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China Hiking Rain Huashan Soldiers Path

24 April 2018

Everybody can get fogged

Today was a very long, very wet day. The steps in my journey went subway - high speed train - free shuttle bus - paid shuttle bus - epic hike in the fog up - epic hike in the even foggier fog down - paid shuttle bus - free shuttle bus - high speed train - subway.
My destination was Huashan, one of Chinas AAAAA tourist destinations, and one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. It is quite high, over 2000 metres, it is very rocky and steep, and it is where you often see photos of people walking along a plank hanging onto a wire. There is more than one mountain in China where you can do the plank walk, but they are not mandatory to climb the mountain, they cost money, you have to line up for an hour, you must wear a harness etc. Today that wasnt even an option, the rain and fog meant it wasnt operating.

I went to Huashan, sometimes referred to as the worlds most dangerous mountain by tour bus companies, to climb the Soldiers route to the top.
When I got off the first bus, it was not raining, there was no fog. When I got off the second bus I could barely see my hand in front of me.
I did buy a poncho but going up I could not put it on because I was overheating. Its supposed to take many hours to the top cable car station up the steep steps, I did it in two hours without stopping. I worked out based on a standard level of a building having 20 stairs, that it was equivalent to walking up 300 floors.

Once you get to the top cable car station, theres nearly as many steps to go again if you want to visit all 4 peaks in the park, so I did just that! At times there were a lot of people, at times there were none, at all times there was fog, this means the photos are crappy!

Despite the weather I had a great time, going down the same way I came up I passed two actual soldiers, they wanted to chat, they seemed impressed that I went up the soldiers path on my own, in the rain and so quickly. Thats enough bragging, onto the crappy pics.

China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Here is the entrance to the Huashan mountain park, the entrance fee is enormous, $40 Australian dollars. I felt bad for poor Chinese families who may

Here is the entrance to the Huashan mountain park, the entrance fee is enormous, $40 Australian dollars. I felt bad for poor Chinese families who may have been spending a huge amount of their income today in such poor weather.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - The all important, AAAAA rating. There are not many places in China that get this rating for tourism.

The all important, AAAAA rating. There are not many places in China that get this rating for tourism.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - This is where the 2nd shuttle bus ends its journey. Every single other person then headed straight to the cable car, not me...

This is where the 2nd shuttle bus ends its journey. Every single other person then headed straight to the cable car, not me...


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Locating the start of my path was very easy. In China its all paths, with steps and guide rails, no trails!

Locating the start of my path was very easy. In China its all paths, with steps and guide rails, no trails!


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - I took one last look at a non foggy world, rocks jutting up everywhere. Actually it was already very foggy.

I took one last look at a non foggy world, rocks jutting up everywhere. Actually it was already very foggy.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Starting my ascent, there is the bus station, now we head into the fog and rain.

Starting my ascent, there is the bus station, now we head into the fog and rain.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Huge rock faces, I think! Reminded me of Taroko gorge in Taiwan.

Huge rock faces, I think! Reminded me of Taroko gorge in Taiwan.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - This valley had a brief clearing in the fog, it would be the last, there are the cable cars overhead! I was enjoying myself, I did not wish I was on t

This valley had a brief clearing in the fog, it would be the last, there are the cable cars overhead! I was enjoying myself, I did not wish I was on the cable cars at all.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Very eerie ascent.

Very eerie ascent.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - This is a famous spot on the trail, the 80 degree steps. As you can see theres a couple of different options for how steep you want to go. Also note t

This is a famous spot on the trail, the 80 degree steps. As you can see theres a couple of different options for how steep you want to go. Also note the rubbish bins, this park was also absolutely spotless, and there were a few brave old folks assigned to emptying the bins.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - I then climbed this waterfall.

I then climbed this waterfall.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Despite this being the difficult path, there are still a couple of good quality public toilets built on the edge of a cliff.

Despite this being the difficult path, there are still a couple of good quality public toilets built on the edge of a cliff.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Another brief break in the fog, and when I say break in the fog, I mean slightly less dense fog.

Another brief break in the fog, and when I say break in the fog, I mean slightly less dense fog.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - The steps went on and on, you can tell by the way those people are coming down how steep they are.

The steps went on and on, you can tell by the way those people are coming down how steep they are.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - And here is the summit of the North peak, so much fog.

And here is the summit of the North peak, so much fog.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Enjoy the great 'view'. Apparently its one of the greatest views in all of China!

Enjoy the great 'view'. Apparently its one of the greatest views in all of China!


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Time to keep climbing and look at a lot of padlocks. I had my lock picking kit with me so removed about 20 and hurled them off the cliff.

Time to keep climbing and look at a lot of padlocks. I had my lock picking kit with me so removed about 20 and hurled them off the cliff.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - There are of course temples, shrines, restaurants and even hotels! This one is around the central peak area I think. It was hard to know where I was a

There are of course temples, shrines, restaurants and even hotels! This one is around the central peak area I think. It was hard to know where I was at any time.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Here is a hotel lobby. An old lady sits at the head of the table and issues warnings to all those who dare pass.

Here is a hotel lobby. An old lady sits at the head of the table and issues warnings to all those who dare pass.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - And here is a restaurant, a few people who took the cable car up still walked an hour up the mountain to here in the rain to go to lunch.

And here is a restaurant, a few people who took the cable car up still walked an hour up the mountain to here in the rain to go to lunch.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Another one of the peaks. You can buy the ribbons and padlocks to attach to the wires.

Another one of the peaks. You can buy the ribbons and padlocks to attach to the wires.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Obviously a lot of people buy the ribbons, so they have bonus wires to attach them to all over the place.

Obviously a lot of people buy the ribbons, so they have bonus wires to attach them to all over the place.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - I now tried to find another way down, hunting through the fog.

I now tried to find another way down, hunting through the fog.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - It was a really great path.

It was a really great path.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Very happy with this photo.

Very happy with this photo.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - I made it to the West cable car station (there are 2 cable cars) thinking there would be a path down from here. Not only could I not find the path but

I made it to the West cable car station (there are 2 cable cars) thinking there would be a path down from here. Not only could I not find the path but the cable car was not operating. I think its being upgraded? There is however a Dicos thats open despite there being no cable car, and therefore no people!
A Dicos is Chinese Mcdonalds. Without the cable car operating to get to here people would have to walk about 90 minutes from the other cable car.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - I broke into the construction zone and explored the new tunnel to where I guess the updated cable car will leave from. Thats enough use of the term 'c

I broke into the construction zone and explored the new tunnel to where I guess the updated cable car will leave from. Thats enough use of the term 'cable car' for today.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Time to descend. Coming up are the two soldiers I had a lengthy chat with. They were envious that I have no children and no pressure to have children.

Time to descend. Coming up are the two soldiers I had a lengthy chat with. They were envious that I have no children and no pressure to have children. They dont want to have children. We all agreed that children are useless, and should be thrown off a cliff.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Although it was the same path that I took on the way up, it occasionally split for going up and going down direction, I followed the signs that litera

Although it was the same path that I took on the way up, it occasionally split for going up and going down direction, I followed the signs that literally said 'the going up direction'. On the way down this part went out over a sheer drop, I have no way to know how far down because of the fog.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - And finally, I am back at the bus station, soaking wet. My camera was starting to play up, fogging over, not turning on.... It seems ok now but is sti

And finally, I am back at the bus station, soaking wet. My camera was starting to play up, fogging over, not turning on.... It seems ok now but is still fogging up hours later.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - I came down from up there.

I came down from up there.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - As I got back to the park entrance, the mountains seemed to come out of the fog briefly.

As I got back to the park entrance, the mountains seemed to come out of the fog briefly.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Here, have another. They certainly look like spectacular mountains.

Here, have another. They certainly look like spectacular mountains.


China-Hiking-Rain-Huashan-Soldiers Path - Last photo, the Huashan north high speed train station. It has a shop! I was able to get a ticket back to Xian departing in only 20 minutes, which was

Last photo, the Huashan north high speed train station. It has a shop! I was able to get a ticket back to Xian departing in only 20 minutes, which was good because I had mild hypothermia by now.


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