2017 Hiking Festival: The Challenge (24km+)

Complete a mountain-walking half-marathon on the 24km Challenge in our 2017 hiking festival.

Level 5+
6.5 hours to finish, with cutoff points at checkpoints (Can I do it?)

This hike is not currently scheduled

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Hike Fest 2017  - The Challenge

Bookings and standby are closed. We can't take any more people.

The Challenge: a mountain-walking half-marathon of 24km, with more than 1,000m of uphill. How fast can you finish it?

Hike country roads and hill trails up past the High Tower, then through valleys and over ridges to Stone Valley Village. A mountain-walking half marathon!

For full information please visit our hiking festival event mini-site, and then come back here to sign up!

Extra: if you're fast enough, you'll be able to access an extended section that makes the trail 30km long.

Registration closes September 1; sign up and make your payment before then.

Event Schedule, September 9

We're starting early to make sure we don't run out of light. Be on time for check in and departure.

  • 06:00 – Check in at the Line 10 Agriculture Exhibition Subway exit.
  • 06:30 – Bus departs for the festival. (We won't wait if you're late.)
  • 09:00 – The Challenge begins.
  • 14:00 – Cut off time at 16km checkpoint and 23km checkpoint.
  • 15:30 – The Challenge finishes, awards ceremony begins.
  • 16:30 – Buses begin to head back to Beijing.
  • 18:30 – Buses begin to arrive at Agriculture Exhibition Center Subway exit.

Trail description

Section A

Village to Border Tablet

7km / 390m ascent / 49m descent

Warm up the legs with a jaunt along a country road, passing through villages on the way to a tablet that marks the border of Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province. The village where we begin used to be a barracks for Great Wall-guarding soldiers in the Ming Dynasty. Parts of the wall and a big archway still remain.

Section B

Border Tablet to the High Tower and down to the carpark

8km / 362m ascent / 763m descent

Pick up water at the 7km checkpoint and then follow dirt trails through the hills before the trail gets steeper. You’ll pass the High Tower, at 1440m above sea level one of the highest Great Wall beacon towers in Beijing. Below the tower, follow a rough section of Great Wall before getting onto narrow dirt trails that lead down the north face of the mountain, crossing over onto gravel paths and then out to a concrete road.

Section C

Carpark and around the corner

3.5km / 48m ascent / 160m descent

A concrete road leads out to the nearest village. Pick up water at the rest station and then head for the hills again. The 16km Checkpoint is at the end of Section C. Pass this rest station before the cut-off time, or your hike finishes here.

Section D

By the Hut and over the Great Wall

4km / 241m ascent / 271m descent

Turn off the concrete road and hit the last climb of the day, a valley trail that crosses the Great Wall at a dip in the hills. Then follow a hill trail down the other to a paved path that leads to the valley on the other side of the hill.

Section E

Towards the finish line

0.8km / 21m descent

Stroll on down a concrete road to Stone Valley Village, where your reward awaits. Congratulations! 23km Checkpoint: pass the rest station here before the cut-off time to access the Challenge Plus.

Challenge Plus

Unlock the extended section by passing the 23km Checkpoint before 14:00.

8km / 522m ascent / 543m descent

Instead of Section E, you’ll follow an access road up into the hills. It’s a slow climb of 6km up around the back of the mountain. To finish, you’ll turn off the road and do a steep section of downhill dirt trail to get to the finish.

Event Organisation

Transportation: Private bus to the start of the hike and back again afterwards. Things you don’t need for the hike can be left on the bus.

Water and snacks: Bottled water will be passed out before the start of the hike. You’ll pass water resupply points at intervals of roughly 7km. More water will be supplied at the finish point.

Pre-marked trail: The trail will be pre-marked, with support staff posted at key intersections.

Cut-off points: To do the full 24km Challenge you need to pass the 16km Checkpoint before 14:00. If you don’t pass this checkpoint in time we’ll drive you around to the end. You will also have the option to finish at 16km if you’re not having a good day.

Challenge Plus: Pass the 23km Checkpoint before 14:00 and we’ll give you the option to do the extended section.

Post-hike party: We’ll break out the beer and snacks for a celebration at the end of the hike.

Who can join?

The hiking festival is open to anyone in good physical health. If you're not in good physical health or have a health condition that could be exacerbated by hiking – for example, but not limited to, high blood pressure, heart disease or history of heart disease in family – or if you're healthy but haven't exercised in more than a year, you should not participate.

The Challenge is suitable for people over the age of 18 who are used to vigorous physical exercise.

Visit our hiking festival event mini-site for the full set of participation guidelines and other terms and conditions.

COVID-19 and participation precautions

The current precautions are minimal. Please read in full here: Operating hikes under COVID-19 precautions

Related content

Photos and trip reports: 2017 Hiking Festival: The Challenge (24km+)

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