Mianshan Mountains, part II: Longji Ridge (龙脊 - Lóngjí)

Rem Sapozhnikov / April 2014
After the Longtou Temple I went to look at a small waterfall, quietly rustling directly above the bus parking.

With this began my unexpectedly three-hour long walking tour through the Longji Ridge /Dragon Ridge/ (龙脊 - Lóngjí).
Cute waterfall. Where do these stairs lead to? I must go and see.
First the stairs lead to the head of a dragon, and then went on up.
Because of dense vegetation the visibility is not very good. I have to go up.
Mountain creek that feeds the waterfall.
I see a small fort and a monument. I must go up and look.
The stunning view of the beautiful valley opens from this fort.
Jie Zitui (介子推 - Jièzǐ tuī) and his mother.
Events, which will be described in the story below, occurred about 2,500 years ago, during the period of Chinese history, called the "Spring and Autumn".

A young prince Chong'er (重耳 - Chóng'ěr) turned out to be in exile. Jie Zitui was a part of his retinue. During their wanderings things were so bad that once Jie Zitui had to cut a piece of flesh from his leg to feed his master soup and save him from starvation.

After some time, the exiled Chong'er managed to return to power and become the ruler of the principality Jin (now Shanxi Province), adopting the name Wengong (晋文公 - Jìn Wéngōng). Rewarding all those who helped him during difficult times, Chong'er (Wengong) somehow forgot about Jie Zitui. The loyal subject was very upset, refused from all his titles and went with his mother to live as a hermit in the Mianshan Mountains.

Later Chong'er remembered Zitui and went into the mountains to look for him. After a fruitless search the governor gave orders to set fire to forests in the mountains, thinking that escaping from the fire, Zitui and his mother will come out to him. Three days blazed a terrible fire, but no one came out to Chong'er. Later, the charred remains of Jie Zitui hugging mother were found in the ashes.

Chong'er, to express his grief and eternize the memory of Jie Zitui (and own stupid action), ordered to ban making fire in the hearth every year on this day. So there appeared a festival of cold food Hanshi (寒食节 - Hánshí jié). Over time, the festival has shifted to one day ahead and transformed into pure light festival Qingming (清明节 - Qīngmíng jié). On this day it is customary in China to recollect dead and visit their graves. This day somehow is similar to the Day of Rejoicing.

In honor of Jie Zitui the Mianshan Mountains are sometimes called Jieshan.
Slightly above the monument to Jie Zitui and his mother, I saw another fortification. I decided to get up and go, did I ascend so many steps for nothing?
Military camp. First tent of Xu Maogong (徐茂公 - Xú Màogōng), next is visible the tent of Qin Qiong (秦琼 - Qín Qióng), also known as Qin Shubao.
I have already walked half of the height at which the cable car raises.
Further I'll go down the path that runs along the narrow green slope which was miraculously formed between the two steep cliffs. ↑ Click for detailed view ↑
I decided to walk along this mountain path to the next place of buildings concentration.
Next, I will always meet hermits' caves.

Short video, size:: 34Mb.

Cave of Fan Rong (范荣 - Fǎn Róng).
Alas, nothing can be understood from the machine translation from English into Russian. Chinese, stop saving on translators!
That's because of these views I have warm memories of the Mianshan Mountains.
It is strange that the guidebooks "China" (published by "Around the World", 2008) and "Beijing and Northern China" (published by "East-West", 2006), do not have a single word about this wonderful place.
Structures became visible quite close. I was really hoping to reach them.
Cave of Zhi Man (智满 - Zhì Mǎn), also known under name Mangong (满公 - Mǎngōng).
Cave of Bo Zichang (伯子常 - Bó Zicháng).
Cave of Chen Zu (陈祖 - Сhén Zǔ).
I almost came. Destination is nearby.
Here in my plan occurred a big bummer. The path turned sharply upward. There was no straight path.
I climb higher and higher, the pavilion, which was at the same level with me, remains below.
Climbing up, I found a parallel path, very similar to the one on which I was walking.
If I cannot find the right way, I'll use it to come back.
This part of the mountain is called the Health Maintenance Park.
Climb higher into the mountains. See new caves of hermits.
Cave of Peng Zu (彭祖 - Péng Zǔ).
This neat structure on the edge of the slope is a toilet.
Cave of Jie Xiang (介象 - Jiè Xiàng).
In the meantime, I climb higher and higher. Behind these caves there was no path either.
I reached up to the very top and end of the path. No way further.
Cave of Ziqiao (子乔 - Ziqiáo).
Cave of Xuanxu (玄虚 - Xuánxū).
The gorge was left far below.
I had to go down the stairs and back up by the second path.
Another one military fortification near the cable car station.
Since I walked, straying, to the top of the mountain I'll go down by cable car.
Despite the very hot sun, the wind in the mountains was cold. And the wind blew with triple strength and double cold at a cable car ride.
I am descending back to the first bus stop. The Dragon Ridge is beautiful and gorgeous. However, the walk around it took me longer than I expected.
Inside the tourist bus. I'm going deep into the gorge to the final stop.

Continuation :
Part III: Baishu Mountain

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