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Hiking photos – Gubeikou and Jinshanling Great Wall Christmas hike, 2011/12/24

Every year we do a Christmas hike, usually walking a nice stretch of Great Wall before a feast of food at a local restaurant. For Christmas 2011, we did the Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall hike.

The weather conditions were excellent, and we took hundreds of photos—so many that the camera ran out of batteries before we got to lunch, and we couldnt get any shots of the dumpling-making contest!

The dumpling-making contest is also one of our Christmas traditions, with prizes for quantity, and quality.

The winner of the quantity prize made fifteen fully-formed dumplings during the five-minute contest, and the winner of the quality prize made a dumpling that was judged as the ‘best example of dumpling-making technique’ by the boss of the restaurant.

Both winners were awarded a copy of our hiking book, a hiking voucher, and a bottle of Chilean red wine. Congratulations to the winners!

Scroll down to see all the photos!

village cats, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

As we were warming up at the beginning of the hike we spotted village cats warming up on a sunny windowsill.

This ancient tablet, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

This ancient tablet displays information about the Great Wall in this area.

The Gubeikou Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

The Gubeikou Great Wall.

bricks on the outside, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

In this photo we can see how this stretch of wall was built: bricks on the outside, with the gap in the middle filled with rubble and rammed earth.

the tall tower, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

We continued along the wall, heading for the tall tower in the background.

the wall, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

In some places at Gubeikou the wall is overgrown by grass and shrubs.

an archway, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

Hikers walk over and past an archway in the wall.

a big tower, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

The remains of a big tower.

towards the tall tower, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

Continuing on towards the tall tower.

Looking back at a tower, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

Looking back at a tower we walked past.

a different version of this hike, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

Far behind us is a stretch we walk on a different version of this hike.

A view of the Jinshanling Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

A view of the Jinshanling Great Wall, with Simatai in the background.

a military area, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

From the tall tower, we took a detour down a hill trail, skipping the section of wall that borders a military area.

cornfields, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

We followed the trail down through cornfields.

Halfway, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

Halfway through the detour we started to see the wall again.

the military area, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

These towers are part of the section that borders the military area.

Christmas, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

Clear skies for Christmas.

the wall, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

We followed the wall towards Jinshanling.

a signal tower, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

The round tower is a signal tower, on which a smoke signal would be lit if enemies were spotted approaching.

the restored section of Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

One of the last towers before getting to the restored section of Great Wall.

a good look at the hills and wall, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

Hikers getting a good look at the hills and wall.

The last steep climb, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

The last steep climb of the day.

Looking back at a tower, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

Looking back at a tower we had to skirt around.

a restored section, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

Heading on towards Jinshanling, walking on a restored section.

the parapets, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

This photo shows the parapets that are unique to Jinshanling. The parapets, perpendicular to the main wall, provide cover for archers exposed from the hill below, and allow them to shoot down on attackers.

archers, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou GreatWall Loop Midweek, November02, 2011

A closer shot of the loopholes made for archers.

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