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Hiking photos – Great Wall Spur 2012/03/18

The Great Wall Spur is one of our most popular hikes, and is named for a section of Great Wall that branches off the main line and ends at a cliff face. One story says that the spur section was built by mistake!

We'd planned to do a different hike this day, but heavy snowfall in that area forced a change to the plan. It worked out as a good change, with amazing snowy scenery seen all day. In the distance we could also see the area in which we'd planned to hike, totally covered by low dark clouds.

While the views of snow covered trees and Great Wall were spectacular, we could imagine the tough life that members of the Great Wall garrison led during the winter. Quite chilly!

a paved country road, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

The roadside scenery was a good indication of what to expect later in the day.

The winter landscape, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

Snow-covered trees reflected in the water of a canal.

a snowy field, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

A stream flows through a snowy field.

The hike, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

We took a short break at a disused hotel before the long climb up to the wall.

a snowy traverse, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

We followed the trail along the hillside, through snowy scenery.

the branches, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

Fresh snow covers branches.

the snowy forest, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

We had to proceed carefully through the snowy forest, or risk getting a shock from a sudden load of snow down the neck!

A view back down into the valley, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

A view back down into the valley we started from.

a beautiful interplay of light, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

The cloud-covered hills in the background were where we had originally planned to go. It was much nicer on this side of the hill.

the beauty of the Great Wall, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

A rare sight this winter—the Great Wall, covered in snow.

The Great Wall rises and falls, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

The Great Wall rises and falls as it follows the contours of the hillside.

Everyone was thrilled, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

Everyone was thrilled to hike in this winter wonderland that day!

The steep downhill sections, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

The steep downhill sections, made slippery by the snow, forced each hiker to exercise caution during the descent.

On this section of unrenovated Great Wall, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

Looking back at a tower we had passed through.

One of our guides, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

Super-guide Yanjing, flying through the tower.

the valley below, Beijing Hikers GreatWallSpur, March18, 2011

Starting the steep descent into the valley below, where the hike ends.

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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