Situated in Huayin City, Mt. Huashan is 120 kilometres (about 75 miles) from Xian, Hua Shan is reputed to be one of the world’s most deadly hikes. Hua Shan is famous for its natural vista of steep and narrow paths, precipitous crags and a high mountain ranges. Its five peaks are the representative attractions and each has its distinctive charms: East Peak is the best place to enjoy the sunrise; South Peak has the highest altitude; West Peak is the most elegant; North Peak is famous as the Cloud Terrace Peak and Middle Peak is also called Jade Lady Peak.
Historically the Mountain has also been home to several influential Taoist temples, where many emperors of past dynasties took part in Taoist activities and sacrificed to the god of mountain, making it a holy land of Taoism. At its foot, are the representatives of its Taoist elements.
Hua Shan the World’s most deadly hike
Of Hua Shan’s 5 peaks, the deadliest of these is the infamous Plankwalk. For those looking for a unique and frightening challenge while taking some deserved R&R from kung fu training this is for you.
Arriving in Huayin (the town at the foot of the mountain) the day before is advisable. That way you can get a rest the night before. Do make sure you book because this place gets busy.
Once your room is secured you have two options to get to the top of the mountain. The first is to take a 6 hour hike up the mountain stairs. This is the best way to get a good view of the landscape. The other is the new West Cable Car (140 RMB/pp each way, $22 or 100 RMB/pp with student car, $16) the earlier in the morning the better. If you successfully get on the cable car, expect a further 4-6 hours of hiking.
To avoid disappointment I’d recommend you plan to visit off season, defiantly not on a Chinese holiday.
Top tips for visiting Hua Shan & Detailed Guide
- Plan ahead, check the weather and make sure its off season.
- Book your accommodation in advance
- Expect lots of people and cues
- Bring a change of underpants
What to expect from the Plankwalk
‘During the actual walk you are walking across a narrow plank walkway nearly 5,000 ft in the air after all during the least intense part of the hike. The remainder of the trail is composed of iron rods protruding from the mountain, small cut outs in the actual rock for your feet and/or chains for gripping yourself close to the mountainside.
The path itself is TWO-WAY traffic for the entire day, which means you are sharing an already extremely treacherous path with limited space often. You will be required to move your harness over other hikers heads and step on the outside of them, sometimes only having room for one foot to stabilize. It gets especially tricky when sharing either of the ladder areas and/or cliff cut outs, as they have even less real estate to offer. (http://blog.unboundly.com)’