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the Degree Confluence Project
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China : Sìchuān Shěng

19.1 km (11.9 miles) WSW of Lizhou, Sìchuān, China
Approx. altitude: 2667 m (8749 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 28°S 78°W

Accuracy: 6.3 km (3.9 mi)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: The bridge at the entrance to the mountains from Xichang. #3: Villagers grew wheat there - and it was already quite hot in April. #4: As you can see, there are many trails to choose from - the confluence lies 7 km deeper in the mountains. #5: This was as far as we got... about 6.3 km away. #6: We hiked along the stream here towards the confluence. #7: So nice to find popsicles in that little village... only 5 mao each! #8: "A" is the suspension bridge; "B" is where we parked truck, "C" is as far as we got.

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  28°N 102°E (incomplete) 

#1: This is the village where we parked out truck and started walking.

(visited by Chris Conley)

19-Apr-2008 -- This confluence is not too far away from beautiful Xichang city in Southern Sichuan province. Xichang has a large lake surrounded by mountains - very picturesque. I didn't do any research before we attempted this confluence, I just noticed that 28N 102E was not far away when I switched on my GPS while in Xichang city during our vacation there. My wife and I had driven our truck to Xichang from Chengdu, so on the day before we set off to go back home we gave this confluence a try.

I have no maps on my gps, so I estimated which road we should take by looking at my Sichuan road map... we made a few wrong turns and had to backtrack but it was ok because the terrain and villages there are cool to visit too.

From Xichang drive north to Lizhou, and from there head directly west into the mountains. The bridge over the river is only wide enough for one vehicle at a time. We saw a Honda Accord squeeze through, but nothing wider than that could make it across.

From there we had a smooth road to drive on for a few more kilometers, but then found out that the next bridge is being repaired. The only other option is to either hike in (from the broken bridge to the confluence is maybe 15km - this is at a larger village called "Dian Zi Shang") or drive your truck through the rocky riverbed up the river past Dian Zi Shang about 3 or 4 kilometers then you can get onto the paved road again.

The water wasn't so deep but 4x4 drive and driver skills are necessary. We pulled out a very stuck pickup truck out of the muddy bank of the river. Too bad I don't have pictures because it was awesome. Our mini monster truck sits higher than anything else on the road and on this trip the height came in handy.

After the we turned off the paved road and entered a dirt one, the whole time driving past traditional homes and fields. We parked the truck at the small hydro-power plant and drew a crowd. From there we started hiking in the general area of the confluence. According to the Chinese road map (and confirmed by the locals there), there is a village (Lu Ji Cun) deeper in the mountains next to a tributary of the small river that runs though the main village. The Chinese road map and the locals have two different names for that small village in the mountains.

The confluence lies up that fork in the river. We hiked on paths along the river but they kept on leading to dead ends (actually, they just led to areas where locals cut down trees for firewood).

Next time we head back there we'll ask on of the locals in "Dian Zi Shang" to provide us with a guide to what the map calls "Lu Ji Cun"

In the end, after having crossed the large stream/small river many times, we realized more preparation and time would be necessary to get to the confluence. It was a great hike though, and would also be fun to do it with a local "guide" next time. You'll probably have a whole slew of volunteers (the kids were having fun swimming in the river when we arrived)!


 All pictures
#1: This is the village where we parked out truck and started walking.
#2: The bridge at the entrance to the mountains from Xichang.
#3: Villagers grew wheat there - and it was already quite hot in April.
#4: As you can see, there are many trails to choose from - the confluence lies 7 km deeper in the mountains.
#5: This was as far as we got... about 6.3 km away.
#6: We hiked along the stream here towards the confluence.
#7: So nice to find popsicles in that little village... only 5 mao each!
#8: "A" is the suspension bridge; "B" is where we parked truck, "C" is as far as we got.
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)