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Ain’t no mountain high enough (3)

By Zhang Zihan (Global Times)

08:56, May 30, 2013

Qin once led a group of expat climbers to a mountain near a rural village in Guizhou Province, although local police thwarted their climb before it even started.

"Police officers ordered us to leave the moment they got out of their car. We were stunned and asked why," Qin recalled. "They told us that they were afraid of foreigners getting injured or killed in a climbing accident."

However, there are lighter moments in interactions between climbers and curious locals.

In another expedition, Qin led a group of Chinese and expat climbers to a cliff overlooking the scenic Li River in Guilin in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Just as they were about to scale the cliff, famously pictured on the 20 yuan note, they found themselves surrounded by a mob of local villagers.

"Farmers were led by several elderly people. They were suspicious because we had so many foreigners and were equipped with ropes and other climbing gear. They feared that if we dug into the mountains, the feng shui (Chinese practice of promoting balance and comfort) of their village would be affected," Qin said.

The villagers eventually relented, Qin explained, although many of the elderly were baffled at the appeal of climbing the cliff.

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