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China : Héběi Shěng

1.3 km (0.8 miles) N of Shizuizi, Héběi, China
Approx. altitude: 1008 m (3307 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 41°S 65°W

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: GPS Reading #3: Ground Zero #4: The Confluence Hunter #5: River Bed #6: Gate of Great Wall in Zhāngjiākǒu #7: View to the South #8: View to the West #9: View to the North #10: View to the East #11: Shelter in a Concrete Pipe #12: Map of the Biking Route #13: Map of the Traveled Route

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  41°N 115°E (visit #3)  

#1: The Confluence from 50 m

(visited by Rainer Mautz)

23-Jun-2011 -- General information about the tour

This is the first out of 20 confluences that I reached on my bicycle trip along the Great Wall of China. I set off in Běijīng and cycled 4046 km during 35 days. The route roughly follows the 40th degree latitude westward coming through the provinces of Héběi, Inner Mongolia, Shǎnxī, Níngxià, Gānsù, and Qīnghǎi. The mayor part of the trip goes through veld and hot deserts of Inner Mongolia (12 confluence visits) whereas the last week of the trip stands in clear contrast by passing through Qīnghǎi’s Highlands at altitudes between 3000 m and 4000 m. A map ot the biked route can be found here.

12 confluence points had not yet been reported. I also do report 6 incomplete visits that could provide some information for future attempts. The main obstacle was the heat. Around temperatures of 40°C I felt not safe to leave the road for more than 5 km and walk alone into the desert. Note that the density of the road network is low and accessing confluence points in such an environment requires long hikes though no man’s land.

Here is an overview of the tour in table form:

DCP Day Date Province Altitude Visit No. Com- plete? Parking Distance [m] Mimimal Distance [m]
41°N 115°E 3 23.6.2011 Héběi 1016 3 y 350 1
42°N 114°E 4 24.6.2011 Inner Mongolia 1506 2 y 170 1
43°N 113°E 6 26.6.2011 Inner Mongolia 1010 1 y 778 1
42°N 112°E 7 27.6.2011 Inner Mongolia 1556 1 y 890 1
41°N 111°E 8 28.6.2011 Inner Mongolia 1953 1 y 95 5
41°N 110°E 9 29.6.2011 Inner Mongolia 1307 2 y 0 1
41°N 109°E 11 1.7.2011 Inner Mongolia 1025 1 y 300 0
41°N 108°E 11 1.7.2011 Inner Mongolia 1025 2 y 390 1
40°N 107°E 11 1.7.2011 Inner Mongolia 1442 1 y 3200 1
40°N 108°E 12 2.7.2011 Inner Mongolia 1234 1 y 250 0
40°N 109°E 12 2.7.2011 Inner Mongolia 1507 2 y 880 0
40°N 110°E 12 2.7.2011 Inner Mongolia 1390 2 y 250 1
39°N 110°E 13 3.7.2011 Shǎnxī 1232 2 y 1'350 0
38°N 110°E 13 3.7.2011 Shǎnxī 977 1 y 3'600 0
38°N 109°E 14 4.7.2011 Inner Mongolia 1165 1 y 300 1
37°N 108°E 16 6.7.2011 Shǎnxī 1447 1 y 1'050 5
38°N 107°E 17 7.7.2011 Níngxià 1404 2 y 1'440 0
39°N 106°E 21 11.7.2011 Inner Mongolia (2044) 1 n 3'770 3'700
40°N 105°E 22 12.7.2011 Inner Mongolia (1573) 1 n 6'800 6'780
40°N 104°E 23 13.7.2011 Inner Mongolia (1414) 1 n 12'000 11'400
39°N 102°E 24 14.7.2011 Gānsù 1360 1 y 3'000 0
39°N 101°E 25 15.7.2011 Inner Mongolia (1940) 1 n 1'4100 14'000
39°N 100°E 26 16.7.2011 Gānsù 1887 1 y 1'080 0
40°N 98°E 28 18.8.2011 Gānsù (1278) 1 n 18'300 18'000
38°N 101°E 33 25.8.2011 Gānsù (3450) 1 n 6'610 6'200
37°N 101°E 35 27.8.2011 Qīnghǎi 3112 1 y 50 0

Information about this confluence

On day no.3 of my bike trip from Běijīng I got up at 4:00 a.m. and had some instant sesame cereal in my hotel room. I set off at 4:50 a.m. from Zhāngjiākǒu City (张家口). The early start helped me to get out of town before the rush hour traffic started. Without a major break I rode in north eastern direction. After passing through the village Xīgōuhé (西沟河) I followed road X406 until I reached the village Shízuǐzǐ (石嘴子乡). At a distance of 800 m I turned westwards on a track and abandoned my bicycle at the river at a distance of 350 m from the confluence. The river crossing on foot was easy, because the water level was extremely low. I didn’t even have to take off my shoes. Hopping from stone to stone allowed be to keep my feet dry.

The confluence is located on a steep slope on the western side of the river valley. From the flood plain, it is a steep 30 m hike to the exact location. Even though the incline of the terrain is immense, there is a terraced grain field that extends on the area of the confluence point.

I continued towards Zhāngběi, but got into a severe thunderstorm with heavy hail on an open field and had to hide in this tube.

CP Visit Details:

  • Distance to an asphalt road: 700 m
  • Distance to a road: 700 m
  • Distance to a track: 450 m
  • Distance of parking the bike: 350 m
  • Distance to houses: 1 km
  • Time starting the hike: 7:40 a.m.
  • Time at the CP: 8:00 a.m.
  • Measured height: 1016 m
  • Minimal distance according to GPS: 1 m
  • Position accuracy at the CP: 4 m
  • Topography: steep grade
  • Vegetation: wheat field, grass, bushes
  • Weather: sunny, 26° C (felt temperature)
  • Description of the CP: 27 km north-east of Zhāngjiākǒu next to a river of Héběi Province. Terraced agricultural field.
  • Given Name: The River Crossing Confluence

Story continues at 42N 114E.


 All pictures
#1: The Confluence from 50 m
#2: GPS Reading
#3: Ground Zero
#4: The Confluence Hunter
#5: River Bed
#6: Gate of Great Wall in Zhāngjiākǒu
#7: View to the South
#8: View to the West
#9: View to the North
#10: View to the East
#11: Shelter in a Concrete Pipe
#12: Map of the Biking Route
#13: Map of the Traveled Route
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)