Yellow mountain, China – A life time experience!

Few days ago, I post the photos of the number one mountain in China. I totally suggest everyone to visit Yellow Mountain in China at least once in their life time. It’s just like going to heaven type of experience. I think it will be a good idea to share how I did it. Thus, many of you can plan ahead.

Why it is the number one mountain in China? First of all, the weather in the mountain changes four times a day. So it’s like four seasons in one day. Second of all, the view is so dramatic; you can’t expect what to see next. Third, I don’t know how Chinese build that trail. It’s like walking in the sky. If you would like to know more, please read on!

You can see the rest of photos here or view slide show here.

Is once in your life time enough? NO. I want to go back to Yellow Mountain again in different season. I went there in August 2006, which is the best time to climb the mountain. However, if you can do early April or late November, the view is even prettier. Think about yourself as Santa, who walks between pine trees and with white snow on them. You also see the cloud sea cover the mountain. You are walking in the heaven. I am not kidding.

Few years ago, China gov opened the “West Sea Trail” to public. However, if you are with the tour guide, they will not take you to the West Sea Trail. It’s too danger to old people and young kids. For healthy adult, you should give it a try in your life time. It took me and my wife 9 hours to finish the trail. The trail is a U shape. You go down 600M to the bottom of the canyon and climb up 600M again. It’s not a very long trail (10 miles), but it’s definitely tough one for city people like us.

So what about other trail? The east and north trail are just way too easy. It’s like walking in the central park in New York. That’s where the tour guide takes you to. You will see crowded Chinese line up on the spot waiting for taking photos. You need to go, but don’t spent too much time on those two trails. The best part is “West Sea Tail“.

What about Yellow Mountain?

If you have ever seen Chinese painting, you know that the mountain is always looking weird with cloud around the summit. The stone looks so weird with pine trees on the cliff. That’s how Yellow Mountain looks like. It’s ranked the number one mountain in China! You really need to keep your appreciation to those hard working people who give you the chance to enjoy your once in a life time experience. Every hand made stuff you see in the mountain is hand carried to the mountain by human. The tile, chair, bed, foods, step stone, the material to build the hotel, metal, even the parts to build the cable cart are carried by human labor. There is no car or any transportation available in the mountain. Many visitors carry too much stuff. So they pay YMB $20 (US$3.00) to have their bags carried by cheap labor. Think about all those step stone you step on! You basically appreciate the nature and the people who build those facilities!

So what do you need to know before go to Yellow Mountain for the life time experience?

  • Check up your body condition. If you have knee problem or heart problem. DON’T TRY the West Sea Trail!
  • Check the weather before deciding to stay in the mountain. There is no reason to stay at very expensive hotel if you can NOT see the sun rise and cloud sea the next morning.
  • Carry only spare cloth and energy bar and lots water with you. Nothing else. Leave all your luggage at the hotel in the village. The hotel in the mountain won’t let you to refill your bottle unless you pay for it. You will dehydrate a lot. Water will save you! Don’t carry can foods or heavy fruits. Would you carry your luggage to climb the mountain like the folks in the photo? Don’t be stupid and ruin your trip.
  • Carry only digital camera with a lot of disk space. You will take so many photos. Get spare batteries too. The mountain is so beautiful. Everyone becomes a professional photographer.
  • Bring one light winter jacket in case of temperature drop. The weather change four seasons in one day.
  • No shower! There will be no shower available. Water resource is so limited!

So what do I do to climb the west sea trail?

In our case, we decided not to stay over night. The weather was not great. So we will not be able to see sun rise and cloud sea. We plan to go back sometimes. Remember that you need at least 9 hours for the west sea trail. My wife and I are both healthy adult. We climb and take break. You will need more time if you plan to take a longer break.

My suggestion to you is to get on to the mountain with cable cart and back down with cable cart. It costs more, but there is not much to see in between for climbers. 5 minutes cable cart ride will cost your 4-6 hours one way to climb. You will be so tired to visit the west trail. Save your energy for the best part. Check the weather before you go up. If the weather is not so good, don’t stay over night, you will not be able to see the sun rise and cloud sea. That’s the main reason that people stay over night.

If you want to finish the trail in one day, you will need to get up at 4:30AM and take bus from the hotel in the village to the cable station. Take the first cable cart to the mountain at 7:00AM. Go to the easiest trail (East and North). Don’t spend too much time there. It’s crowded with all visitors. Take some photos and go straight to west sea trail. Trust me! You will see less than 10 people on west trail. We were the only two for the first 4 hours. So we pretty much owned the whole mountain. It’s our heaven! Isn’t that great! You need to reserve 9 hours for the whole trail.

Notes: There is no rescue person. No phone. No ring bell. So you are on your own in the West Sea Trail.

Be sure to get back to the cable station before 6:00PM. It will get dark faster than you can image and there will be no bus after 7:00PM. So you will need to start west trail before 09:00AM. In case you can’t make it back to the village, you probably end up paying a lot more to share room with other people in the hotel. In most of case, you will need to stay outside of the hotel over night, because the hotel is full. So a winter jacket is very much necessary!

If you decide to stay over night, Just bring some energy bar and a lot of water. I carried four 2 litter bottles. Don’t carry whole lot of foods. Prepare some dry t-shirt to change. The weather could get very cold.

Are you ready for your life time experience?

It will take me 10 days to describe what I have seen in the Yellow Mountain. It’s wordless. You have to see it yourself.

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