We do quite a few Level 3+ hikes in this area. Today we were taking on the toughest version, walking the whole stretch of the Switchback Great Wall instead of just the first section.
We rate it a Level 4 usually, but with the hot weather it could have rated a Level 5.
The wall in this area has some very steep sections—big climbs that feel tough in normal conditions felt extra tough in the heat.
We started off on the Stone Valley/Middle Switchback stretch and hiked up to the General’s Tower. From there we continued, climbing up to the actual ‘switchback’ part of the Great Wall, crossing both repaired and super-rough bits on the way to the end.
At the start of the hike.
Walking up to a tower.
Here just the foundations of the wall remain.
Looking back down the Great Wall.
Coming through the remains of a tower. There used to be a nice arch here, but it collapsed some time earlier in the year.
A shady detour around a broken section of wall.
This is the General’s Tower, the tallest on the first section of the hike. We’d be heading higher later, though.
Looking back to the General’s Tower.
We hiked further along.
Flowers starting to bloom.
We were heading for the tallest part of the wall in the background of the photo.
A broken brick, repurposed as a bird nest.
At this dip we’d be on to a newly repaired part of the Great Wall here.
A lot of steep stairs to climb.
Frank is on the way up one of the steep sections.
Looking back to the General’s Tower, just visible on the peak in the background.
Fancy carvings for this shooting hole.
We’re almost at the top!
A more modern marker.
The ‘switchback’ section, a sharp curve in the wall.
Looking back to the switchback and more steep stairs.
Soon after the switchback we were back on to original unrepaired wall.
A big tower.
On this part of the wall the foundations are made from smaller rocks, instead of the big blocks we saw at the beginning of the hike.
Looking back to that big tower.
The last tower we’d pass.
The remains of a badger.