saved.


New goal

Shall we keep climbing?” Li Zongli was not the only one who was lost, so was Dili after so many setbacks. Dili went back to Xinjiang and didnt climb any mountain for half a year. He sat in his office every day, drinking tea and reading newspapers. Thats what his family had always wanted.


Whats wrong with staying at home? Why do you have to look for torture? You may be dead if you are not careful.” When he was cold and hungry, he asked himself the same question. His home was comfortable; however, something was missing.


We are not people who are content with being normal.” A year later, these two old partners reunited again in Sichuan. Li Zongli, full of energy again, had two new goals and had a new student named Tong Haijun. Tong Haijun was a young man who just turned twenty; people call him Xiaohai. He got a phone call from Li Zongli in 2015 and came from Qinghai. His father disapproved as well.


The night they summit

On Mount Gongga, Li Zongli and Xiaohai were shaking due to coldness in the long night. They sat on a rock that was 6,800 meters above sea level and waiting for the sunrise. The third camp was a hundred meters away from where they had the sleep bags and hot water they longed for, but they couldnt take one more step. I was exhausted, and I couldnt even find our tent.


Fog covered the top of the mountain; at 16:45, they summit Mount Gongga at last.


The news that the Chinese summit Gongga for the second time after sixty-one years went viral online. At the feet of Mount Gongga, Li Zongli and Xiaoha, who could barely stand, safely carried each other home.


Return to Bogada

Their dream to summit Gongga had accomplished, but there was still a mountain they hadnt conquer in the distance and their history. Three old friends regrouped with a shared story. They marched toward the third peak of Bogada again in the summer of 2019.


Neither of us forgot about that mountain.” Every time Li Zongli brought teams to Bogada over the years, he would look at the mountain and remember the dangerous fall in 2013. He is genuinely grateful to the gods and his brothers.


Dili and Kang Hua looked at the same mountain times after times like him, and they would think about the three failed attempts and how they stopped trying abruptly. This deadlock was buried deeply in their hearts and waiting to be unlocked by them together.


This dream started ten years ago because of Dili; someone almost died. And this time, he just hoped his brother could fulfill his dream.


They were teachers and students, and then they became brothers. Kang Hua finally stopped being a teacher; he didnt need to argue, compromise, nor worry silently. They had grown and become trustworthy partners. They understood each other with one sentence, one look, or one hand sign. They just needed to be themselves.


The snow mountain was like a mirror, reflected the past and today. They looked back at the third peak of Bogada, and they finally finished this road. Kang Hua named it 2019 Born From The Ashes. They went down the mountain, and they went back to their daily life, to climb theirmiddle-age mountain.

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