Saturday, September 18, 2010

Emei Facts

Map of Emei from 1938

Unesco World Heritage site since 1996.
9.519722° N, 103.3325° E

Highest summit: Wanfo Ding (10,000 Buddha Summit) 3099 m.
Middle summit: Qianfo Ding (1,000 Buddha Summit) 3085 m?
Tourist/traditional summit: Jinding (Golden Summit) 3077 m.

Some sources claim Jinding and Qianfoding to be the same summit, others that there are three separate summits. In actuality there seems to be two main summits with a small outcropping between them. But is this Qianfoding or something unnamed? Please enlighten me anyone who knows!

Emei Moutain is one of the Four Buddhist Holy Mountains of China (The other three being Wutaishan, Putuoshan and Jiuhua Shan).

The patron saint or house boddhisattva of Emei is Samantabhadra (Puxian 普贤菩萨 in Chinese). Puxian is the Boddhisattva of Action and the Protector of the Lotus Sutra.

The meaning of the name Emei 峨嵋山 is subject to much speculation. Emei is said to mean "high" or "lofty" but has traditionally been translated as "silkworm-moth eyebrows". According to James M. Hargett in his excellent definitive book on Emei Mountain "Stairway to Heaven" , State University of New York Press, SUNY, the earliest reference to this name is Li Daoyuan (d. 527) "Although Mount Emei is 1,000 li south of Chengdu, on clear, autumn days if you gaze at the mountain from afar, its two peaks seem to face one another like moth eyebrows." Hargett: In other words, the mountain's twin peaks resemble the arched, antennae of a silkworm moth (e 蛾) and so the name was adopted as the name for the mountain.

Emei Mountain Conquered!

Naughty macaque that stole a milk package from Chinese tourists.
Macaques patrolling their turf between Leidong Ping and Jieyin Tai.
Following the abandoned monorail. Not for the faint hearted at 6 meter drops.
Paddy, Minna, Jari and one of our faithful construction workers engulfed in the bush.
Golden Summit with statue of Puxian (Samantabhadra) on his elephant.
Golden Summit from Wanfo Ding
Wando Ding summit (3099 m) with swirling clouds
Flat summit of Dawashan from Golden Summit
Clouds over the plains of Sichuan from Golden Summit

View from Wanfo Ding (10,000 Buddha Peak) past Qianfo Ding (1,000 Buddha Peak) over to Jinding (The Golden Summit). All images above ©Ingrid Booz Morejohn

After 25 years and several trips to this mountain I finally "conquered" the highest peak of Emei: 3099 m Wanfo Ding! :-) A small triumph but great fun nonetheless, as the weather is usually so very fickle on the top. My last three trips were socked in with fog and even snow and ice! When we got to the top and found a couple of construction workers who knew the way we couldn't resist bushwhacking over to the far highest peak of Emei, something I have been wanting to do for years. Paddy and I and two Finnish friends Minna and Jari headed off along the path beside the abandoned Monorail. 22 meters of elevation (the difference between the Golden Summit and Wanfo Ding) made a difference and the view back onto Jinding was breathtaking. So now I have been on both "moth eyebrows"! What a day!

Posting again!

After a long hiatus I have decided to brave the cyber police and begin posting again (it's called a VPN, Blogspot is still blocked in China). I have soooo much to tell you and so many new photos to post. Please be patient, months have gone by since my last posting and I have BEEN PLACES!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blogspot still blocked in China

Sorry to say that Blogspot is still blocked in China, thus no new postings from me since August! Today I am in Bangkok where I - for the moment - have a temporary cyberwindow. But tomorrow I will be back in China. It is a very sad scenario indeed.....