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Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

In Brief: Photos of a short-but-steep hike along a section of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall in Huairou District.

The hike starts near a reservoir, which is flanked by two sections of Great Wall which rise dramatically on each side. We start our hike on a well-restored which gains altitude fast, soon giving us a good view of the reservoir down below at the start of the hike as well as the section of Great Wall that runs up the ridges on the opposite side of the valley.

From the high point on this section of the Great Wall, we had dizzying views of the countryside around us and were able to appreciate how the Great Wall spans the rugged landscape of jagged ridges and precipitous slopes all around us.

We headed on, walking down a steep section of the wall where we had to be careful to watch our footing on the narrow stairs.

This brought us down to the valley that leads to a small walled village that used to house the soldiers who guarded that section of the Great Wall during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). However, instead of taking the flat, direct route to the walled village, we started uphill again, soon reaching an unrestored section of Great Wall.

We hiked up to the highest point of this stretch of wall and stopped for lunch. It was a super spot for a picnic, with great views all around.

The hike finished on a winding path down the hillside through the forest and orchards, passing the walled village on the way.

The restaurant, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

We started here, at our favourite local restaurant, and we came back for a big meal after the hike.

Great Wall tower, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

This is the first Great Wall tower that passed on the hike. We could see our starting point far below.

a challenging climb, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

The surface of this part of the Great Wall has been repaired, but that hasn't made it any less steep!

the frozen reservoir, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

A view of the frozen reservoir at the bottom of the valley, covered with ice almost a metre thick.

a nice break, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

A good place for a few photos.

the first part of the Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

Getting near the top!

a well deserved break, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

The group enjoys a well deserved break at the high point of the hike, with views in all directions.

the steep uphill climb, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

It was nice to relax in the sun after the steep uphill climb.

we start the descent, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

Now, we start the descent—just as steep as the ascent!

another rest break, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

We made it down, stopping for a break at the lowest point. There was more climbing to come!

The next part of the Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

The next part of the Great Wall that we hiked along was unrenovated and very steep in places.

Great Wall towers, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

This tower is at the end of a rundown spur section.

the walled village, Beijing Hikers Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

We took a quick look about the walled village, where the homes and courtyards in the walled village were built in traditional style.

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