The Long March on the Tea Horse Trail

TweetQuite by chance I met some people from the Cultural Bureau in Xiangyun County early in 2013. We were chatting about the caravan trail in that county, and particularly the uniquely well-preserved caravan town at Yunnanyi. Someone wondered if I knew that Yunnanyi was also notable because the Red Army passed through it during the [...]

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Dali Weekend Hikes (4) – Jianchuan to Shibaoshan

TweetThis hike was easily accomplished in two days – even including the bus from Dali to Jianchuan on the first morning. It’s worth spending more time in the old part of Jianchuan County Town, though, as this is a lovely example of an old Yunnan market town. See it now – the new Dali-Lijiang freeway [...]

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Kublai Khan’s March South

TweetIn reverse direction, Yang Xiao and Climb Dali‘s Adam Kritzer recently retraced part of the Great Khan’s march to the Jinsha River. A fascinating slice of history and a terrific hike, as you’ll see from the pix below…

I don’t have my library to hand, so I hope I have remembered this correctly. The future Great [...]

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ISPO Beijing Report & Hiking Trails in China

TweetI took a trip up to Beijing at the end of February to attend the ISPO sports business exhibition from February 27-March 2. The outdoor gear manufacturers are always well represented at this event, so it’s a good chance to check out the latest cool new stuff. On this occasion, however, I saw it more [...]

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A Journey through the Tea Mountains

TweetOur first exploration of 2013 took me and Prof. Gary Sigley to Xishuangbanna, where we planned  a companion expedition to last year’s trek north from Menghai, the western head of the Tea Horse Trail. This time our starting point was the eastern trailhead: Yiwu

Yiwu these days is a small town in the throes of knocking [...]

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Ancient Road to Tengchong

TweetFor the final exploration of 2012, I joined our old friend Prof. Gary Sigley for a trip across the Gaoligongshan range into Tengchong, famous as a caravan and trading station on the old road to Burma. I’d heard for years about a well-preserved stretch of stone road on the mountain; as you’ll see below, the [...]

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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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Muslim Mule Town

TweetI made a very brief visit to the village of Donglianhua recently. The village and surrounding area are easily interesting enough to warrant a more extended stay, but in the meantime here’s just a few pictures and superficial notes about the place.

Donglianhua is part of Yongjian Zhen, which sits on the very northern edge of [...]

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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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