Scratching the Surface of Moganshan
We made another trip up to Moganshan this weekend with some friends from Bara’s school and managed a couple of decent hikes. I’ve uploaded the routes here for anyone who is interested in a repeat. You can download the KMZ or GPX files from the site, since there aren’t any real topo maps of the area. I’m working on that too. I found an American company that sells old Soviet military maps, and they’ve promised to send me a lower resolution TIF raster of a map of the area which I can hopefully use to plot my trail GPS data onto.
The Xiwuli valley is really starting to change with the season – the mountains were wreathed in mist that made for some breathtaking views. On Saturday, we wandered up to the peak behind Prodigy guesthouse and then looped back around to visit the lodge for a drink or two. We took advantage of the Halloween spirit and wandered through a number of old, semi-abandoned European summer homes up on the mountain. They were built around the turn of the century by a group of businessmen from Shanghai (mostly American, British and Russian) and then abandoned after Mao showed up and chased the foreign devils out. It’s a compelling story, I think, and touched on in Mark Kitto’s book mentioned in my last post. Mark was there this weekend and gave us a few pointers in our little exploratory journey through the old retreat.