7pm...Let's have a dinner before the climb
Hua Shan is one of Taoism's sacred mountains in China. When you google it you'll learn the mountains offer the most dangerous hiking trail on earth (http://www.ssqq.com/ARCHIVE/vinlin27d.htm
) I wanted to go there but with my antipathy to all kinds of package tours I was thinking of how to do it on my own. My dorm-mate Ole went there 2 days before with a package tour and said it was a terrible experience because they basically haven't seen much of the mountains and for example spent 3 hours in a queue for a cable car. But then I met Annabella and Jessie who also wanted to go there so we did team up and went there together. Our hike started in Hua Shan village at around 8pm as we opted for a night climb.
our little group
My backpack was quite heavy as I didn't know what to expect from a night hike in unknown mountains - I even took a compass, an emergency cover and a sleeping bag with me...My guidebook says only some locals climb the mountain at night using torches and flashlights but those "some" turned to be hundreds of people heading up to watch a sunrise. First 2 hours of the hike was quite easy but then stairs came into play and....we could not get rid of them....It took us 8 hours to the East Peak (4am) where tried to get some sleep before the sunrise (...sleeping bag was not useless at the end..) At 5am our proxy sleep was over as a funny guy shouted "sun" and everybody started to stand up and look around even though the sunrise was not expected within the next hour....Luckily for us, our "camping site" was at the eastern side of the cliff so we didn't need to stand at all and could watch the sunrise while sitting...In the early morning we climbed other peaks as well - the Southern, the Western and the Northern from which we took a cable car to the valley. The trip was really cool and I enjoyed it a lot!