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Walled village to Moss Mountain hike by the Great Wall

An early start today for an outing with the Beijing Hikers to the Great Wall in Huairou County about 90 minutes outside of the city. From the description:

In the area of the village is what the locals reckon is the original White Cloud Temple in the Beijing area. It’s just ruins now, but we’ll take a look at it, as well as a ginkgo tree that is more than 500 years old and is protected by the government as a Level 1 Natural Treasure. (Level 1 is the highest.)

From the temple site we’ll follow a gravel trail on a gradual climb up through chestnut orchards and virgin forest, heading for a big pine tree on a ridge. Along the way we’ll pass a big white rock that allegedly has magical properties – after drinking the water that a small piece of this rock has been boiled in, new mothers will have no trouble producing plenty of breast-milk for their baby.

It will take us around about two hours to reach the pine tree on the ridge, and we’ll stop for a lunch break next to an shepherd’s abandoned house.

After lunch we’ll continue along the ridge, hiking up a bushy trail to another saddle on a ridge. From there we’ll be able to see Moss Mountain. Many years ago it rained so much that the village in the valley was encircled with floodwater, and the mossy foliage on Moss Mountain grew so dense that the whole mountain turned black.

An easy trail leads down to the foot of Moss Mountain, and from there we will follow a flat trail to finish the hike at a park.

The walk was a decent 6.8 miles with 1300 ft of climb. It stayed below freezing and there was snow falling for much of the day. It was good to make it out of the city into marginally cleaner air and get some decent exercise.

Manual millstone

Rock quarry

Mountain in the snowy mist

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