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Hiking photos - White River Ice Hike, 2011/02/05

Northeast of the main urban area, the White River empties into the Miyun Reservoir. Starting up river in Huairou District, we made our way downstream along the river, into Miyun County and towards the large body of water that keeps the capital from going thirsty.

During the summer, we are able to swim at the rocks where we took our lunch break. As most of the river was frozen over, swimming was not part of the plan for this hike! The ice varied in thickness, clarity, and consistency. At some river crossings, we had to step very carefully across a fragile crust on top of a thicker layer. At others, we could slide and run around on clear ice that was over a meter thick.

One of the most interesting things we observed were the aquatic plants moving in the current that flowed underneath the thick, clear sections. Looking above ice, we could also see frozen cataracts that feed into the river. Around some holes in the ice, water splashed up and froze, forming interesting and oddly shaped icicles. Nobody had any major slips, and so we were able to head back to the city safely after another satisfying day.

A hole in the frozen river, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

On most of our hikes, we look up to the mountain scenery above us. On this one, we admired the ice and water beneath our feet.

Train tracks, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

Part of the route followed railroad tracks that were part of the set for the movie, “Let the Bullets Fly.” On hike back in the summer of 2009, we actually saw them filming here!

Ducks on the ice, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

Ducks and geese gathered around holes in the ice.

Photographer, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

It was a great day for photography!

Geese on the ice, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

The geese and ducks were a major attraction.

Geese on the ice, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

People have gone swimming in the White River during the summer. During the winter, we leave the water for the birds!

Walking on thick ice, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

Some of the ice was very solid, and we could walk as a group over it without breaking through.

Ice fall, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

As the water accumulated and froze on slopes over the course of the winter, impressive icefalls formed. These were one of the features of the hike’s outstanding scenery.

Hole in the ice, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

Holes in the ice allowed us to see interesting formations on the bottom of the ice layer where there were gaps between the ice and the water.

Hikers on the ice, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

The color, consistency, and clarity of the ice varied dramatically. Here, a solid patch and a mostly clear patch formed right next to each other.

Crossing the frozen river, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

Some sections of the frozen river were not completely flat on the surface, which made walking on the slippery ice a little tricky.

Icicles, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

Interesting icicles formed where water splashed up underneath the ice layer.

Lunch break, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

We took our lunch break at a spot that is popular for swimming during the summer hike. Today, though, it was completely frozen over.

Big Rocks, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

A seat with a view!

Frozen waterfalls, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

The ice falls seem much larger than the waterfalls in the summer, because the flowing water keeps freezing on top of itself.

Walking on the river, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

Along some stretches, the ice had started to melt, forming puddles and slush on the surface. We had to walk carefully at these parts.

Ice fall, Beijing Hikers White River Ice Hike, February 5, 2011

An icefall flowing out of a cave.

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