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Scouting photos - Gansu Province, December 2010

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Before we take people on a hike or long distance trip, we go and scout it out ourselves. Doing this lets us find out if a place is actually worth a visit, and we can also find the best guesthouses and restaurants. On this scouting trip, Huijie and Yanjing braved snow and temperatures of -15°C and lower to explore the landscapes of Gansu Province.

This scouting trip took us to the Danxia Landform in northwestern Gansu. Scientifically speaking, a Danxia Landform is 'the name given in China to landscapes developed on continental red terrigenous sedimentary beds influenced by endogenous forces (including uplift) and exogenous forces (including weathering and erosion). They are characterized by spectacular red cliffs and a range of erosional landforms, including dramatic natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys and waterfalls.' (Definition from the UNESCO website.)

While the Danxia Landform in Gansu didn't make it on to the UNESCO list, we think it would be a very interesting place to visit, and it's probably a lot easier to show you some pictures instead of typing scientific definitions.

Danxia Landform, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010

The landform is abundant in vibrantly coloured hills and valleys.

Huijie in the hills, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010

We hiked into the hills to take a look.

A ridge of the Danxia landform, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010
Hills and valleys, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010

Vegetation is sparse, revealing the colourful soil and rock.

Photography in the hills, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010

The area holds much of interest to photographers.

Movie set, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010

This courtyard is a leftover from the set of the movie 'Three Guns.'

Hills and valleys, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010

A view from higher up.

Road, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010

A road runs through the valley.

Colourful hills, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010

More vivid colours in the hills of Gansu.

Snow, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010
Great Wall tower, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010

There's also some very old Great Wall in the area.

Hall, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010

We made a few side trips, visiting halls, stupas, and temples.

Stupa, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010
Temple, Beijing Hikers Gansu Scouting Trip, December 2010

We plan to visit this area a few times in 2011. We won't be going in winter - much too cold!