It was a windy day back in March when we did the High Tower hike, a great challenging hike in the hills north-west of the city.
The first half of the hike was toughest, a long climb up winding hill trails—we started at an altitude of 500m, and walked about 6km all the way up to the 1,440m High Tower.
The weather was chilly and the wind was strong, conditions that felt very suitable for the rugged and remote area.
We stopped for a break at the top, and then headed down the other side, following a trail through a dry, waving grass and crossing the Beijing-Hebei border on the way down to the village where we finished.
To top things off, we enjoyed a delicious countryside food at the end, a perfect end to a great day.
Getting started on the hike.
Some ice from the big freeze in winter was still left over in the valley .
Halfway up the hill, we spotted the line of Great Wall in the distance.
The High Tower is on an exposed peak, and from the photo you can see how windy it was!
We followed the wall up to the highest point.
Super-guide Yanjing, and the hikers taking a snack break.
After snacks, we headed downhill through the grass.
Down the bottom, the reservoir above the village where we'd finish.
A thick sheet of ice covers this reservoir in winter; some ice still hadn't melted.
The lady on the left told us that she's more than ninety, and we think must be one of the few remaining people with bound feet.
Locals point the way to the village temple, where an opera performance was scheduled.
There was still time for a bit more exercise before we headed back to the city.