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One Week Itinerary : end March - early April 2018

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  • One Week Itinerary : end March - early April 2018

    What a great resource this forum is, such a pity not more people know of it and inhabit it (I've only just found it after two years planning a week-long GW hike for my photography).

    I'd originally intended to come up (I live in Shanghai) as soon as there was snow on the sections I am interested in ... unfortunately it never seems to snow there (two winters !) according to the weather sites I use such as : http://en.weather.com.cn/

    So now I though I'd come up for the flowering season and will be arriving in BJ on the 27th March and leaving when I finish the hike, I estimate around 2nd or 3rd April (but definitely before Chingming) ! Staying close to the wall (after buying gas in BJ on arrival) and starting on the 28th.

    Best place to buy gas close to BJ South train station anyone (I'm flying into Tianjin then taking the train - by far the cheapest way to get from SHA to BJ) ?

    I'm planning :

    Day 1,2 & 3 : Huanghuacheng > Jiankou (anybody know how far this is and approx hiking distance ? I can't find that hike anywhere) > Mutianyu (total 3 days and 2 nights, I know I will be slow). Any issues there ? Is Huanghuacheng the best place to start ?

    Day 4, 5 & 6 : Gubeikou > Jianshanling > DETOUR Military Base > Simatai

    Is it possible to hike Mutianyu to Gubeikou ? I don't see anyone doing this, is there a reason ? If so how far is it ? Hiking time ?

    Finally I am carrying a heavy pack (25kgs, camera & lenses separate on my waist). Yes I know, you're going to burn me for that, that's very heavy but I have my photography gear, a drone and all my sleeping, cooking gear plus food + water. If anyone is interested the high calorie burning items are : Food & water (4L) : 7kgs, Photographic Gear : 5.6kgs inc. Tripod, Clothing 5.1kgs (inc. 1kg boots and rain-gear, only one change of clothing), Camping gear : 5.3 kgs (cooking gear 1kg inc. gas, ground insulation 0.9kg, cold weather sleeping bag 1.65kg and bivy 200g) plus a Drone 1.9kgs (inc. recharger). TBH I'm not sure how I can get it much lower (and I did take a very similar kit hiking for 2 weeks on the Tibetan Plateau in Yunnan recently)

    I'll probably stay NIGHT 3 at lodgings so I can recharge everything !

    How easy is it to find water on my route (I've got my Sawyer mini and Steripen) ?
    Do I need to carry 4L or can I get away with 2-3L ?
    Do I need to carry 6 days food
    (dehydrated meals, protein bars and 1kg of Trail mix) ? For caloric intake it's about right but maybe I can find hot food along the way ?

    I have rope to lower/hiker my backpack in any difficult sections but I'm not carrying climbing gear. Again any issues with that ? Will I need the rope (600g weight saving if not) ?!

    BTW if anyone is interested in joining up for a day hike or an overnighter let me know !

    Thanks for reading my thesis and I greatly appreciate any advice / info !
    Kevin

  • #2
    Sorry just to clarify that's 20kgs on my back and 5 kgs of camera gear in front (in case someone thought it was 25 + the camera gear)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
      Day 1,2 & 3 : Huanghuacheng > Jiankou anybody know how far this is and approx hiking distance ? I can't find that hike anywhere) > Mutianyu (total 3 days and 2 nights, I know I will be slow). Any issues there ? Is Huanghuacheng the best place to start ?
      The distance from Huanghuacheng to Mutianyu is more than 30 km. However, I think you would need more than 3 days - especially when carrying so much luggage.
      Even with light luggage and moving fast, you would need more than 3 days, like
      • Huanghuacheng to Tiekuangyu
      • Tiekuangyu to Xiangshuihu
      • Xiangshuihu to Jiankou
      • Jiankou to Mutianyu
      But when carrying much luggage, I think you would need much more time (I would think at least double the time). The sections are described in details here (and usually you would split most of the sections mentioned above into two parts).

      The whole stretch from Longquanyu to Qinglongxia can be hiked. But if you have only 3 days, you might have to choose a smaller area.
      My biggest concern would be
      • how much you plan to carry
      • how much time you can spend
      In general, if you carry less, you're faster, you can enjoy it more, etc.

      Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
      Day 4, 5 & 6 : Gubeikou > Jianshanling > DETOUR Military Base > Simatai
      If you're fast, you can do Gubeikou to Jinshanling in one day (going to Jinshanling east). After Jinshanling, you can only go for a couple of towers in the Simatai section. Afterwards, it's closed and guarded. The classical route Jinshanling to Simatai is not possible anymore. You can go separately to Simatai (which is a tourist area).

      Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
      Is it possible to hike Mutianyu to Gubeikou ? I don't see anyone doing this, is there a reason ? If so how far is it ? Hiking time ?
      There are e.g. long sections without wall, e.g. after Qinglongxia. The area in Huairou is much more hiked and it's easier to follow (mostly follow the wall).

      Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
      Finally I am carrying a heavy pack (25kgs, camera & lenses separate on my waist). Yes I know, you're going to burn me for that, that's very heavy but I have my photography gear, a drone and all my sleeping, cooking gear plus food + water. If anyone is interested the high calorie burning items are : Food & water (4L) : 7kgs, Photographic Gear : 5.6kgs inc. Tripod, Clothing 5.1kgs (inc. 1kg boots and rain-gear, only one change of clothing), Camping gear : 5.3 kgs (cooking gear 1kg inc. gas, ground insulation 0.9kg, cold weather sleeping bag 1.65kg and bivy 200g) plus a Drone 1.9kgs (inc. recharger). TBH I'm not sure how I can get it much lower (and I did take a very similar kit hiking for 2 weeks on the Tibetan Plateau in Yunnan recently)
      Besides the weight of the luggage, I would assume that it makes it hard for doing some scrambling parts, etc. Personally, I would not go with so much luggage.
      Maybe an option to reduce weight would also be to restock, eat and sleep in the villages. In the mentioned area, there are villages close to the wall and you could reach them usually every day (or every second day).

      Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
      How easy is it to find water on my route (I've got my Sawyer mini and Steripen) ?
      There is no water available on the wall. However, in the route you're describing, there are villages where you can buy water. You might need to carry water for one or two days before you can restock.

      Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
      Do I need to carry 4L or can I get away with 2-3L ?
      Dependent on how you plan your trip, you might need to carry water for two days. I would rather carry more water than having the risk of running out of water.

      Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
      Do I need to carry 6 days food [/B](dehydrated meals, protein bars and 1kg of Trail mix) ? For caloric intake it's about right but maybe I can find hot food along the way ?
      There are villages along the way where you can eat and restock.

      Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
      I have rope to lower/hiker my backpack in any difficult sections but I'm not carrying climbing gear. Again any issues with that ? Will I need the rope (600g weight saving if not) ?!
      The most difficult sections are in the Jiankou area. In general, a rope and climbing gear is not required. However, there are steep parts and some kind of scrambling is required. Don't underestimate the terrain. Especially with the kind of luggage that you plan to carry.
      But there are also ways to bypass the dangerous areas.

      Have a look in the forum, there are pictures of the different section and you can get an impression of the terrain.
      In the extended hiking sections, there are also several threads which describe your mentioned route.

      I also would recommend having a look at the forum map. It contains all the sections you've mentioned.
      Jan

      Comment


      • #4
        Jan
        That's an awesome and very comprehensive reply .. thank you very much indeed ! I've been checking this website for info, I've got about 17 tabs open on my browser at the moment

        I may need to revise my plan in which case how does this sound given I have one week's hiking :

        Nine Eye Tower > Jiankou > Mutianyu( 3-4 nights)
        Gubeikou > `Jinshanling > bus to Simatai (2-3 nights)

        I read you can avoid the W and just buy a ticket for Simatai then hike out to unstored areas ?

        I don't hike uphill fast but I also don't stop for many rests and have pretty good perseverance and endurance. I'm allowing roughly 1 km per hour.

        Backpack weight : it looks like I might be able to carry less food, maybe I can shave 2-3kgs more off. I'll see what I can do. The photographic gear (cameras, tripod and drone) is a PITA but since that's the whole point of the hike I can't really reduce it much more

        To get to Jiankou I was going to take the 917 and then a car to Xizhazi Village ?

        What is the best way to get to Gubeikou from Mutianyu that doesn't involve a taxi ?

        From Simitai back to Beijing I was going to take the Chengde City bus to Dongzhimen Long Distance Bus Station ? Is that correct ? Or the reverse of this : take bus 980 or 980 Express from Dongzhimen Transit Hub. Get off at Miyun Bus Station and transfer to bus Mi 37, Mi 50, or Mi 51 to Simatai Village Station.

        I've got some maps of the sections but can't buy & download the forum map as it's for Windows only.

        Thanks again Jan, very much appreciated !
        Kevin

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
          I may need to revise my plan in which case how does this sound given I have one week's hiking :

          Nine Eye Tower > Jiankou > Mutianyu( 3-4 nights)
          Gubeikou > Jinshanling > bus to Simatai (2-3 nights)
          That sounds good. You can easily spend a week in Jiankou and Gubeikou and surroundings and you'll get nice pictures.
          I'm not sure whether you really need 3-4 nights in Jiankou (but if you finish earlier, you can also spend some time in the surroundings or spend more time in Gubeikou and surroundings; but this plan gives you much flexibility and you can adjust it according to your progress).

          Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
          I read you can avoid the W and just buy a ticket for Simatai then hike out to unstored areas ?
          There are also direct paths up to the unrestored areas east of Simatai. The paths are also included in the Forum Map.

          Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
          To get to Jiankou I was going to take the 917 and then a car to Xizhazi Village ?
          Usually it's the 916 Express from Dongzhimen to the terminal in Huairou. Then continue with a car from there to Xizhazi.

          Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
          I've got some maps of the sections but can't buy & download the forum map as it's for Windows only.
          The forum map is a kmz file which works with Google Earth. The installer requires Windows, but Bryan might be able to help you if required.
          Last edited by Jan; 03-23-2018, 09:10 AM.
          Jan

          Comment


          • #6
            Jan

            Thank you very much once again Jan !

            Having read a few more threads on the forum I'm considering this further change, basically because of the threads on the Nine Eye Tower which don't comment on it in a favourable way :

            Beijing Knot > Jiankou > Mutianyu
            Gubeikou (inc. Wohushan) > Jinshanling > bus to Simatai then both West & East Simatai

            A KMZ file would be great as I think I can use that on my phone even when offline ?

            Does anyone know where to buy gas close to the train station (South) where the trains from Tianjin arrive ? Obviously I can't bring one on the plane

            Thanks again !
            Kevin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
              I've got some maps of the sections but can't buy & download the forum map as it's for Windows only.
              If you purchase the map and you can't run the installer then please email or pm me and I will send you a link to download the kmz file.

              Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
              Does anyone know where to buy gas close to the train station (South) where the trains from Tianjin arrive ? Obviously I can't bring one on the plane
              There was a Lexingjia outdoor store in Huairou town in 2010 on Fuqian Street a few blocks west of the bus station (4018'54.51"N 11638'5.43"E). Not sure if it's still there.



              Huairou Urban Area
              Bryan

              Comment


              • #8
                Bryan

                Thanks Bryan ! I've purchased the map (I wanted to give something back to this forum which has been of invaluable assistance). As I only use Apple can you please give me a link to download the KMZ file ? Thanks !

                re. Lexingjia outdoor store in Huairou town. I'm not sure I can take a chance on getting out there and then finding out the store is closed or no longer exists

                I've found a Sanfo store that is 3-4kms from Beijing South Train Station at No. 9, Pufang Road, Fengtai District, so will grab a taxi once I arrive at the station and then take the nearest subway from there to Dongzhimen. Hopefully they also sell protein bars and dehydrated meals since I've just heard the ones I've ordered from BJ look like they won't arrive in time (despite their 48 hours promise and ordered 3 days ago) !

                Just a question on getting to Xizhazi, I've seen two alternate routes. Can anyone comment on them ?

                1) 916 快 bus from the Dongzhimen bus transfer depot to Huairou Bei Dajie. Then take a taxi (ca. 200rmb) or shared minivan (ca. 50rmb per person) to Xizhazi.

                2) Take bus 936 at Dongzhimen Wai Station. Get off at Yujiayuan Station. Transfer to bus H25 at Yujiayuan to Xizhazi Bus Station. Take bus # H25, CNY 4, Times: 11:30 & 16:30. Or taxi from Yujiayuan 120rmb.



                Thanks again Jan and Bryan !
                Kevin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Frogfish View Post
                  Just a question on getting to Xizhazi, I've seen two alternate routes. Can anyone comment on them ?

                  1) 916 快 bus from the Dongzhimen bus transfer depot to Huairou Bei Dajie. Then take a taxi (ca. 200rmb) or shared minivan (ca. 50rmb per person) to Xizhazi.

                  2) Take bus 936 at Dongzhimen Wai Station. Get off at Yujiayuan Station. Transfer to bus H25 at Yujiayuan to Xizhazi Bus Station. Take bus # H25, CNY 4, Times: 11:30 & 16:30. Or taxi from Yujiayuan 120rmb.
                  I always take the 916 Express to the terminal station and take a private car from there. A car to Xizhazi costs 120 - 150 RMB nowadays. That's per car, not per person; if you find someone who shares the car with you, you can split the costs (but it might be that you need to wait then).
                  In general, I'm going from Beijing to Huairou/Miyun/Yanqing by bus and take a private car from there, because it takes a long time continuing with the local buses.
                  Jan

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                  • #10
                    Jan

                    Cheers Jan !

                    Comment

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