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Hiking photos - Switchback Great Wall, 2011/02/04

We headed northwest from the urban center of China’s capital for this hike, passing the Juyongguan, Shuiguan, and Badaling sections of the Great Wall on our way into Hebei Province. This section of the Great Wall sits on the border of Beijing Municipality and Hebei, not far from the Guanting Reservoir and the surrounding windfarms.

Starting from the floor of a long valley, we followed a trail up a ravine that feeds into it. The Great Wall is situated on top of a ridge at the head of the ravine. Reaching it, we started heading west. We had to climb along some narrow sections before we reached the General’s Tower, which commands a stunning panorama of the surrounding area.

After descending down 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 into the village of Chenjiapu on the Hebei side of the border where we enjoyed a good meal and met our bus for the ride back to the city.

The group walks down a road, Beijing Hikers Switchback Great Wall, February 04, 2011

The group walks down a road to reach the trailhead.

Climbing up a valley, Beijing Hikers Switchback Great Wall, February 04, 2011

The hike starts with a climb up a valley to reach the Great Wall, which was built on top of a ridge.

A view of the Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Switchback Great Wall, February 04, 2011

A view of the Great Wall on the way up the valley.

Climbing on top of the wall, Beijing Hikers Switchback Great Wall, February 04, 20111

We were able to climb on top of the wall at a place where it had crumbled and provided access.

The Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Switchback Great Wall, February 04, 2011

The Great Wall in this area has not been restored. We made sure to walk carefully so as not to dislodge any bricks and damage the Wall.

Climbing along the Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Switchback Great Wall, February 04, 2011

After a rigorous climb up the valley, we still had some steep and challenging climbs along the Great Wall itself.

Walking

One of the fun things about walking along the Great Wall is seeing people off in the distance.

Some parts of the Wall , Beijing Hikers Switchback Great Wall, February 04, 2011

Some parts of the Wall were built directly above steep cliffs.

The landscape, Beijing Hikers Switchback Great Wall, February 04, 2011

In winter, the landscape is very dry.

The General’s Tower, Beijing Hikers Switchback Great Wall, February 04, 2011

The General’s Tower is the highest point of the hike.

The approach to the General’s Tower, Beijing Hikers Switchback Great Wall, February 04, 2011

The approach to the General’s Tower is very steep, but the views from the top of the surrounding area are fantastic.

The approach, Beijing Hikers Switchback Great Wall, February 04, 2011

The approach to the General’s Tower.

A crumbling tower, Beijing Hikers Switchback Great Wall, February 04, 2011

A crumbling tower.

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