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Hiking photos - Nine-Eyes Tower, 2011/03/20

The Nine-Eyes Tower hike takes us up to an old tower that had nine windows, or “eyes,” on a side, giving it its name. Our route started in the village of Xizhazi, at the foot of a ridge. The Great Wall runs along the top of the ridge, so our day began with an uphill hike to reach the historic structure.

Once we reached the Wall, we had to continue following it along a tricky, broken-down section in order to reach the Nine-Eyes Tower. From the tower, we had amazing views of the north side of Jiankou, the Chinese Knot, and the Great Wall Spur. After exploring the ruins of an old barracks, we descended down the face of the ridge to rejoin the lower section of the Great Wall and picked our way along it towards the Chinese Knot.

Some parts of this section of the Wall are so broken down that we had to skirt along the side of it, rather than stay directly on top of it the whole way. Eventually, we reached the foot of the Chinese Knot. From there, we headed back down to Xizhazi, where we enjoyed our post-hike refreshments.

The highest point of the hike, Beijing Hikers Nine Eyes Tower hike, March 20, 2011

The Nine-Eyes Tower is the highest point of the hike.

The towers, Beijing Hikers Nine Eyes Tower hike, March 20, 2011

Most of the towers in this area have at least partially collapsed. There has not been any reconstruction work.

The Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Nine Eyes Tower hike, March 20, 2011

Some sections of the Great Wall are quite steep as it follows the contours of the rugged landscape.

The bricks underfoot, Beijing Hikers Nine Eyes Tower hike, March 20, 2011

We had to pay careful attention to the bricks underfoot, as many had become dislodged after hundreds of years of weathering and plants’ roots growing in the cracks.

Lichens, Beijing Hikers Nine Eyes Tower hike, March 20, 2011

Lichens have started growing on some of the bricks on the Great Wall.

A path, Beijing Hikers Nine Eyes Tower hike, March 20, 2011

We followed a path that had been made through the thick brush on top of the Wall.

Looking ahead, Beijing Hikers Nine Eyes Tower hike, March 20, 2011

Looking ahead.

Some towers, Beijing Hikers Nine Eyes Tower hike, March 20, 2011

Some towers are more intact than others.

A break, Beijing Hikers Nine Eyes Tower hike, March 20, 2011

Enjoying a break.

The stairs at tower, Beijing Hikers Nine Eyes Tower hike, March 20, 2011

Some of the stairs at tower doorways had crumbled away, so we helped each other through them.

Two happy hikers, Beijing Hikers Nine Eyes Tower hike, March 20, 2011

Two happy hikers with the Chinese Knot in the background.

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