Last May when I was in China on business, a few colleagues got the idea to visit Huanghan, Yellow Mountain. I wanted to join them but my leg (hamstring injury from 2 years ago) was still not quite well enough, I thought, to handle the many stairs required for the trip. And, I didn’t want to be a hindrance and slow everyone down so I opted out on the trip but kept the idea of a future endeavor in mind.
After arriving in China for my longer business trip, a colleague asked if I wanted to do Yellow Moutain. I was so sick upon arrival and my schedule was really full before arriving that I hadn’t really thought about when or if I would go to this mountain or anywhere else. The only thing in my mind was to be sure I made it outdoors climbing and being sick meant that idea was far off. Despite the lingering respiratory/sinus issues, I agreed to go. We were thinking a couple weeks out and I thought I would be better by then so why not say yes, now. 🙂
My colleague, Ling, was eager to start planning and thankfully, she is a genius at this. After her initial research it was clear we should go the following weekend. Weather was settling in and the weekend we initially planned had rain in the forecast. Not having anything on my calendar having only just barely settled in after arriving from the States, I agreed to go. Hopefully, this sickness would not get in the way and hopefully, my knees and hammy could handle the stress. I had heard it was a lot of stair climbing and descending so I was a bit nervous about my overall fitness. Ling assured me she wasn’t feeling in great shape and we’d take it slow so I felt better about committing to go.
Ling and I tried to recruit others, but I think the idea of stairs and the height of the mountain put people off. Some had already done it, only one would do it again but couldn’t join us. While it would have been great to have a small group go, it worked out better that it was just Ling and me. We really did take it slow, meandering up every viewpoint we found on our path through the backside and over to the frontside to our hotel. We got lost, backtracked, went in circles at one point, but never complained because the day was as good as it could get. Clear, blue skies, not too hot, very little haze/pollution on the horizons, and very few clouds in the valleys.
We had spectacular views from the minute we were on the Gondola. And, thanks to Ling’s planning skills, everything we needed from transportation, places to stay, proximity to things, etc. were perfectly executed. We even made it back down the mountain early enough to change our train ticket and make it home 2 hours earlier than originally planned.
Because everything worked out so well, I want to pass on some tips and suggestions for anyone who wishes to experience this mountain for themselves. Hopefully, this information will help you in your planning. I know if I was trying to sort all of this out on my own, I would have made a few mistakes or missed the mark because navigating is easier if you know Chinese, which I do not. So, once again, thank you, Ling, for making this trip super easy for me. 🙂
The next post will have some logistics and more photos from the trip. Below, find some websites that help with your planning and travel and describe the mountain and it’s significance — along with a link to a potential tour of the ancient village of HongCun.