RandomChina travel destination- Huashan 华山

27 Apr

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I’ve been to a few places in China, and I’d like to share some starting with the most impressive nature site. This is Huashan (华山), one of China’s most historic and sacred great mountains. Located in Shaanxi province, one and a half hours by regular train from Xian, Huashan rises up to 2,155 meters. But the height itself is not what makes Huashan so famous or notorious. Historically it has been a place of worship and meditation for emperors, monks, and pilgrims. In more present times, it’s gained some notoriety for being one of the world’s most dangerous mountains. Huashan is covered with steep paths, including near-vertical staircases, and precarious trails. People have even died, prompting authorities to improve safety and build new trails. The most dangerous one is the cliff plank walk on a sheer cliff face over 2,000 meters up, where the path is basically a wooden plank with no fence. Holding onto an iron chain along the cliff is the only way to navigate. This was in the past though. The authorities have cordoned this path off, charging a small fee and requiring you to wear a harness to go on it, but it’s still very dangerous. I wish I can say I went on it, but I didn’t. Still I did go on all five peaks on top, and it was a tough and challenging hike, but much worth it.

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Huashan has five peaks. This is Huashan as seen from North Peak, the shortest of the five peaks at 1614.7 m.

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Walking up the Dragon Ridge (Canlong Ling) are these laborers carrying their loads to supply the facilities on the mountain. It’s every bit as tough as it looks.

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This is what Canlong Ling (dragon ridge) looks like from below. It connects the shorter North Peak to the rest of Huashan. 

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This is the pathway to the cliff path I mentioned above. After this point, you have to pass through a gate, pay RMB20, strap on a harness and climb down to the actual cliff path.

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I thought this was a dangerous staircase but a laborer carried a heavy load up this near-vertical staircase using just one hand to hold on, while a cleaner (guy in red) swept below. The cleaner then went up the staircase as well to sweep every step, whilst holding the dustpan at the same time! In other words, he walked up this staircase without holding on to anything. 

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Sunset at West Peak.

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2 Responses to “RandomChina travel destination- Huashan 华山”

  1. Mike's PhoBlography May 24, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    Too scary for me.

    • hcyip May 26, 2013 at 11:41 am #

      Well, it seems you still had a good time. I actually avoided doing the most dangerous climbs, which you need to pay for, but next time, maybe I’ll give it a try.

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