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Hiking photos - Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall, 2011/3/19

Today we headed northwest from the urban center of China’s capital for the hike. At the start, we wound our way up a valley past some terraces until we got to the section of trail that led to an access point on the Great Wall. From high points on the wall near the access point, we could see other parts of the wall snaking off far into the distance.

This section of the wall is unrestored and we had to climb up and down along some narrow sections before we reached the General’s Tower, which commands a stunning panorama of the surrounding area. We took a snack break up on the Wall, which was the best place from which to enjoy the views.

After descending the other side of the General’s Tower, we skirted around some of the more decrepit sections of the Great Wall along forest trails. Finally, we headed down off of the wall and into a nearby village to end the hike, and then went to enjoy a delicious and well deserved meal.

, Beijing Hikers Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike, March 19, 2011

Hikers working their way upward toward the wall.

, Beijing Hikers Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike, March 19, 2011

A short break between uphill sections.

, Beijing Hikers Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike, March 19, 2011

The use of walking sticks makes uphill and downhill sections easier; if you don’t have one, you can borrow one from Beijing Hikers for the day.

, Beijing Hikers Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike, March 19, 2011

Part of the hike goes beside or around the Great Wall; this is to avoid unstable or crumbly sections that might not be safe.

, Beijing Hikers Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike, March 19, 2011

Steep uphill sections like this provide good exercise!

, Beijing Hikers Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike, March 19, 2011

Quite a few of the towers show the effect of time; hikers see what they look like following hundreds of years without renovation.

, Beijing Hikers Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike, March 19, 2011

We had to pass through a number of towers like this one to get to the highest point, on the General’s Tower.

, Beijing Hikers Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike, March 19, 2011

Trying to get psyched up for yet another uphill section!

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