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In uncharted territory

Updated: 2021-08-24 08:01 ( China Daily )
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Team members navigate their way down using ropes. [Photo by Qiang Jie and Liu Yong/For China Daily]

A spot for exploration

Liu's team will soon enter Heizhugou again to investigate other routes. They will design and rate different hiking routes for tourists, with strict safety criteria.

They will also make documentaries about Heizhugou's natural scenery and the local Yi ethnic group villagers.

"Our exploration has paved the way for the development of tourism, which can enhance the income of the locals and boost rural revitalization," he says.

The local county government is building an exploration-themed scenic spot in Heizhugou to attract lovers of the outdoors. It will also hold a global academic conference about mountain exploration in Heizhugou at the end of this year.

Liu believes Heizhugou's rich resources make it a suitable destination for exploration, with its mountains, cliffs, streams and waterfalls. It can meet the different demands of visitors.

While ordinary tourists can trek across simple and safe routes, the veteran outdoor enthusiasts can go for the more challenging treks. The latter routes will only be available to those who meet strict requirements.

"It's necessary to ensure safety of all visitors, and standards and guidelines should be strictly enforced. For example, things like having the necessary gear and physical strength, as well as previous experience are important," he says.

According to Liu, the safety rules about outdoor activities in China, including mountain exploration, should be more specific.

He recalls that their starting point was Ronghongde Marshy Grassland at an altitude of 3,280 meters, which is accessible to ordinary tourists. The spacious area can be a possible camping site for visitors to enjoy the splendid sunrise and sunset.

"The essence of tourism is experience, and the essence of experience is exploration. It's about exploring one's ability in nature. In the post COVID-19 era, people will pay more attention to their health and will want to interact more with nature," he says.

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