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Hiking photos - Longquanyu Loop and Great Wall, 2011/03/13

When we walk on the section of Great Wall by Longquanyu, we normally climb out of a different valley that involves quite a bit of scrambling and a good possibility of getting our feet wet. For this hike, we turned up a different valley and followed a trail along shallow stream that was beginning to thaw out.

Despite a grey sky, we still managed to enjoy the view from the Great Wall as well as the invigorating climb out of the valley. Most of the Great Wall that we walked on has not been restored, although the final section was recently renovated, which made our descent much less precarious than it might have been if there were crumbling bricks and loose soil. We still had to watch our footing after we left the Great Wall and started up the valley, as the semi-frozen stream still made our route a little slippery.

After reaching the head of the valley, we crossed farmers’ fields and orchards until we reached the village of Xiangtun, where we started the hike. After enjoying cookies and beer, we headed back for the city.

The Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Longquanyu Loop and Great Wall, March 13, 2011

This section of the Great Wall had been restored, making our descent much less perilous than it could have been.

The stairs, Beijing Hikers Longquanyu Loop and Great Wall, March 13, 2011

Although there were no loose bricks, the steepness of the stairs still made them a little challenging to walk down.

Returning a favor, Beijing Hikers Longquanyu Loop and Great Wall, March 13, 2011

Returning a favor!

The ice, Beijing Hikers Longquanyu Loop and Great Wall, March 13, 2011

The ice had already melted quite a bit, and there was a shallow layer of water on top of it.

The stream, Beijing Hikers Longquanyu Loop and Great Wall, March 13, 2011

The stream is not normally this wide, but as water froze on top of itself it expanded to fill the valley.

Heading down, Beijing Hikers Longquanyu Loop and Great Wall, March 13, 2011

Heading down towards the mouth of the valley.

In some parts of the valley, Beijing Hikers Longquanyu Loop and Great Wall, March 13, 2011

In some parts of the valley, the ice was too thin to walk on. We skirted around the edges.

The hike finished, Beijing Hikers Longquanyu Loop and Great Wall, March 13, 2011

The hike finished with a walk up a country track that links a village on the main road with one that is set back into the surrounding hills.

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