Climbing up Mount Emei

The Day We Climbed Mount Emei - 1985 - Page 1

In 1985 our Chinese Leader, "Boss Yang" sent us with three students to the city of Leshan for a vacation. We stayed in a hotel the first night that was an adventure in itself. The hotel had a picture window in the bathroom looking out to the hallway. The bathroom door was a clear glass door. At six in the morning the loudspeakers in the street began broadcasting the news. After a breakfast of pickled vegetables and rice gruel we set out for the mountain.

We took a bus to the mountain to begin our walk to the top. We were planning to stay overnight at the top and come back the next day. The three boys had been given strict instructions to stay with Bernice and make sure she didn't fall or have any troubles. They were carrying some food for our dinner and breakfast the next day.

Climbing Emei Mountain -- 1985

Both Bernice and I had purchased walking sticks because the entire path to the top, many miles long, had very well worn stone steps. So many people walk to the top of the mountain that to protect the path, the Chinese have hewn stone steps the entire length. Just as we started out on our trip we met two Chinese porters carrying the bodies of two old ladies who had died on the mountain. Mount Emei is one of four sacred mountains where old people climb to the top to die close to their God Buddha.