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Lingshan Mountain: The Highest of Beijing's Heights (2)

By William Wang (CRI Online)

10:58, September 25, 2012

Horses enjoy freely roaming the slopes of Lingshan Mountain. (CRIENGLISH.com/Williamwang)

The chairlift putters away, tugging people up the mountain at a leisurely pace. For others who are more inclined to commune with nature, a host of sturdy horses lie in wait, ready to navigate the way up or down the mountainside. Tibetan horse riders lead the horses up the slopes, and can also offer folklore tidbits. Prices may vary depending on distances covered, but the horses and their masters all work hard to make their living.

Like all of China's official "hikes", a staircase leads the way from the bottom to the top, so that even ladies in high heels stand a slim chance of attaining the peak (although this author highly recommends proper footwear).

Many hikers reject the staircase, opting to climb the horse trails that branch out to the right of the staircase. Some find the trails easier to climb than stairs, while others prefer the earthiness of navigating one's way up through a maze of roots, stones and piles of horse manure.

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