Monday, 12 November 2012

Great Wall of China Trek - Autumn 2012

China Great Wall in Autumn

I have led several Great Wall of China charity treks in the past but this one was to be a first for a couple of reasons.

  1. I had never led a Great Wall expedition in Autumn
  2. We were to go to a section of the wall, Dayingpan, not open to the public and still unvisited

We were lucky enough to fly on BA which meant arriving quite early into Beijing so not only did we get to our lodge early but were able to trek on the Juyonguang Pass section of the wall on the day of our arrival – a real bonus extra section on top of the other 6 days of trekking.

Trekking in Autumn in China does provide generally more stable weather and the views of the surrounding trees changing through the bronzes and golds made the surrounding landscape very memorable.

There did seem to be more charity groups from different companies on certain sections of the wall this year – a testament to the popularity of people now spending their annual leave on charity challenges, rather than the usual holidays.  However we were able to spend two days free of other groups in the wall and one day free of anyone on Dayingpan.

Dayingpan is a very broken down area of the Great Wall with a tough and exposed central section to negotiate.  This is called the Water Gate and is at the furthest point from any assistance and involves traversing off the Wall to avoid a huge unprotectable boulder that the Wall has been built over. The group then had to down climb part of the wall to reach the relative safety of the Water Gate itself before climbing back up onto the Wall proper.  This is a great wilderness section of the Wall and well worth the effort involved to get to it and along it.

This was a great expedition with a fun bunch of challengers, all raising money for Breast Cancer Care which led to some very emotional moments along the Wall.

Thank you to all involved.