Xian – The point where I realised my limitations and my fear got the better of me…..I'm so gutted!


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Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an
July 31st 2011
Published: August 3rd 2011
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Mt Hua Shan - The Cliff Edge PathMt Hua Shan - The Cliff Edge PathMt Hua Shan - The Cliff Edge Path

Cliff Edge Path- I just couldn't do it......
Xian – The point where I realised my limitations and my fears got the better of me…..

Xian is a very modern city with pockets of history scattered amongst modern day high-rise buildings with a twist. They have tried to incorporate minor traditional features such as flared overhanging roofs or temple looking facades I’m not sure that it works but you can’t fault them for trying. And slap bang in the middle of McD’s and Starbucks are the famous Bell Tower and Drum Tower, again I'm not sure on the town planning regulations here but hey I guess it works for them. I decided not to visit the two towers but just take photos from the outside because I didn’t need views of the most famous golden arches in the world.

Xian felt a lot less busy than Beijing but still had a vibrant buzz about it, my main intension for heading to Xian was to climb Mt HuaShan and attempt the cliff edge walk. For those of you who have not heard of it it’s basically as the name suggest, there are three thin planks of wood forming a walkway around the highest peak on the mountain. The
Terra-Cotta WarriorsTerra-Cotta WarriorsTerra-Cotta Warriors

The offical line up....
view (or drop if you prefer) is approximately 2400m and it looks terrifying. Thankfully in 2001 they introduce the enforcement of using safety harnesses until this time you could simply do it without any form of restraint (absolutely mental if you ask me.) This mountain is renowned for it’s terrible safety record and high number of fatalities, even the trek up to the summit of the West Peak involves some pretty hair raising paths, with vertical stair cases looking like they are leading you to the clouds. It's a truly awe inspiring hike and incredibly hard work. The summit was 2540m, the trek was approximately 20km in total because you walk between all peaks on the mountain, all in all a very tiring 10 hours worth of trekking but worth every minute of it for the breath taking views and scenery.

As for the cliff edge pass I just couldn’t do it, my body and mind physically wouldn’t let me. I walked to the entry point for the path and felt sick, my legs basically gave way on me and my head was spinning there was no way I could even begin to attempt it. I have to say
Xian - The Muslim DistrictXian - The Muslim DistrictXian - The Muslim District

Health and Safety in the work place.
I’m really disappointed but I guess you have to accept your limits at times and admit defeat. Although I’m sure my Mum will be very relieved that I didn’t do it, I hope you understand why I didn’t mention this to you before as I know you would have been worried sick. I have attached a photo to show you what the view were like on the walk, maybe you will understand why it was just too much for someone who hates heights.

The final day of my time in Xian was spent at the Terra-cotta warriors, for once I managed to call the weather right, the day I did the trek was perfect sunshine and the day I chose for the warriors was raining which was not a problem because they are under cover. The story behind the Terra-cotta warriors is very interesting (if you don’t know it, its worth checking out) and the level of detail and facial expressions on each warrior is incredible. As with most things in China the size of the place blew me away there are 3 “Pits” with No:1 being the largest and when I say large it’s about 2 or 3
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This was the path between peaks, not recommended in the rain for some reason????
football pitches in size and they are still excavating. Another highlight to the tour of China without a doubt.

The remainder of my time in Xian was quite relaxed, I hung out with a couple of guys from Shanghai and we just walked around the city, took in the atmosphere and kept it very low key and chilled which was great.

As Steve has pointed out to me in a recent email I'm clearly putting a curse on places that I talk about in a bad light so I feel it’s time to remain silent about any bad points for a while. Basically I mentioned how much rain there was in South Korea and shortly after there are landslides coupled with tragedy and then I mention the trains in China and there is a fatal crash, so I think for the time being I’m going to give such things a miss in my blogs, thanks for pointing that out Steve, I can always rely on you.

This in my final day in Xian and I’m heading by train to Tunxi which is a mountainous area for more hiking. This is all great training for Everest base camp
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Xian - The Bell Tower
in a few months. Don’t panic Mum there is nothing dangerous about this mountain so you should be able to sleep ok tonight.






Additional photos below
Photos: 29, Displayed: 25


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Mt Hua ShanMt Hua Shan
Mt Hua Shan

The South Peak
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Mt Hua Shan

The final path to the Cliff Edge Walk, this is where my trek finished!!
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Terra-cotta Warriors

The main display in Pit 1.
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Xian

The old and the new, Im not sure it works?
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Terra-cotta Warriors

Me at the main display in Pit 1.
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Xian

Maybe Neon lights will help it blend?
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Mt Hua Shan

View from the start
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Mt Hua Shan

Ready for the stair master challenge
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Mt Hua Shan

The North Peak
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Mt Hua Shan

Clearly they think we need some luck....
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Mt Hua Shan

The path/stairs to the summit
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Xian - THe Muslim Quater

How much traffice, it was chaotic
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Mt Hua Shan

The easy lead in to a tough trek,
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Mt Hua Shan

These guys carried 50k each up the same trek as us for about £10 per load.


8th August 2011

I'd have bailed, too!
I had just recently heard of this place and although I think the views would be to "die" for... I, like you, would fear that I'd do just that! Superb pics! Loved seeing them and reading your blog!
15th August 2011

No Way Jose (or JP) !!!
Hi Jon, Good to see you are having a great time on your travels. Like you there is just no way I could have done it either !. Glad to see the pictures of the Terracotta Army, you must have been blown away by it. Good luck with your travels - I look forward to your future blogs. Regards, Malcolm Streatfield

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