Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

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Mt Satseto on the left, rising above Tiger Leaping Gorge
Highest point
Elevation 5,596 m (18,360 ft)
Prominence 3,202 m (10,505 ft) [1]
Ranked 71st
Isolation 141 kilometres (88 mi)
Listing Ultra
Coordinates 27°05′54″N 100°10′30″E / 27.09833°N 100.17500°E / 27.09833; 100.17500Coordinates: 27°05′54″N 100°10′30″E / 27.09833°N 100.17500°E / 27.09833; 100.17500[1]
Shanzidou is located in China
Yunnan, China
Parent range Yùlóngxuě Shān
First ascent 1987 by Phil Peralta-Ramos and Eric Perlman[2]
Easiest route East side: snow/rock climb[2]

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (simplified Chinese: 玉龙雪山; traditional Chinese: 玉龍雪山; pinyin: Yùlóngxuě Shān) is a mountain massif (also identified as a small mountain range) in Yulong Naxi Autonomous County, near Lijiang, in Yunnan province, southwestern China. The range is also known as Mount Yulong after the Chinese or Mount Satseto after the Naxi name.[3] Its highest peak is named Shanzidou (扇子陡) (5,596 m or 18,360 ft).


The view of the massif from the gardens at the Black Dragon Pool (Heilong Tan) in Lijiang is noted as one of China's finest views,[citation needed] and part of Yulong Snow Mountain Scenic Area, a AAAAA-classified scenic area.[4]

The far side of the mountain forms one side of Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Xia). The Jade Water Village is at the foot of the mountain.

Exploration history[edit]

Public performance in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Open Air Theatre.

Shanzidou has been climbed only once,[5] on May 8, 1987, by an American expedition.[2] The summit team comprised Phil Peralta-Ramos and Eric Perlman. They climbed snow gullies and limestone headwalls, and encountered high avalanche danger and sparse opportunities for protection. They rated the maximum technical difficulty of the rock at YDS 5.7.

The Austro-American botanist and explorer Joseph Rock spent many years living in the vicinity of Mt Satseto, and wrote about the region and the Naxi people who occupy it. An interest in Rock later drew the travel writer Bruce Chatwin to the mountain, which he wrote about in an article that appeared in the New York Times[6] and later, retitled, in his essay collection What Am I Doing Here?.[7] Chatwin's article inspired many subsequent travellers, including Michael Palin,[8] to visit the region.

The mountain was featured on Episode 4 of The Amazing Race 18.


  1. ^ a b "China III - Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces". Peaklist.org. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  2. ^ a b c Eric S. Perlman, "Yulong Shan", American Alpine Journal, 1988, p. 265.
  3. ^ "Yunnan's Ancient Cities: Dali-Shaxi-Lijiang". Exotissimo. Retrieved December 13, 2012. [Jade Dragon] mountain, also called Satseto in the Naxi language, takes its name from the God of War in the Dongba religion. 
  4. ^ "AAAAA Scenic Areas". China National Tourism Administration. 16 November 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Tamotsu Nakamura, "East of the Himalaya", American Alpine Journal, 2003, p. 146.
  6. ^ Chatwin, Bruce. "In China, Rock's Kingdom", New York Times, March 16th 1986
  7. ^ Chatwin, Bruce (1989) "Rock's World", in What Am I Doing Here?, Vintage, p.206
  8. ^ Palin, Michael (2005) "Himalaya - Day 82: Lugu Lake to Lijiang", Retrieved 2011-01-13