华山 Huà Shān

Mount Hua is said to be the origin of Chinese culture. Thus, it bears the character 华 (Hua) which comes from 中华 (ZhongHua) meaning China. It is located in the ShǎnXī (陕西) Province, 120km (74 miles) east of  XiAn (西安). It is the western mountain of the 5 great mountains of China (and also my first of five to visit!) This is a definite must see mountain!

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Difficulty ♦♦♦  (moderate, steep climbs, icy in winter) expect 6-8 hours
Scenery ♦♦♦♦♦ (See pics)
Size ♦♦  Covers an area of 148km² (36,571 acres) Compare with Yosemite 3,026.87 km (747,956 acres)
Elevation – Highest Peak @ 2154.9 meters (7069 feet)
Overall ♦♦

Entrance Fee : Peak Season 180元 (25$) Low Season 100元 (13$)
Cable Car : 90元 each way
Peaks – The Mountain has  5 main peaks. North, South, West, East, and Middle. The tallest being the East Peak at an elevation of 2154.9 meters (7069 feet) (Reference that to Yosemite’s Glacier Point 2,199 meters (7,214 feet)

 

August 8th 2015

Once you arrive to the HuaShan Train Station you still need to take a taxi into town (20元). A lot of people actually arrive later in the day, spend the night at a hostel/hotel at the foot of the mountain (50-100元) then make their way up very early in the morning to catch the sunrise. I, however, planned to make my way up as soon as I had arrived, as I had a tent and could sleep anywhere.

It’s very easy to find the entrance of the mountain, it is the main attraction of the entire area so there are plenty of signs. I believe the entrance fee was around 200元, make sure to bring your Student ID card if you have one! You get half off!

你好,学生有优惠吗. – Hi, do students get a discount?
学生证 Student ID Card
优惠 Discount

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The foot of the mountain…Little did I know what awaited me…

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A Chinese girl saying, “Hey look, a foreigner.” A foreigner saying, “Hey look, a Chinese girl.”

It’s very common to be photographed, especially in areas where there aren’t too many foreigners.


Culture Note*
The Chinese are very friendly and not very shy about taking photos of you or with you. Don’t feel offended if they invade your personal bubble, most Chinese have no notion whatsoever of a personal bubble!

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Here we go!

 

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You will notice that all the paths of Chinese mountains are paved man-made paths. It takes a little away from the satisfaction of conquering a mountain but it also makes it easily accessible for all. It took me some time to get used to this concept but I’ve come to appreciate it, especially when you think of how much effort was put into building it.

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第一门 The first gate. oooooh so scary

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Alright! The 2nd kilometer! Only 18 more to go…(that’s 11 more miles for you ‘Mericans)

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石门 The Stone Passage
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Hangin’ out

 

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What the **** you looking at?
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Get outta here!
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Woo! Only 17 more to go! Wait..shouldn’t there be stairs?

 

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Mad respect for these porters. These guys are very hardworking.

 

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Every day up and down this mountain lugging things like food/supplies/water/trash.

 

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Someone’s gotta do it…would you?
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Look at that handsome sweaty man
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I don’t remember where I put mine…Do I still get good luck? :/
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千尺幢 (A Thousand Steps)
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What…The…
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Looking back down…note to self…don’t look back down

 

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It’s getting dark, oh don’t worry, there’s light

At this point it was dark, I was tired, and there was no point in going further when you can’t see the spectacular views. So I pitched my tent and got some well deserved zzzz’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What I sight to wake up to, right?

 

DISCLAIMER – THE HIGHER YOU CLIMB THE PRICIER THINGS GET

I totally forgot to bring food. How I overlooked this simple yet essential factor is beyond me, but I completely forgot to prepare food for my 2 day journey. The 1st day I was buying what I needed along the way up (there’s quite a few rest stops with snacks available for purchase) and kept my body energized with fruit and water. But for the 2nd day I needed a whole day of food! Luckily there are thing to eat at the top, but I did have to pay extra for the convenience. So! If you plan to stay the night, save yourself some money and get all the food and snacks you need at the bottom of the mountain where it is much much cheaper.

 

 

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You mean I didn’t have to take the stairs!??

 

 

 

 

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Dont slip, don’t slip, don’t slip.

 

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When you walk don’t look around. When you are looking around, don’t walk. Good tip!
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Almost at the top!
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Oh dear…
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My goal is that terrace
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Making my way down…
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Getting’ closer…
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Made it!
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Ooooh spooky
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Again, these hardworking porters. Water is HEAVY, and walking up thousands of stairs while balancing these on your shoulder? I’m certain these guys are way underpaid.

 

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