Via Ferrata Huayin, Shaanxi
A combination of via ferrata, hiking, and climbing. A true 12km warrior's path including 3,922 steps (or you can take the lifts to get there)
You arrive at the sacred Jade Fountain Temple.
One of the five sacred mountains in China and it is the steepest one of all: Mt. Hua Shan.
Rarely visited by tourists, this area is very popular amongst the Chinese who come here on pilgrimage. Taoist tradition promises immortality at the summit. The Chinese leave during the night, guided by the lights of lanterns, to reach the summit at sunrise.
Take 10 Euros for the entrance fee and another 10 for the lifts.
ViaFerrata Tips and Tricks
Chinese people prefer to climb up during the night to reach the summit early in the morning. If you want to be in peace, do the opposite. Go up the stairs early in the morning to avoid the crowd.
Secure your camera or video camera (or smartphone) with a string. That way if you let it go, it won't be lost.
The site with the terracotta warriors found in the same region is much more touristic and is less authentic.
Bring some warm clothes and gloves and a sleeping bag if you want to sleep on the summit.
Bring your munchies and something to drink, the prices at the summit are like those in Valais or Megève: they are doubled for tourists.
Check to see if the weather conditions are good. You can ask hotels or tour operators on site.
Length and Altitude
Starting point from the city of Huayin: 400 m
Summit: 2'160 m
12 km for the whole thing and 4 hours to climb all the stairs.
It takes 1 hour to get to the southern summit from where you'll find the best viewpoint. But it is only a viewpoint! It also takes one hour to arrive to the summit refuge (10 Euros for a night).
Time of Year
If there is a lot of wind or snow, the journey will likely be too risky. The authorities may close certain sections.
12 km long for the via.
A full day.
In the Shaanxi Province 120km to the east of the capital, Xi'an. Go towards Huayin.
By Train or Bus
Direct bus from Xi'an (2/3h trip, 22 yuans) or by train to Huayin and then by taxi.
By the stairs or with the lifts.
Starts off with 3,922 steps! In comparison, the Eiffel Tower has 1,789.
Mission 1: to work your way up the 3,922 steps carved into the rock. It's nice at first, but can be a real pain in the long run. <Insert a fast-foward section here> Bing, you are at the top of all these steps!
Plan B: If you're fed up with stairs, you can take a seat in the lifts that will take you up 1,500m higher.
Mission 2: Buy an entrance ticket and put on the harness and the carabiners that you are given. If you arrive at the same time as the crowd, it might take awhile as the Chinese are in the habit of cutting in front of you without asking. It's a bit like France, but the effect is multiplied!
Mission 3: Off to the adventure, twenty meters of descent in a vertical crack and then a stroll of about 100 meters on two shaky planks with plenty beneath them, 800 meters of void to be precise, but don't worry it's all secured by cables. That's the concept of via ferratas. You find yourself on a trail, aptly named: The Trail of Death. The word "trail" has been distorted, but, on the other hand, the word "death", yeah, that one is true to its original meaning. The Trail is that thing made of planks where you put your feet (see the pictures).
If you have vertigo, this is not for you. Buy a postcard from one of the local shops instead, that will be enough and you can then go directly up to the other summits.
If you keep going, you have a cable, chains or plenty of other gadgets to hold on to. Don't forget to take a few pictures or videos with your camera (secured by a string) especially since there are always some half-wits who want to cut in front of you.
Recommended for all lovers of via ferratas, thrills, and extraordinary landscapes.
Either by way of the stairs, but this time in the other direction, or with the lifts
Where to Spend the Night
At the base of the mountain there are shops, hotels, and restaurants.
You can spend the night on the summit, but if you choose this option, your sleeping bag will be necessary to ward off the cold. About 10 Euros for a night.
vidéo par TheMiyaworld, Youtube