Shaxi to Xizhou, October 2012

TweetWe made two late excursions onto the Tea Horse Trail between Shaxi and Xizhou, both of which culminated in a crossing of Mt. Cangshan. I’ve combined the pictures from both trips into this one blog. As ever, click on any photo to open the full gallery…

These journeys both took place unusually late in the year, [...]

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2012 Mule Prize Gallery

TweetThe entries for the inaugural Mule Photography Prize are all in. This is just a bit of fun, whereby we invited everyone who came trekking with us in 2012 to send in their best mule-related shots. Feel free to vote for your favourite; I’ll announce the winner in the new year, by which time I’ll [...]

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More Flowers of Mt. Gawagapu, August 2012

TweetThese all come from Yang Xiao’s 6-day trek to find Chugan Lake, the largest of the alpine lakes around Mt. Gawagapu. As ever, there are quite a few I’ve been unable to identify…

I wanted to say this was a Nomocharis basilissa, but I think it’s just a paler version of the forrestii pictured below.

Botanist Robbie [...]

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Further Exploration of Mt. Gawagapu, August 2012

TweetAfter the completion of the expedition recounted in this previous blog, Yang Xiao remained behind in Bingzhongluo for a few days. Joined by A Dou, the best of our guides/porters from that expedition, he followed what Frank Kingdon-Ward called “the Path of Terror” to find the alpine lake our group had tried and failed to [...]

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Gaoligongshan/Mt. Gawagapu Expedition August 2012

Tweet“But we little know until tried how much of the uncontrollable there is in us, urging across glaciers and torrents, and up dangerous heights, let the judgment forbid as it may.”
- John Muir, 1894
This was the longest and, by quite some distance, most challenging journey of the year. Owing to serious illness, our team split [...]

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Flowers of Mt. Gawagapu, August 2012

TweetBefore I get on with what’s likely to be an epic blog about our latest expedition to the Gaoligongshan range, I thought I’d first share a few of the wildflowers we saw on that trip. We were a bit late for the best of them, but still found several we’d never seen before. As ever, [...]

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Wild Walk on the Tea Trail

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In April we helped stage a two-week trek along the Tea and Horse Trail between Lijiang and Xizhou, working together with “multi-award winning independent travel company” Wild Frontiers. Yang Xiao and I had explored this route extensively over the past three years, but this was the first time we had taken a group the whole [...]

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Retracing Rock’s 1923 Expedition Across the Three Parallel Rivers, Part 2

TweetThis blog recounts the second part of our journey in the footsteps of Joseph Rock’s 1923 National Geographic expedition. Click here if you haven’t read part 1 yet, and here to see Sharon Dennis’s video account of the trip.

Joanna works on a traditional Nu-style blanket, which she sells to travelers in Dimaluo.

Our team of porters [...]

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Retracing Rock’s 1923 Expedition Across the Three Parallel Rivers, Part 1

TweetIn autumn 1923, Joseph Rock departed his home north of Lijiang on a three-month expedition across what he called “the great river trenches of Asia”. Most of Rock’s expeditions were by way of botanical research, but on this occasion he was more concerned with photography, hence his decision to travel in autumn in order to [...]

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