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Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

In Brief: Photos from a camping trip arranged by request for a group of friends.

Most of our hikes and trips can be arranged as a private trip by request, and that’s what we did on this camping trip for a group of friends who all work in Beijing.

We provided all the tents, gear, and supplies; all set for a fun weekend on the wall!

The group chose their pickup point, a central spot in inner Beijing. We picked them up from there and then drove out to the wall.

It was looking to be a very hot day and we modified our plan for them, choosing the shorter way up to the campsite. The climb up was still fairly tough, but with a moderate pace, plenty of water breaks, and a long break in the cool air inside a cave, we all made it!

Not long after we arrived our gear did as well, carried by our local friend’s donkey. We got our campsite set up, and then hiking guide Simon started on the preparations for dinner.

And we had quite a selection! Sausages and vegetable kebabs went down well, as did the noodles and other snacks. After the main meal we sat and chatted and toasted marshmallows over the fire.

A few glasses of wine helped to pass the time as we watched the sun set and saw the stars appear. After a long hot day it was a great feeling to finally relax and then fall asleep on the Great Wall.

The next morning arrived all too quickly as the sun rose around 4:45am to wake everyone up. After the usual yawns and a breakfast of coffee, bread, jam, cheese, and pickles it was time to hit the trail again. We packed away our camping supplies and were back walking the wall by 7am.

We had opted to climb up to the Chinese Knot on the Jiankou section of wall. This area sees three sections of wall meet atop a high pinnacle topped with a solitary pine tree. We bumped into another keen party here at the top and even joined them for a group photo.

To end the trip we walked down into the valley to a small country guesthouse to finish with a light lunch and a few beers.

Big thanks to Elodie for putting together the group for this trip!

The group setting off through Moyashike village, with our destination seen on the far skyline - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

The group setting off through Moyashike village, with our destination seen on the far skyline.

Getting ready to hit the steeper hill trail - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Getting ready to hit the steeper hill trail.

Hiking guide Tina knows how to cover up in hot weather - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Hiking guide Tina knows how to cover up in hot weather.

Group photo in a shaded spot - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Group photo in a shaded spot.

Lovely greenery on the trail to the wall - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Lovely greenery on the trail to the wall.

Hitting some of the steeper sections on the way up - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Hitting some of the steeper sections on the way up.

Cooling off in a cave on the way up to the wall - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Cooling off in a cave on the way up to the wall.

Some got a bit deeper into the cave - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Some got a bit deeper into the cave.

Out of the cave and back on the steps on our way up to the Great Wall - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Out of the cave and back on the steps on our way up to the Great Wall.

A forested section of the trail - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

A forested section of the trail.

Finally the wall appears - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Finally the wall appears.

Almost at the wall - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Almost at the wall.

Through the archway, and on to the wall - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Through the archway, and on to the wall.

The last of the group get on the wall - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

The last of the group get on the wall.

Exploring the tower - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Exploring the tower.

He had just delivered our camping supplies - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

He had just delivered our camping supplies.

The donkey takes a well-earned rest - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

The donkey takes a well-earned rest.

Setting up the tents for the night - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Setting up the tents for the night.

Just some finishing touches needed - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Just a few finishing touches needed.

Almost done - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Almost done.

Home sweet home - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Home sweet home.

Looking at the next day’s route - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Looking at the next day’s route.

Relaxing with our tent village in the background - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Relaxing with our tent village in the background.

Open air campfire cooking - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Open air campfire cooking.

A toast to the trip - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

A toast to the trip.

Marshmallows and cookies … plus a cheeky whiskey - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Marshmallows and cookies … plus a cheeky whiskey.

Toasting a few marshmallows on the fire - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Toasting a few marshmallows on the fire.

Hot coals - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Hot coals.

Setting off on the second day - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Setting off on the second day.

An early start had us walking in cooler conditions - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

An early start had us walking in cooler conditions.

Looking back along the trail - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Looking back along the trail.

A rest in the shade of a tower - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

A rest in the shade of a tower.

On top of the Chinese Knot - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

On top of the Chinese Knot.

On top of the 'Chinese Knot' at the Jiankou great wall, at just over 1,000m high - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

On top of the 'Chinese Knot' at the Jiankou Great Wall, at just over 1,000m high.

Some colourful local hikers - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Some colourful local hikers.

Big group photo with new friends - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Big group photo with new friends.

The Jiankou Great wall disappears into the hills - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

The Jiankou Great wall disappears into the hills.

A careful descent was needed here - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

A careful descent was needed here.

Bye bye Great Wall! - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

The Great Wall here is covered in trees.

The last tower before the descent into the valley - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

The last tower before the descent into the valley.

Final guesthouse meal after a great weekend - Great Wall Spur Camping, 2015/05

Final guesthouse meal after a great weekend.

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