Climbing Mount Qingcheng with my Team

Recently our company went to climb the great Mount QingCheng. A normal person would take this opportunity to bond with their fellow colleagues, but I saw it as yet another chance to brag about my new camera. But as our 3d lead showed up with a 16,000$ camera and the skills to match, I had to reevaluate my strategy. My only chance to brag was to go the pretentious route with some B&W photography.

Paloma standing outside of our hotel at qingcheng mountain

It was a seemingly quiet night, but all the amazing Chinese decor made me worried a kung fu fight might break out at any moment!

It was a usual busy Friday afternoon, but instead of heading home, we were carrying boxes upon boxes of sodas and snacks to a bus. It was time to climb Mount QingCheng! Tho conveniently nearby, it’s apparently “amongst the most important centres of Taoism”, whatever that means! 😉

As we arrived I was expecting our hotel to be the usual “boring but good location”, I was surprised to arrive at what looked like a set for a Jet Li movie. In the west I would expect a really hefty price tag for such a thematic hotel, but here, I have no idea weather it was thematic or just the regular architecture.

The Climb

a modest restaurant on the way to the top has a cool smokey ying yang look to it

To truely become a pretentious photographer I attempted to capture Ying Yang symbolism in this B&W composition.

After a good night of rest in a very humid hotel room it was time to attempt the climb. As Chinese porridge is too watery for my taste I resorted to a breakfast of snickers leftovers from the night before. Definitely not the breakfast of champions, but it turned out when hiking in China you want to fuel down if anything. The narrow paths combined with huge crowds of hikers means you’ll be walking slow-motion behind others. This hike was the closest I’ve come to a pedestrian version of ‘road rage’.

The whole team walking slippery narrow steps to get to the very top

The path to the absolute top was an amazing sight, but with fifty people behind me balancing on narrow wet stones, this blurry photo is all I had time to take!

As the path got narrower for each step I eventually came to a path so narrow I considered it slightly irresponsible to walk. With trails of hundreds walking behind tho there were no choice but to power through it. The brief second I thought about it made my producer yell out “Are you too fat to get through, Niklas?”. As the Chinese are notorious fans of fat-jokes, many of the strangers behind us laughed uncontrollably. No one seemed to consider the irony that my biggest problem being vegetarian in China was to keep my weight up.

Arriving at the Top of QingCheng Mountain

Niber's team at the top of Qingcheng Mountain

Eventually we made it to the top, but it turned out less spectacular than I’d thought.

Arriving at the top was a bit less spectacular than I had imagined, unlike nearby Mount Emei the QingCheng mountain is rather pointy and thus could only fit a small temple. As people had been unable to take breaks during the climb (due to a trail of people walking behind them in narrow paths) this were people’s chance to “finally” have a smoke. So less holier than I had imagined, the top temple just had hundreds of people standing around smoking. Regardless, it was of great pride to have finally reached the top of Mount QingCheng!

That was it for this time but there’s many adventures left to explore so make sure to sign up to blog updates by emailUntil next time, let me know what you think of my pretentious black & white photos!

4 thoughts on “Climbing Mount Qingcheng with my Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *