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Hiking photos - Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall, 2011/06/25

We started this hike at about the middle of the Gubeikou section of Great Wall, which is normally the end of our Gubeikou Great Wall loop hike.

Because of a large storm a few days earlier, the skies were clearer than usual, and we could see from the start of the hike all the way to the hills and ridges far beyond our destination near Simatai.

To begin the hike we had a short walk through a wooded valley before climbing up a hill trail to reach the Great Wall. Close by to this point was an section where part of the outer wall had fallen away, and we were able to see the construction technique: layers of packed earth and rubble forming the core, with bricks on the outside edges.

From there, the hike continued along the Great Wall to the large tower that marks a stretch of the wall that is closed. From there, we descended into a valley filled with trees and cornfields that belong to farmers from a nearby village. We followed a path that lead through the fields, ending up on a ridge that took us along the side of the Great Wall and eventually up onto the wall again.

Not long after that, we arrived at the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall, where the walking was much easier ... to begin with!

As we headed in the direction of Simatai, the wall started to climb up and down steep ridges, and we all had quite a bit of stairclimbing to do. Some of the faster hikers headed on to take a closer look at the Simatai section, before backtracking to the trail that took us down off the wall and to our tasty late lunch.

Statistics: 6 hours in total, with 5,5 hours of walking over approx. 15km; starting height 250m, highest point 610m (the tower from where we left the wall), finish height 411m.

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

A view of the group early in the hike, on the Gubeikou section of Great Wall.

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

The walking on this part of the Great Wall was a bit rough due to the rocky debris found underfoot on this unrestored section, but the views were great.

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

The group descends from the wall into a lush valley that’s cultivated by local farmers.

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

Lots of corn is grown in this area, and if you keep a keen eye you may spot some mulberries.

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

By the time of the autumn harvest, this corn will be almost two metres tall!

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

A crumbling Ming Dynasty tower overlooks a cornfield.

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

The numerous uphill sections on this hike provided everyone with a good workout.

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

But the effort was well worth the views, especially on such a nice day.

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

The clear skies we had that day rewarded everyone with fantastic views of long sections of the Great Wall stretching well into the distance.

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

This was one of the longer climbs, made a bit easier by recent restoration efforts.

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

A rather steep section!

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

Beyond these towers lies the Simatai Great Wall.

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

Part of the group return after taking a look at the closed Simatai section.

, Beijing Hikers Gubeikou to Jinshanling, June25, 2011

We followed a good park trail down the hill to finish the hike.

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