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Hiking photos - Snow Day, 2010/01/03

As we gathered and watched the blizzard at the Lido Starbucks, there was some question as to whether we’d be able to hike at all. We were concerned that the snow would shut down motorways and prevent us from safely reaching a hiking destination. However, we decided that we could do one of our closer hikes, and so we went back to Changping District for a good wintery romp. We began on the roadside not far from the Silver Pagodas, and started hiking along the automobile road, although the snow was so thick you couldn’t tell what surface you were walking on. At first, we were able to walk in the tracks left by vehicles that had passed by earlier, but the further we walked, the thicker the snow became, and before too long we were tramping through knee-deep powder!

We eventually left the roads entirely and set off along a country road that passed through chestnut orchards and eventually came to the mouth of a narrow gully. We went down through the gully, taking our time through the snow, which was half a meter thick and still falling, covering up rocks and tree roots that could easily trip an unsuspecting hiker. The trail eventually flattened out again and the gully widened out into terraces that we passed alongside. We eventually passed by the hot springs hotel and continued along the road, walking past several cars that were spinning their tires in the dry powdery snow. In total, we’d walked for nearly 13 glorious kilometers through conditions that made hiking more challenging, and overall the walk was a unique experience. We stopped at a country restaurant for some hot soup and warm drinks, and then boarded the bus for the drive back into the city.

Statistics: 4.25 hours in total, with 3.5 hours of walking over 12.5km; starting height 171m, finish height 323m, highest point 447m (just before the last valley). Temperatures around -10°C, 15-30cm of snow with deeper drifts in places. Estimated 1262kCal burned.

We visited the same area the day before - click here to see what this hike looked like without all the snow.

Snowy path, Beijing Hikers Snow hike, 2010-01-03

Deep snow on the path through the orchards.

Snow on the path, Beijing Hikers Snow hike, 2010-01-03

The snow fell thickly all day.

Snow covered terraces, Beijing Hikers Snow hike, 2010-01-03

The terraced orchards of nearby villages were completely covered.

Dogs in snow, Beijing Hikers Snow hike, 2010-01-03

The little dogs were happy to play in the snow, sometimes disappearing completely after jumping into a deep drift of snow.

Bird, Beijing Hikers Snow hike, 2010-01-03

During the hike we saw many small birds foraging for food.

Valley, Beijing Hikers Snow hike, 2010-01-03

We descended through deeper snow into a valley.

Snow, Beijing Hikers Snow hike, 2010-01-03

The trail followed a winding course through heaped snow.

Ravine entrance, Beijing Hikers Snow hike, 2010-01-03

The path lead us down a thin ravine that was steep and slippery underfoot.

Tree, Beijing Hikers Snow hike, 2010-01-03

Snow was heaped on the boughs of trees.

Trees, Beijing Hikers Snow hike, 2010-01-03

All the snow made a very pretty picture.

We visited the same area the day before - click here to see what this hike looked like without all the snow.

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