Yellow Mountains Location History Facts China

Yellow Mountains Location History Facts China

Yellow Mountain, lying to the south of the Yangtze River, is a vista from the world of make-believe. Sheer walls of rock ascend from soft folds of cloud and mist. Hither and thither – lanky pines extend out from improbable toeholds in clefts and ledges, mutinying against gravity like organised circus acrobats. The image is of a Chinese artwork made real.

The Yellow Mountain (Huang Shan) is a peak in the Chinese sense of the word – not just one mountain but a crowd of 70 of them. The tallest three rises over 5800ft (1770m): are Lianhua Feng, ‘Lotus Flower Peak’; Tiandu Feng. ‘Heavenly Capital Peak’; and Guangming Ding, ‘Summit of Brightness’;

Lofty Granite Pinnacles

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All the cliffs seem like they are hacked from granite by an axe; however, these are reduced from molten rock underground prior to being revealed at the earth’s surface. The peak’s few ruptures have been battered by the weather, and decay has left enormous rocky facades and lofty pinnacles in the stiff cock.

Chinese painters and poets recognised four ‘supreme beauties’ in the Majestic Mountain. The mountain ridges and the rocks are one. Second, are the imposing pines, some over 900 years old, and third, are the burning, therapeutic springs that pour at a stable 40 C (105F) all year. The fourth supreme beauty is the sea of mist and clouds.

Cloud is an integral feature of the terrain, bringing a normal of 90 (2280mm) of precipitation and snow every year. Drifts of drizzle and fog whirl around the cliffs, revealing and veiling them in a continuous dance. Millions of sightseers who flock to the mountain every peak season come equipped with padded jackets, and with raincoats to keep out the chilliness, even in summer the temperature is no higher than 6C (43F).

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The purpose of China’s 1000 million people, it is said, is to see the Yellow Mountain at least once in their lifetime. Well-maintained trails take hikers past the sanctums, cascades and puddles, the unique rock formations, and the numerous revered pine trees. Some of these trails are not for the timid or faint-hearted. To advance to the Celestial Capital Peak, travellers have to climb 1290 steps and traverse the Carp’s Backbone, a rise less than 5ft (1.5m) wide with only ropes and chains to hold on to.

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There are five holy mountains in China. However, Yellow Mountain is not one among them. Nevertheless, its magnificence has been revered for millenniums, Xu Xiake, a visitor to medieval Mainland China, gave it the highest accolade when he wrote: ‘Having returned from the five hallowed mountains, one does not desire to look at ordinary peaks; having returned from the Huang Shan, one does not desire to look at the five hallowed mountains.’

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