Monday, April 5, 2010

Emei Shan

Misty cliffsToday I spent most of the day on the bus and on Emei Shan, one of the four famous Buddhist mountains. I wasn’t completely sure what I was going to do here. My original plan was to do just part of the mountain and not go to the summit. The mountain is not very high, but it’s quite spread out, so I didn’t think I’d have time to hike to the summit. However, on the bus I met some people who were also going to Emei Shan and were planning to take a two hour bus ride up the mountain to get near the summit. I decided to do the same thing.

From where we were dropped off, we had about 650 meters of elevation gain to get to the top. It was quite foggy and it seemed unlikely that we would have any views from the top. The forecast called for rain.

I set out at a pretty good pace and I found it to be quite a work out. There were stairs all the way to the top and for me this was more challenging than just a hiking path. But still, it didn’t take long to get to the summit. It’s known as the Golden Summit (3077 m), because of the brass clad Jinding Temple (Golden Temple) at the top.

Golden SummitOnce I was at the top, I was absolutely in awe. It was not only clear, but the huge statue of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra was quite a sight. There were hundreds of people, some pilgrims some tourists. From the cliffs a sea of clouds spread out as far as the eye could see. I was so glad I made the decision to go to the top.

After taking some photos, I sat down for lunch and waited for my bus friends to catch up. Tonight I’m staying in the town at the base of the mountain and will explore a few more hiking trails tomorrow.

Starting out the hike with Momo, Eric, Jason & Kathryn:

Hiking with Momo, Eric, Jason and Kathryn

Misty cliffs

Jieyin Temple (2540 m):

Jieyin Temple

A few shelters along the way

Sea of Clouds:

Sea of Clouds

Bodhisattva Samantabhadra (aka Puxian):

Bodhisattva Samantabhadra

Candles at the Golden Summit

Jingding (Golden) Temple:

Jinding Temple

Sheshen Cliffs:

Sheshen Cliffs