Tu Haiyang: climb to the tops and live up to the youth
(2023-01-03 16:01:51)

Tu Haiyang, master’s student from the School of Finance, Renmin University of China (RUC), is the narrator of this story. He loves outdoor sports. During his undergraduate studies, he served as the mountaineering and cross-country running team leader. Together with his teammates, he continued to challenge and climb the peak. He has climbed two 6,000-meter snow mountains and four 5,000-meter snow mountains.


Hello everyone!

My name is Tu Haiyang. That’s right! The guy fully equipped in the photo is me. I am an atypical science and engineering guy who loves snow mountains. During my four years in college, I found my passion, stuck to it, and did what I thought was awesome: climbing to the top of six snow mountains.


“The chosen one of the light”


My story began with a flyer from the Mountaineering Association of RUC, a student association for mountaineering lovers. I received it just by chance, but it’s such an ordinary leaflet that opened my covenant with snow mountains.


As if a ray of light entered my mind, my brain was running fast the moment I received the flyer. First, I thought of my only snow mountain experience in the past, when I took the sightseeing cable car on Yulong Snow Mountain when I was a child. And the second thought was “How expensive this might be!” So I asked: “How much does this cost?” The brother who gave me the flyer said a lot, but the only thing I remembered was: “It may be free.” Because of such a simple reason, I became attached to snow mountains and have been out of control ever since!


A “free” lunch is more “expensive”


The scene of the first training is still fresh in my memory. We were asked to run 8 laps around the playground in 2 and a half minutes. As a training rookie, I started to suffer from bifurcation and my legs were sore just after the 5th lap. The most terrible thing was that when I looked up, I found that I was the only one who fell behind. I couldn’t help but think: “This is not suitable for me, I could just slip away and never come again.” To my surprise, the mountaineering leader took the initiative to slow down and ran to me. Then I couldn’t slip away and I decided to run. I had to run down no matter how difficult it could be.

In this way, I persisted for the first time, and then the second time. The blisters on my feet were rubbed again and again. I fell in love with running, “running” over one snow mountain after another.


There is no such thing as a free lunch in the world, and how could you gain anything if you don’t pay? A free lunch is more expensive!


Pride pays for the suffering


The first mountain I climbed to the summit was the second peak of Mount Siguniang, also called Mount Four Sisters. I especially remembered that I had a strong anti-climax, which brought me a splitting headache and a sleepless night. The next day, it rained so heavily that I was exhausted both physically and mentally when going down the mountain. My legs were as soft as cotton, and I couldn’t stand at all. Finally, my mountain guide helped me back to the camp. I was so exhausted that I didn’t even change my wet clothes and fell asleep.

Climbing the taller Nama Peak was more tiring than the former one. Starting at an altitude of about 2,000 meters, we had to go through a long journey of up to 3 days to see the true face of the snow mountain. Because it was the rainy season, we often had to hike through knee-deep rivers on the way, where melted water from snow mountains was bone-chillingly cold. My companions and I helped each other along the way, and finally, all of us reached the foot of the snow mountain.

On the day of hitting the summit, we had to get up at 00:30 a.m. and set off. My physical energy was almost run out under extreme conditions, and the warm clothes inside were quickly soaked with sweat. It’s very dangerous, as long as the wind blew, the body would lose heat quickly, which may even cause hypothermia. At that time, I quickly ran out of hot water, and it was only with the help of my teammates that I finally recovered.


We finally reached the ridge at daylight, where glaciers were everywhere and the snow was deep. That’s when I realized my hiking boots weren’t waterproof. Listening to the sound of stepping water in my shoes, I could feel that the inside of my shoes was already soaked. I wanted to climb to the top as soon as possible, but the more effort I took, the more difficult it was. My feet stuck into the snow again and again, and I tripped myself uncontrollably. My shoes were so leaky that I even wrung out a handful of water from my socks when I took them off during breaks. When I descended, I was so tired that I could fall asleep on the spot as soon as I closed my eyes.


This summer, I climbed to the top of Mount Jinyin with my teammates, which is also the highest snow mountain I have ever climbed. Even though this is my sixth time climbing the mountain, the process is still full of difficulties. At first, the weather was not good and it rained for two consecutive days. The rain seeped into the tent and dripped continuously on our sleeping bags, which felt like wearing wet clothes on the bed, wanting to sleep but couldn’t sleep well. Fortunately, in the following days, the sky cleared up.


When we set foot on the snow line, we had to face new challenges. The terrain of Mount Jinyin was complex and there were many ice crevasses, so we must connect with ropes to protect each other. In addition, there was a very long uphill with soft snow, which was easy to sink. That’s why it took us a full eight hours to walk through the short one-kilometer road on that day. The last section of the road before the summit was an extremely steep ice wall, where we fixed ropes and used professional equipment. The process is particularly difficult even if we climbed up slowly with ice picks and crampons.

Every time I climb a mountain, the biggest thought is not “I want to reach the top”, but “I just want to go home!” But I still go climbing every year. I gradually fell in love with climbing and climbed one snow mountain after another.


At the moment of reaching the summit, everything suddenly becomes clear. The scenery at the top of the peak is really beautiful, surpassing all my imagination. Only then do I understand what is meant by “the world’s magnificence, grotesqueness, and extraordinary view often lie in danger and remoteness, where few people arrive.” The night sky at high altitude is so clear that one could see the Milky Way flowing with the naked eye. I can’t help thinking if there is no self-challenge and breakthrough, how can I have the opportunity to stand at the peaks and enjoy the unique tranquility? If you ask me what the lines of footprints on the snow mountains are, my answer would be – it is undoubtedly sweat and persistence.


The infinite scenery is on the dangerous peak. Looking back on the whole process, pain and hardship go hand in hand. But at the same time, struggle and love last forever. Pride pays for my sufferings, only after facing the difficulties could I proudly stand on the peaks.

Here are infinite possibilities

Four years ago, I entered this campus with confusion and longing as a freshman. Hadn’t figured out what I would look like in the future, I never thought that I would find such a love of climbing one day. If you ask me what I have gained in my four years in college, I would say that I have love in my heart and live up to my youth. This love is not a whim, nor is it love at first sight, but a long-term love in constant self-doubt and exploration.


In RUC, I saw infinite possibilities. When I first stepped onto this campus, I never thought that I would have such a deep bond with snow mountains, let alone share my story with you. Looking back, I found that college life is not only a process of self-improvement, but also a process of self-discovery. This is a particularly wide platform with unique conditions, where doors are waiting for you in places you can think of and can’t. No matter what kind of life you choose, you will always find like-minded mentors and helpful friends here, and you will never be alone in the process of pursuing your passion. Mountaineering has become one of my possibilities, but I am still looking for more possibilities.


Hope we can find more possibilities on this campus together! Love what I love, I will live up to my youth!




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