Ascent of Fan Si Pan on 2018-10-14

Climber: Ken Curtis

Date:Sunday, October 14, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Fan Si Pan
    Elevation:10308 ft / 3141 m

Ascent Trip Report

Overnight sleeper train (the Chapa Express) from Hanoi to Lao Cai

06:05 AM - Train Arrived in Lao Cai
06:40 AM - Left Lao Cai
07:30 AM - Arrived in SaPa
08:35 AM - Leave SaPa
09:10 AM - Arrived Tram Ton Pass trail head
09:20 AM - Start hike
10:38 AM - Arrived Camp 1 (did not stop)
12:41 PM - Arrived Camp 2 (stopped for lunch)
01:26 PM - Start Hiking
03:02 PM - Summit
03:40 PM - Cable car down
04:00 PM - Leave cable car station
04:25 PM - Arrive SaPa
06:30 PM - Arrive in Lao Cai
09:50 PM - Depart Loa Cai on the sleeper train headed back to Hanoi


This was a great hike, albeit a tough one due to my lack of physical preparedness, as I was fighting leg cramps and mild AMS the last 45 minutes of the ascent. There was far more up and down that I had realized. I am only guessing, but I estimate between 600 and 900 feet of extra elevation due to the up and down nature of this trail.

The trail is a wonderful mix of natural tread, river bed, board walks, rock scrambling, rock stairs, metal stairs, and metal ladders. It is very lush and a bit slippery in places. Yes, by the time I reached the summit my legs were very muddy from the knees down...

Along the way we crossed paths with maybe 8 hikers and one charcoal gray/black snake which was perhaps 4 feet long... I asked my guide what kind of snake it was, and he said he had no idea, it was only the second or third snake he had seen on the mountain in over 100 summits. Needless to say we were pleased that it simply startled us as it slithered away from the side of the trail as we passed.

Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Stream Ford, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Guide
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Distance:6.9 mi / 11.1 km
    Start Trailhead:Tram Ton Pass  
    Time:5 Hours 42 Minutes
Descent Statistics

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