Advice to enthusiasts intent on taking on Mont Huashan on calf-power: don’t take the ascent lightly, you’ll need a good dose of humility and courage if you want to come out unscathed. The Huashan Mount is one of the 5 sacred mountains of China, this is definitely a place to go for your China travel if you want to experience extreme trail.

Mount Hua or Hua is located in Shaanxi Province, about 120 kilometres east of the city of Xi’an, near the city Huayin in China. Also known as the  Western Great Mountain, it is one of China’s Five Great Mountains, and has a long history of religious significance. Originally classified as having three peaks, in modern times the mountain is classified as five main peaks, of which the highest is the South Peak at 2154.9m. Numerous Chinese pilgrims are going to the adventure because according to Taoist tradition, it is said that one could find immortality if you reach the peak of the mountain. The tradition says that only the people who take the way less travelled and the most tortuous path could find immortality at the 2.200m peak. In former days, when Emperors still existed, this “master summit” was a place of celebration and to honor the Gods. A lot of leaders at the time decided to do the trail to get the respect they needed.

Only few foreign tourists want to go and do the extreme trail because it’s quite dangerous.  Only adventurers and extreme trail lovers of “Camino del Rey” in Spain dare to experience that. Meanwhile, Chinese people go there for family days, and visitors from all the country are challenging this mount. They are not professionals or well trained, but, they are not that afraid and seem that their heels are free of pressure.

In total, the route is composed of 1.000 meters to climb and 12km of ballad, it begins from the foothill of Hua Mount and ends at the sacred Jade Fountain Temple. The authorities had to make the route shorter and ban the access to some parts of the mountain for safety reasons. Indeed, they want to avoid fatal falls, especially when crossing the Green Dragon Ridge.

As it is said « there is only one way to get to the top », and this path is composed of steep slopes and vertical cliffs. Sometimes you have to walk on wooden boards, climb rock incorporated stairs and cross cables bridges that seem floating in the air. Don’t be afraid and save some courage to challenge all the hindrances you will face even if you don’t have any attaches or the only thing you can grab is an iron chain.

After have living this adventure, and having faced all the challenges, some people changed radically their way of life, or started to think about the real meaning of their lives for a brand new start. Personally I’ve never did it again, and I think that I would never be enough courageous to do it. What about our readers? Have you ever tried it or plan to climb the Huashan Mountain?

Jack Li
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