By Kartika Putra
We had reached the end of our Journey. Our search for the feature fabric to use in our upcoming collection was found in the quaint little town of Zhoucheng. And what better way to celebrate than to go on a 2 day hike down and up a gorge! In 1 month, this has been our one and only 2 days where we were not actively looking for the next story, textiles or anything Wolftress. It was our day to actually take in our surroundings and reflect on how our journey has shaped who we are and also the direction of Wolftress and our next campaign. We had experienced the ups and downs from the artisans perspectives as well as our own. Something that we’ll take back home to create awareness back at home.
The legend of the Tiger Leaping Gorge is a short one, the legend says that a tiger once leaped the gorge to escape from hunters. We took a bus to the village of Tiger Leaping, the Jinsha River a calm placid sea green a harmless tree snake disappearing between the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain.
The trek began with a climb straight up the mountain side, among scrubby bush, red earth, dust and shale. The first half of the day was spent toiling up the steep mountain side under a hot sun, every so often shaded by thin forest. Along the route we passed through villages of Naxi people, another of the ethnic minority groups in the Yunan province. The Naxi are believed to be the descendants of the Tibetan plateau and former traders on the dangerous ‘Tea and Horse Caravan’ routes. Old houses amongst fields of yellow-flowered canola. The calf-straining 28 Bends took us close to the highest point of the walk, eye to eye with bold, granite-grey Jade Dragon Snow mountain reaching 5,596 metres into the clouds.
The next day we descended into the longest, deepest and narrowest gorge in the world, at approximately 15 kilometres in length, cutting between steep 2,000 metre cliffs. A trail that worked closely against the cliff, with little room for error. Ladders that dropped 30 metres into the depths below. According to our German friend’s fitness app, we walked approximately 34 kilometres and 250 storeys the equivalent of 1000m over the entire two days.
A trek that introduced us to dessert like conditions when most of the provinces had us rugged up in thermals and beanies.