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In uncharted territory

Updated: 2021-08-24 08:01 ( China Daily )
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The expedition team's biggest obstacle to exploring Heizhugou in Leshan, Sichuan province, was a series of staggered waterfalls surrounded by steep cliffs. [Photo by Qiang Jie and Liu Yong/For China Daily]

A 10-strong team completes a daring expedition over treacherous terrain and precipitous peaks to conquer one of the country's most mysterious regions, Xu Lin reports. 

Heizhugou National Forest Park is dubbed China's equivalent to Bermuda Triangle, due to its similar placing at a latitude of around 30 degrees north and also the mysterious cases of missing people that occur in the region.

In late June, extreme explorer Liu Yong led a 10-strong expedition, finishing an unprecedented four-day journey along a perilous route in Heizhugou, in Ebian Yi autonomous county in Sichuan province's Leshan city.

Heizhugou has five exploration routes, but it's the first time that people have successfully completed the 53-kilometer route that has the phenomenon of a geomagnetic anomaly.

They started from Ronghongde Marshy Grassland, trekked across Juebigou Ravine and Luosuoyida Valley.

They were the first to conquer the Luosuoyida Valley, which literally means "Death Valley" in the language of the Yi ethnic group.

The ancestors of the local Yi people have left an instruction that warns their descendants not to wander too far into the forests of Heizhugou for fear of meeting an unpleasant fate.

With an area of 838 square kilometers, Heizhugou boasts a rich biodiversity of wild animals and plants, including giant pandas. It's often shrouded in heavy cloud, infused with a beautiful mystery.

"It was a breathtaking journey brimming with uncertainties. Our success can be attributed to our being well-prepared in advance, professional outdoor skills and experience, and great courage," says Liu, 52, who has devoted himself to extreme exploration for over three decades.

The veteran climber has traveled the world conquering virgin peaks, including one on the southern slope of the Himalayas. He's also a professor at the Sports and Leisure College of Sichuan Tourism University.

For Liu, the challenge posed by Heizhugou is a unique one, as he sees it as a final frontier-the last uncharted territory in China. "With mobile phone signals almost ubiquitous, there are so few places left that remain a mystery to explorers like me. Heizhugou offers me the opportunity to really test myself and my abilities."

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