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Hike Festival Photos: Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

In Brief: A report from our 13th Birthday Hiking Festival, accompanied by more than 100 photos.

After being too busy to celebrate 10 years of hiking in Beijing we thought we’d better do something massive for lucky number 13, so we organised a hiking festival!

We planned two trails – a 24.5km Challenge, and a 7.5km Hike for Fun – and then got to work getting it all set up.

And it was quite a lot of work to get it all set up!

The week before the festival we went and cleared the trails to make sure it would be smooth going on the big day. Parts of the long trail went through fairly wild hills where not many people walk, and we had to clear out quite a lot of fallen branches and thorns.

Then, on the day before the event, we went out and marked the trails with our red ribbons.

And then the big day, October 25th!

24.5km Challenge

It was still dark when we set out at 6:30am for the 24.5km Challenge, and when the sun came up we saw it was fairly foggy. Uh-oh! But we could see blue skies overhead.

As we drove out into the mountains the air began to clear. But then we started to drive down into the last valley, and ran right into a thick fog! The fog was so thick we almost missed the turn off for the trail head.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

A map of the trails we'd hike for the festival.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Getting ready for the 24.5km Challenge.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Hiking guide Ken sets up the poster that describes the first section of the trail.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Our hike festival was a smoke-free event.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Everyone is all ready to get started.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

One of our mini-buses, with the medical support vehicle.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

A quick pose with the posters.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Excited to get started!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

And they're off!

The first part of the 24.5km Challenge took up us a road and through a small village. It was a steady uphill climb, and as we got higher up the fog began to clear, revealing blue skies and autumn colours in the hills.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

We'd marked the trail in advance so people could go at their own speed. Our hiking guides brought up the rear and collected the trail markers so we could use them again another day..

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The trail went up the ridgeline, and up to the big hill in the distance.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

We followed an old trail over the hill, crossing near some old gold mines. We'd been out in the week before the festival to chop back the branches, and the trail was nice and clear.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Coming down the other side of the big hill we saw pretty autumn colours beside the trail.

Hike for Fun

While the Challenge hikers had been climbing the big hill, the Hike for Fun team had been on the way out and were ready to get started.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Hiking guides Betsy and Frank setting up the starting position.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Hike for fun, ready to go!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

On your marks, get set…

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Go!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The Hike for Fun has begun.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Surprisingly competitive!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Kendra has been part of the hiking club for almost all of our 13 years.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The Hike for Fun team are on the way.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Beehives on the side of the trail.

Meeting up in the middle

The 24.5km Challenge and the Hike for Fun trails crossed over not far from the start of the Hike for Fun, and the two groups did meet up on the trail.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Just down the road from the start of the Hike for Fun, a family of donkeys were spotted on the 24.5km Challenge trail.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Hiking guides Abu and Betsy at Rest Station B, the beginning of Section 3 of the hike.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Section 3 of the hike took us up – and down! – some steep sections of Great Wall.

The Hike for Fun started about two hours after the 24.5km Challenge and the faster walkers on the Challenge trail had already made good progress, crossing the point where the Hike for Fun would finish. But after that, they still had another 12km and some big hills to climb!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Leading the way on the 24.5km Challenge, three fine fellows who don't look like they've started to sweat yet.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The first four at the 12km mark on the 24.5km Challenge hike.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

And number five running to catch them!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

A quick snack and drink break before getting into Section Four of the 24.5km Challenge.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Here comes Ben, still looking fresh!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

More of the hikers on the Challenge hike.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Looking good!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Jose coming through, not even sweating.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

More hikers coming through to the end of Section 3.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

And more!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Plenty of energy on display.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Nearby, in the Little West Lake Park, about ten minutes from the end of Section 3.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

And now at the rest station at the beginning of Section 4!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The BMW team, ready to head into Section 4.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Top two from the Hike for Fun.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Third and fourth.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Coming in at fifth!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

All done!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

A photo at the finish line.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

A team of friends on the Hike for Fun.

Fast hikers on the Challenge

Not long after the Hike for Fun finished the fast walkers on the 24.5km Challenge started to cross the finish line at Moss Mountain. They were quicker than we expected!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Here comes Jurgen, at 4 hours 36 minutes the fastest on the 24.5km Challenge.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

A close second, and happy to be finished!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Top two of the challenge.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Number one, finishing the 24.5km in 4 hours 36 minutes.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Number two, finishing the 24.5km in 4 hours 38 minutes!

Hike for Fun, almost done

Back at the finish line of the Hike for Fun, we served snacks and drinks for people as they finished.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Tea, coffee, and snacks at the finish line - good work!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

More of the Hike for Fun group cross the finish line.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Finished!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Hike for Fun participants with hiking guide Kevin.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The Hike for Fun is almost done!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Stickers for everyone.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The Hike for Fun is all done.

Celebrating after the hikes

After the group photo for the Hike for Fun participants, we boarded the bus and drove around to the end of the 24.5km Challenge trail, where we'd set up our tables to celebrate, and welcome the 24.5km Challenge participants as they arrived.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Anastasia and Frederic came in third equal on the Challenge, with a time of 4 hours 53 minutes.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Ryan, coming in fourth with a time of 5 hours and 3 minutes.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Great work!

While the fast hikers were finishing, the other hikers on the 24.5km Challenge were still making their way through the hills.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Climbing a steep trail up to the Great Wall.

The trail followed a short stretch of unrestored Great Wall, and then went down into a leafy valley.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Looking back up to the last tower on the trail.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The long trail went down through the leaves and trees, heading for the Walled Village, the beginning of Section 5.

As the last of the hikers were heading for the Walled Village, more people were finishing the long trail.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Jacqueline in fifth place on the 24.5km Challenge, with a time of 5 hours and 22 minutes.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Congratulations to Jacqueline, one of our superhikers!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The medical support team doing a little work on Frederic's legs.

The big bus with the Hike for Fun participants had arrived at Moss Mountain, and it was time to start the celebration!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Hikers staff, preparing the certificates for the hikers.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Looking good!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Sifan and Konstatin.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The youngest participant, with family and friends. A great effort!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

A well-earned beer at the end of the day.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Smile for the camera!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Here's hiking guide Hayden and Driver Yang.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Team photo.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

A super-sized Beijing Hikers picnic.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Hare, Hing, and May sharing a drink after the walk.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Chris and Susan.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Inspecting the map with Huijie.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Plenty of everything at the picnic.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Going over the map – some parts of the trail were tough to follow.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Huijie, Marie, and Rezika.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Award certificates and prizes for the top two on the Hike for Fun.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Second place on the Hike for Fun, awarded prizes including hiking vouchers.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Third place, Hike for Fun - more prizes.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Everybody got a certificate of participation.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Hike for Fun, all done!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The snacks table was almost cleared out.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Betsy is writing up the certificates as hiking guides Kevin and Jun supervise.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Three friends began the hike together, and finished the hike together.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Picnic table and hikers.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Hike for Fun crew.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Hike for Fun team photo!

Hike for fun, all done

With the prizes awarded and the certificates handed out, it was time for the Hike for Fun participants to head back to Beijing. But the 24.5km Challenge hikers were still hanging about, some just finished, and some yet to finish!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Hilja and Jurgen.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Finished!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Completed the Challenge.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Michael and Markus have finished.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Hiking helper Chen with camera.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

"I've been waiting for you!"

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Congratulations!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Relaxing after a long day.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Susi is finished, and so is everyone else!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The HeyRunning team is reunited.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

High five!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Everyone is finished; now it's time for a beer and part two of the picnic.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The 24.5km Challenge crew enjoy the spoils of victory.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

For the winner of the 24.5km Challenge, the prizes!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Second place also receives prizes. First, the certificate.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

And then, the prize.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Prizes for Anastasia and Frederic in third place.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Fourth place, Ryan!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Jacqueline in fifth place.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Preparing the presentation of certificates.

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Congratulations!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Completed!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

Congratulations!

Beijing Hikers 13th Birthday hiking festival, October 2014

The 24.5km Challenge team photo.

And with the team photo taken, it was time to head home.

A great day, and big thanks to all who joined in to help us celebrate our 13th birthday!

Were you on this hike or trip? How did you like it? Please send us your comments about what was good and/or what we could do a better job of. We'd love to hear from you!

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