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Hua Shan [HUA_Mountain] (13th Sept)
  Mountain Hua is the west mountain of China's 5 Great Mountains. It is  is a sacred mountain of the Tao religion and also known for it's precipitousness. It's 7,128 ft. (2,160M) tall. I decided to hike it round-trip though the cable car is the standard for package tours. Ha ha, gonna lose some weight over this.
  Hua is about 65 miles from Xi'an. That 65 miles, however, make it a world apart. 
Primitive and beautiful houses found at the foot of Hua.

  There are 2 roads up Hua. The old trail climbs from zero altitude. The new one (on the other side of the main ridge) was built in 1994 along with the cable cars. It starts at about 2,300 ft but it's VERY steep. I plan to hike up the new trail and come down on a cable car.

With the objective to work myself out harder, I am bring 7 bottles of water. Here we go!

The starting point of the new trail. The look on these people's faces telsl me they think I am a dead man - especially the fella with a cigarette in his mouth.

Nice punch!

Holy smoke! You must be kidding!
A few times on the way, I think my heart is gonna explode. The trail keeps going up and I am caught in it's rhythm. Up, up, up .. .. ..

I haven't been hiking for half a year and. It's kind of risky to hike Hua today with yesterday's confidence. It's a gamble because if I fail, I will have to admit that I am too old for this kind of activity.

Your horizontal displacement is about 3 feet if you go all the way down this .. ladder.
2 1/2 hours later, I am at the North Peak (5,330 ft.). Yes! The toughest part of the climb is over. Now I am on the main ridge of Hua.

Hua has 5 fingers - N, S, E, W and Middle Peak arranged in kite shape. I am heading for the E Peak tonight so I can watch sunrise tomorrow.

Hiking away from the North Peak. You can still see the cable car station at N Peak..

Still up, up, up we go ..

Looking good.

What? Nightmare is not over yet!

Ok, that is some reward for the tough hike.
Around 4:30pm, I am on the M Peak. Only 30 min. to E Peak but my legs and my shoulders are cramping. I shouldn't have brought the 7 bottles of water. But since I have come this far, I can make the last half hour.
Cramping on M Peak in front of magnificent mountains is a different experience.

The unexpected friend I meet on M Peak. Howdy. You think I am a dead man too?

Oh no, here is where I am gonna stay tonight. Doesn't look like there is a  massager in there.

The inn keeper is so eager to take me in he grabs my camera bag. I in return grab half of his whatever roll made from last night's leftover dishes. Maybe I am too hungry, this unknown roll gets
Checking out more scenery after checking in.

How about this?

Here comes the awesome pine trees.


The dark kitchen.

The dark noodle with a dark egg.

  Dinner time. But no good food. Everything has to be lifted to the peaks by lifters and thus there is an excuse to set outrageous prices on food. 

Just a whatever noodle then.  

  After a whole day's sweating, there is no shower as water is not plentiful here. Dead tired, lights out at 9pm for the first time in 2 years.  

I am glad I am not a dead man - I am only half dead. Nite.


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