We will be visiting the Badaling section of The Wall, an early start is planned to get out of Beijing and get to the start of this Trekking adventure. The team is off, it should be a nice short day to kick off the trip, a bit of up and a nice gradual down-a short 6km and then back to our waiting bus to take us to the accommodations for the night.
A bit cloudy in the morning looks to promise a cool day for the hike that lies ahead. As we get closer to Badaling the clouds become dark, so dark that rather than 10 AM it looks and feels like 10PM, this is rather ominous. As we pull up to the gate it has lightened up a bit, but the rain has increased making the trail ahead very slippery and risky for travel. We decided to wait on the weather, a few of the group decide to take a short hike up the trail to visit a guard tower.
As the team is positioned at different points the ominous storm cloud erupts, with some of the group positioned in the guard tower to wait it out, thunder and lightening crash around the mountain ridge. Most of the team scrabbles to the bus to take shelter, to wait it out and worry about our other team members.
The storm would rage on a while longer, with all team members safe and even assisting an elderly lady who was caught in the storm. Once the storm broke the team would reunite and wait to see what the weather was going to offer. After a short team building game of Beijing hacky sack, a team lunch, the weather would turn enough that we could challenge some of The Wall today.
The plan was to then hike to the high point and see what the back side looked like but we would have to decide if it was worth the risk of trekking it in such wet weather.
It felt good to be moving and have our feet on The Wall, it was even nicer to be joined by a young lady who lives with IBD and her family who play such a strong support in her life and health. It was very positive for both groups to experience and share with each other living with IBD, how similar they are and the struggles we face.
The climb is quite steep and made even more difficult by the radical step placement and height, making it impossible to find a steady pace. As the hike carried us up and up through the clouds, I wonder of the people who built the section of The Wall, how in to me felt like such a remote area why here and how incredible it was. Soon the whole team would be standing on your high point for the day and decide should we continue or to we return down our up path. With only a light mist, we decided to continue on and take in the new sights ahead.
This section of The Wall is very run down making travel very slow but with the team in good spirit as we neared our destination, the decent was enjoyable and without incident.