25-Jan-2005 -- 41 N – 114 E Inner Mongolia, China
Visit Date: January 25, 2005
This is the second of three points we visited in one day, along the 41N latitude.
After an easier than expected hunt for 41N 113E, we changed our route to Beijing to go for this harder point which appears to be a more challenging hunt based on the fact.
We followed national highway 110 east until we reach the Xin-He County seat, the last town of Inner Mongolia before Hebei. From there, we headed north for about 15 km and noted that CP is about 12 km to our right but appears to be on the other side of a mountain range – not feasible to approach from the Inner Mongolia side. We continued north and found another road going east, and end up in the Shan-Yi county of Hebei, and now CP was about 8 km south.. It was clear that from this location, CP is located in the range that is the nature border of two provinces.
We left the main road and started going toward the CP using GPS as the only guide (no proper map, since this hunt was not planned). We went from village to village, and cutting across fields to reach tractor road. We found a frozen river bed about 3 km away from CP, and only able to go for 1 km before reached an end. Back tracking, and 2 more villages and one river crossing, we found a small dirt road which brought us to within 1.2 km from CP near noon time. Only four wheel drive could have brought us this far.
From where we gave up the car, which is half way up a hill, it is clear that this CP is located at the upper slop of the mountain range, but on the Hebei side. The track up the hill was pleasant even in sub-zero temprature – sunny without wind, and the view was great. After 20 minutes and about 250 meters of elevation gain, we reached the CP. A lone tree about 30 meters away marks this point.
The nearest village from the CP located on the same slope is the No 16 village of the Wa-Yao-Gou Administrative village. Main livelihood – farming and herding sheep.
We were very glad that we made the last minute decision to come to this point, instead of 40N 114E as originally planned. The GPS navigation across farmland, hills, and river beds can only be summarized as line-hunting at its best.
We returned to the car before 1 pm, and found a more straight forward dirt road which being us back to Shan-Yi county town, and had a much needed lunch and cold beer to celebrate the great hunt.
After lunch, it was after 2 pm, and we ware still only half way to Beijing. The question came up, since the route we must take will bring us to within striking distance to 41N 115E, should we give it a try? It takes less than a heart beat to make that decision.
Off we go – toward the 3rd point of the day.
Degree of Challenge: 3 – located in the hill about 10 km from main road requires a 4 wheel drive to get near the point (Scale: 1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery: 4– Great view on the slope of villages and rolling hills (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: 2– typical farming community of northern China (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)