Huashan Mountain is located some 240 kilometers away from Xi’an, approximately a two and half hours drive. It is one of the five sacred mountains in China. Huashan Mountain is well-known for its sheer cliffs and plunging ravines. It is the most dangerous mountain in China for climbers.
There are five peaks in the mountain, among which the most famous three are Sunrise Peak( East Peak), Lotus Flower Peak( West Peak), Falling Goose Peak( South Peak). The Sunrise Peak is a fine place to enjoy the sunrise view in early morning, which is frequented by travelers. Huashan means flower mountain and it got the name from the Lotus Peak, which resemble a beautifully blooming lotus flower. The falling Goose Peak is the highest among the five. The two other less visited are Jade Maiden( Middle Peak, legend goes that a jade maiden once saw riding a white horse among the mountains hence the name) and Cloud Stand Peak( North peak).. The path to the 2158 summit is nearly vertical, which now is equipped with iron chains to protect climbers. The climb to its summit makes it clear how the impenetrable mountain repelled those invaders over centuries.
Renewed as a sacred mountain, Huashan boast a lot of religious heritages. Buddhism and Daoism temples, pavilions, buildings and scriptures scatter around everywhere. The most famous historical sites include Yuquan Courtyard, Zhenwu Palace, Jintian Palace and much more.
Cable cars are available and take tourists to the northern summit of the mountain. If you want to challenge your endurance and physical strength then choose to climb the mountain. However, you are kindly advised to begin your arduous journey early in the morning, even before the sunrises, this way during your trek you can be lucky enough to nourish your aching body with the breath-taking sunrise which dances over the horizon when you reach the summit at morning.
Journey to Hua Shan sacred Taoist Mountain of China
UPDATE: 3 JUN 2012
Hanging on to their jobs
Suspended by ropes from steep cliffs, the men who keep Mount Huashan clean are also lifesavers. Ma Lie and Lu Hongyan report in Xi'an.
Like "spider men", they hang from the cliffs, suspended by ropes, cleaning up Mount Huashan, in Shaanxi province. One of the country's top attractions, famed for its steepness, it stands 2,200 meters above sea level and receives more than 1 million tourists a year.
Since ancient times, there has been just one road up the mountain that snakes for 20 km around the five peaks.
Yang Wujun, 41, one of the mountain's 146 cleaners, starts work at 6 am, collecting trash that has accumulated in cracks and on trees. Yang is responsible for some 200 meters of the route and requires help from four colleagues, who tie their ropes firmly to the steel railings overlooking the cliffs.
"It's true. I do get frightened," the former farmer says. "But my duty is to keep the mountain clean, so I must overcome the fear."
Cleaner Meng Jianwen, 36, says tourists create most litter, discarding bottles, plastic bags and scraps of paper.
"Some tourists think that if they throw their waste off the cliff, it keeps the road clean, but they don't realize we have to collect it," Meng says.
During weekends or the peak tourism season from March to October, Yang says he collects up to seven or eight bags of waste, weighing more than 20 kg, in a work day.
Sun Shaoning, director of the management station, says the 146 cleaners are seasonal workers and at peak times work about 25 days a month.
They stay on the mountain when they are working. Some stay in mountain caves or in temples, as there is not enough alternative accommodation on the mountain. Every year, the team of cleaners picks up about 180 tons of waste, which they carry down the mountain on their shoulders.
The cleaners also occasionally help tourists, who are injured, or talk down those who are contemplating suicide.
In 2011, the cleaners dissuaded 46 people from jumping off the cliffs.