Tiger Leaping Gorge and Dali, China, in 2007.

The trail was coated with two inches of thick and slippery gray mud, and frequently disappeared under shallow white waterfalls spanning entire hillsides. Two days, 14 miles on the so called "high road," and a few near-death experiences, took us deep into Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan China. Steep walls over 6000 ft. tall give way to a river that is not navigable (although some have tried, unsuccessfully). The Yangtze river, over 100 feet across in most places, appeared as a whitish brown stream from our viewpoint on the western wall of the gorge. We had undertaken this hike in early November, the height of rainy season. At one point, while crossing one of the aforementioned waterfalls, and attempting to take a picture looking up at the falling water, I slipped. When I stopped sliding, my feet and legs lay at an angle so steep that no weight was supported by them. My weight was instead held to the cliff using my left hand and right elbow; my camera of course occupied my right hand and despite my best efforts still got wet. While my camera dried out and in fact still works, my iPod was crushed and moistened, and stopped working as soon as my body hit the rocks. To see the photos that were almost lost forever, click the picture to the left or the title above.

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