Once, the idiosyncratic Mount Hua Shan granted only the most nimble and courageous Chinese the rise. And today? Today we want to go up!
In Taoism he is one of the five sacred mountains in China . Rugged and magnificent he towers ahead of us. Our stated goal: The North Summit! And because it's so beautiful, we climb the mountain on foot, of course, that's part of the fulltime bohemians.
There is no hiking trail, but the Hua Shan is much too steep. Instead, countless stairs were carved into the rock. So what are you waiting for? The mountain calls!
Unfortunately, after the first 1'000 steps the disillusionment becomes diffuse. Apparently, commerce has defeated Hua Shan, the old stairs have disappeared. They were replaced by modern stages of concrete dynasty. Even a cable car has it here! But we do not let that get us down that fast, the journey was too long, too difficult. Nevertheless, we keep going up and lo and behold, we will still be rewarded! Joyfully we realize: He is not completely tamed yet, Mount Hua Shan! On the side roads the old stairs are still ubiquitous. Here the steps spiral vertically, sometimes even overhanging towards the summit. Heavy iron chains prove to be useful helpers to climb up to 50 meters high rock walls. Often the steps are so small that even Chinese feet can barely fit on them. Doris with shoe size 36 finally has an advantage here.
Sweat bath we reach the north summit. After a breather we continue towards the south summit. On the way, the legs of Doris speak: Enough, enough, the goal of the day is more than achieved! In the afternoon, she watches in fascination the busy bustle of the Chinese, who arrive by gondola and squeeze through hundreds of key points. At the same time, it is a popular photo subject as a long-nosed nose.
small temple on sacred mountain
Rush hour at the bottleneck
Meanwhile, Michael climbs in the afternoon still West, South and East Summit. As a challenge of a special kind, access to a prayer site carved out of the rock forms itself. It can only be reached via a dizzying cliff path, where only old planks and stone-carved bulges for the feet promise something to hold in the steep rock face.
cliffside path - mind the gap
Dizziness-free walking beneficial
We spend the night in a simple accommodation right on the mountain. The beds are rock hard and the dinner consists of instant noodle soup. But the view, which compensates for everything. Dead tired we fall asleep quickly. Early in the morning (5.00 clock) we are already on the road to see the sunrise, before we finish with a loooong descent, the Mount Hua Shan experiment successfully. We were at the top - and we feel that many days later in our legs. Those looking for peace, seclusion, or spiritual enlightenment on the sacred mountain are definitely in the wrong place. However, those who are not afraid of abandoned paths and Chinese crowds will not soon forget the Hua Shan experience.