Slideshow Description: The slideshow is intended to ‘tell the story’ of Mount Huangshan, and features a portfolio of photos from a visit by Peter Howard in May/June 2017. The slideshow begins with the cable car at the eastern steps, which reduces the steep climb to the summit area to a short 12-minute ride. At the summit the crowded paths connect some spectacular vantage points which look out – through the haze-over the forested valleys below and across to dramatic rock formations around adjacent peaks. Many of the photos in this portfolio are from the ‘West Sea Canyon’, a steep gorge with a particularly high concentration of spectacular rock stacks and formations where a narrow walkway attached to sheer rock faces and through some tight rock ‘squeezes’ allows visitors to experience one of the ‘wilder’ (and less crowded) parts of the mountain. Much of the remaining part of the slideshow covers the ascent of ‘Heaven Capital Peak’ which has to rank amongst the top experiences of a visit to China. The climb is made possible by the construction of steps, carved into impossibly steep rock faces with ropes and handrails provided at critical points. Depending on the weather, it may not be possible to see the route ahead (or the view from the summit) but the experience of such a climb is at least exhilarating.
Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s Conservation Outlook Assessment (2014) the conservation status of this site is ‘good’. The IUCN report notes that ‘the outlook for maintaining the aesthetic and natural values of Huangshan looks promising with a core area largely uninhabited and a well-funded and well-staffed management system in place. The major threats of increasingly large numbers of visitors are being dealt with and prospects for continuing to control these threats are good. Given its celebrity status as “the loveliest mountain in China,” attention will continue to be lavished on the site and there should be improvements in interpretation and in managing visitor flow to reduce congestion at popular locations in the park.’