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Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

In Brief: Photos from our Christmas Day hike from Jiankou to the Mutianyu Great Wall.

We do Christmas hikes every year, and in 2014 we hiked from Jiankou to Mutianyu on Christmas Day.

The weather was great - not a white Christmas, but in Beijing the next best thing: a blue sky Christmas!

The hiking team started off at Jiankou, and hiked up to one of the tallest Great Wall towers in the area. From the top: superb views of the surrounding mountains, with a long line of Great Wall running along the ridgelines.

From there we hiked on, following unrestored Great Wall all the way over to the Mutianyu Great Wall, which we found almost empty of people – quite a change from the summer season, when it's full of visitors.

After finishing the hike we headed on to a nearby restaurant for a big meal – not a traditional Christmas meal, but delicious nonetheless!

And after the meal … the dumpling-making competition! This is another thing we do every year, and it's great fun. We start with a dumpling-making demonstration, and then it's time to try your hand in a timed contest. This year we awarded three prizes: Most Traditional Dumpling; Most Artistic Dumpling; and Most Dumplings in total!

See all the photos below.

Setting up to start the hike - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

Setting up to start the hike.

This road took us further into the hills, where we'd find the trail to the Great Wall - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

This road took us further into the hills, where we'd find the trail to the Great Wall.

After a big climb up to the Great Wall we were rewarded with this view. Super! - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

After a big climb up to the Great Wall we were rewarded with this view. Super!

After a hike along unrestored 'wild' Great Wall we arrived at the restored section of Mutianyu - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

After a hike along unrestored 'wild' Great Wall we arrived at the restored section of Mutianyu.

We hiked on - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

We hiked on along the Great Wall.

Looking back - we came down from the tower at the top left of the photo - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

Looking back - we came down from the tower at the top left of the photo.

At the restaurant, the dumpling-making competition was beginning - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

At the restaurant, the dumpling-making competition was beginning.

Entries in the 'Creative Dumpling' category - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

Entries in the 'Creative Dumpling' category.

At the top, a more traditional style. At the bottom - not sure! - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

At the top, a more traditional style. At the bottom - not sure!

More entries in the 'Creative' category - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

More entries in the 'Creative' category.

The winner of 'Most Traditional Dumpling' - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

The winner of 'Most Traditional Dumpling'.

The winners in the 'Most Dumplings' category - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

The winners in the 'Most Dumplings' category.

Calendars and hiking vouchers for the top 3 Creative Dumplings - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

Calendars and hiking vouchers for the top 3 in the Creative Dumplings category of the competition.

Merry Christmas! - Great Wall Christmas 2014 - Jiankou to Mutianyu

Merry Christmas!

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