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Moyashike Valley and Jiankou’s ‘Big West’ Great Wall, 2017/1/29

In Brief: See 30+ photos from a long hike that took us up, down, and out of shaded valleys on the way to the ‘Big West’ Great Wall at Jiankou.

A view of Jiankou’s ‘Big West’ Great Wall.

We put on a variety of hikes during Spring Festival, and on this trail we were in and out of shaded valleys, and making some big climbs to see stretches of the Great Wall in the area.

The first part of the hike was on a trail up a long valley at Moyashike. In this valley there are old Ming Dynasty-era carvings on the cliffs. The carvings are usually difficult to spot, but we got a good look as we walked past today.

At the end of the valley we made a big climb to reach the Great Wall on the ridge below. We walk this section of wall on our Chinese Knot hike. Today our goal wasn’t the Chinese Knot, so after walking a short stretch here we hiked down in to the valley on the other side.

Down on the other side we followed another valley trail to get up to the ‘Big West’ wall, passing more cliffs and the ‘Mother and Son’ stones before a steep climb on a narrow hill trail.

We ended up on the wall on the other side of the Chinese Knot, and then headed in the direction of Nine-Eyes Tower.

With Jiankou being a popular area for hikers we usually see a bunch of people out here. But today we had the wall and views all to ourselves.

Our hike finished in Xizhazi Village, and we warmed up with some hot drinks before driving back to Beijing.

Hiking up the valley at Moyashike -

Hiking up the valley at Moyashike.

Past a crag -

Past a crag.

Up through the forest -

Up through the forest.

On the wall above Zhuanghu village -

On the wall above Zhuanghu village.

The platypus in the bag is on a world tour – guess which country he’s from? -

The platypus in the bag is on a world tour – guess which country he’s from?

Hiking down the wall -

Hiking down the wall.

In another valley, on the way up to the ‘Big West’ Great Wall at Jiankou -

In another valley, on the way up to the ‘Big West’ Great Wall at Jiankou.

A hiker below the ‘Mother and Son’ stones -

A hiker below the ‘Mother and Son’ stones.

Hiking up a narrow valley -

Hiking up a narrow valley.

Views of the ‘Big West’ wall -

Views of the ‘Big West’ wall.

Taking a break for a photo -

Taking a break for a photo.

Carvings above a loophole -

Carvings above a loophole.

A solid tower -

A solid tower.

Views back down to Zhuanghu Village -

Views back down to Zhuanghu Village.

Looking out a door -

Looking out a door.

Follow the red ribbons -

Follow the red ribbons.

In some places on the Great Wall you can see stamps in the bricks -

In some places on the Great Wall you can see stamps in the bricks.

Another stamp -

Another stamp.

Parts of the wall are overgrown by trees -

Parts of the wall are overgrown by trees.

A solid foundation -

A solid foundation.

Looking back towards the Chinese Knot -

Looking back towards the Chinese Knot.

The wall follows a ridgeline, with some steep ascents and descents -

The wall follows a ridgeline, with some steep ascents and descents.

Through a tower -

Through a tower.

This line of wall leads up to Nine-Eyes Tower, which can just be seen atop the hill in the background -

This line of wall leads up to Nine-Eyes Tower, which can just be seen atop the hill in the background.

The blocks that make the foundation would have been quarried from the cliffs in this area -

The blocks that make the foundation would have been quarried from the cliffs in this area.

As we got closer to the Nine-Eyes tower hill, the wall got rougher and rougher -

As we got closer to the Nine-Eyes tower hill, the wall got rougher and rougher.

The east side of Jiankou. Through the gap, you can just make out the line of the Mutianyu Great Wall -

The east side of Jiankou. Through the gap, you can just make out the line of the Mutianyu Great Wall.

The trail down from the wall was shaded and cold, and there was still some snow left -

The trail down from the wall was shaded and cold, and there was still some snow left.

We hiked out through a forest -

We hiked out through a forest.

Birch trees -

Birch trees.

In the village we saw fresh Chinese New Year decorations. The wind had got a hold of these ones – hopefully that’s not bad luck -

In the village we saw fresh Chinese New Year decorations. The wind had got a hold of these ones – hopefully that’s not bad luck.

We hiked into the village to finish the walk -

We hiked into the village to finish the walk.

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