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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

In Brief: Amazing views of the snow-covered countryside and Great Wall

We headed out to Huanghuacheng in Huairou for a Great Wall hike the day after a heavy snowfall. We were a little unsure of what we'd find, but we it's lucky we went – the views of a snow-covered Great Wall were amazing!

We started with a quick look about a walled village that dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), walking through the narrow lanes and getting a look from above by climbing up on the old walls.

From the village we headed for the Great Wall, following slippery snow-covered field trails through chestnut orchards.

We were able to climb up on the wall for more great views, but not as far as we might have liked to – the snow made the steep wall too slippery. To make up for it we climbed another nearby section after lunch, reaching the ridgeline high above a local reservoir.

the top of the former defensive wall, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

Snow tops the walls of the walled village.

A heavy grinding stone, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

It will be a bit difficult to grind the corn today! This grindstone is used to make cornmeal and flour.

The ancient building, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

A derelict house.

the snow-covered orchard, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

The trail took us through chestnut orchards.

The Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

The Great Wall on the ridgeline behind the chestnut trees.

an old tree, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

This chestnut tree is really old.

the blue sky, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

The Great Wall under the blue sky.

Hikers, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

A young hiker amidst beautiful snowy scenery.

thick snow, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

The Great Wall at Zhuangdaokou, covered with thick snow.

the steep wall, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

Some hikers carefully climb the steep wall.

the tower of the Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

Views of an unrestored Great Wall tower.

A small helicopter, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

We met some people who were using a little helicopter to get birds-eye photos of the Great Wall.

The trail is a little slippery, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

Descending the trail on the other side of the Great Wall.

The animal, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

Clear footprints in the snow – looks like a rabbit has been through here.

a narrow trail, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

After lunch we climbed up a narrow hill trail to another section of Great Wall.

the top of the tower, Beijing Hikers Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

The sun came out, and we enjoyed the views of the reservoir below.

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