长空历险:少年登山笔记


李春燕    07/11     9876    
4.7/3 



春燕注:几天前发的登山小记引起众多朋友关注(http://lichunyan.weidb.us/p20638&g=1682&tag=&page=1),朋友问是否有英文的分享给孩子,这里儿子写的笔记更详尽。转朋友回复“难得的是他对母亲的感恩。龟兔赛跑的比喻太有趣了。”

Hua Shan (华山)
By Arnold 
Day 1

On Friday we went to Hua Shan. It was the tallest mountain I climbed so far, and it was the only real mountain I actually climbed. At Huang Shan, we went up in a Lan Che (translated as Lazy Car) half way then snaked couple of hours to the top, so that counted as cheating. And I had Austin to carry the bags and water. This year was completely different. It was a taller mountain, and I would be climbing it from the bottom. Worse, I wouldn't have Austin to carry the stuff and to encourage me. Would I be ready to take this on?

We departed at 1 pm, already a bit jet lagged, but excited, energetic (although with false energy) and ambitious. After a few flights of stairs, my legs were starting to feel tired. I looked up at the peaks of the mountains, and I went from a state of encouragement to a state of despair. Those peaks reached the clouds, how would I ever make it? 

The road was constantly sloping upwards, along with the stairs. Every time I reached a rest stop, I had to sit down to gain some energy for another burst. However, Mom believed in a different method. She just went slow and steady, something I couldn't really do. It was like the tortoise and the hare (hey, my method worked too). Every time Mom passed me while I was resting, she would say, "sit for a while, I'll walk slowly", but I hated being left behind, so I would get up, much to her dismay, run forward, sit, wait for her, then repeat. 





Worse, we had to carry a backpack of clothing and water, and Mom's bag. The backpack was a bad choice. It was my schoolbag, so it was heavy even with nothing in it. I wore the backpack at first, but as we moved up,I found myself more frequently carrying nothing, leaving Mom with both. (I'm sorry Mom, but you offered to take the bag). Towards the beginning, we passed a sign saying it would take 4 hours to get to the top. When I saw that sign, I was already discouraged, being that I had only traveled for like, 10 minutes. But little did I know how wrong that sign would be. Well, actually, I kind of already knew. People were saying it would take 6 or 7 hours. I wanted to believe the sign. But after all, it depended on our speed. I wanted to take the lazy route up, but I knew that I wouldn't do it. I wanted to conquer this mountain, to test myself. Would I be capable of going up stairs for over 2000 meters? 


 After a few hours, (I thought it was, but it turned out to be like 1 hour), I wasn't really excited but at least I wasn't discouraged. I felt like I was just walking up stairs aimlessly, with no purpose except to find the next rest stop. There wasn't much to see at the bottom except the daunting mountain peaks that loomed over me like black clouds. The only thing I was thinking of was, "are the stairs easier or is the slanted road?"







The rest was all a blur, until the Yun Ti (Cloud Ladder). It was a set of stairs that went, not vertically, but actually tilted at around 110 degrees. There was nothing but a chain coming down from the top. Let me explain using ASCII art. 

Imagine a dot and a backward slash. The backward slash is the stairs. The dot is me. I have to go up that way. I wanted to go around, using the other flight of stairs, which was much safer. Then, Mom suggested I go up the Cloud Ladder. I wasn't, and still am not sure if she was being serious. I think she was joking. But, I took that seriously and went up. It took a lot of arm strength, which I had easily at my disposal (thanks squash). The hardest part was that I was constantly falling backwards due to the angle. If my hand slipped or I let go, I would fall down. A few stairs up I looked down to see my Mom along with a small crowd watching. Those people had wanted to go up the easy route too, until they saw me climbing up this thing like a monkey. Mom decided to go up too, but her arm strength was basically non existent, so it was pretty scary for her, but she made it. Later, she said she was close to crying. Lol. The other people slowly came up too, following my lead. To me, it was easy enough and actually very fun. I wouldn't've gone up if Mom had not suggested it. I guess Mom knows best. She suggested I do something I originally had not wanted. I do it easily and have a lot of fun doing it. She follows but is scary to her, and she wants to back out. This sequence happened again the next day exactly, and I'll get to that later. 


 Note: 千尺幢,苍龙岭 were quite challenging too.









After that again, the rest was a blur until we reached the east peak. When we got there, it was 8 o'clock. It had been 7 hours since we departed. Ha, so much for the 4 hour time. We actually made good time. The whole way up, we were one of the only ones on the path. Everyone else, everyone else in their right minds went up the lazy route. But I later felt accomplished and proud of this achievement, though at that time, the only thing I felt was fatigue, the desperate need to find a bed. Turns out, that aspect was hard enough. I already knew the conditions up there weren't so good. After all, it was a tall mountain, and getting supplies up there was difficult. I also knew that it would be pricey to stay up there, for the same reason. Due to this, most people would either go up in the gondola or, if they hiked up, they would go up at night, not sleep, then hike back down and get to the bottom at morning. Thus, the next morning, I saw many people asleep on the steps of the mountain, too tired to hike all the way down after hiking all the way up. 


We payed 960 yuan (you can do a lot of stuff with 1K) to live in a two person room. The other choice was 150 yuan for an 8 person bed that you shared with many other people. We didn't want that. We got to our room, and it was freaking tiny. There was nothing but a small table and two beds, each smaller than a twin size bed. Yeah, I know, a twin bed is the smallest size. And then there's this. It was barely wider than me. The walls were dirty and old, and so was the window and floor. Normally, I would totally refuse to even enter this jail cell (you think I'm being mean when I call this a jail cell. I'm actually being generous for this room. Lol). But because I was so tired, this place was heaven.





A few minutes after we got to that room, I had to go to the bathroom, and Mom decided to accompany me. We went out the building, and Mom thought it was pretty cold, so she suggested we go back and retrieve a jacket. I refused, and we kept walking. Mom, still concerned about me, did not see a slight slope in the road. She tripped, fell, and destroyed the skin on both of her knees, ankle and right palm. It was bleeding pretty bad. Every single year in China, she always managed to trip, and always while she was concerned about me. Last year, in Hong Kong, we were both tired while on the road to find a bus home, and I was complaining about never being able to make it home or some other dumb shit like that. Mom, trying to save me some walking, ran forward to find a bus, and tripped over a pothole and badly scraped her knees, blood running down her shins. In Huang Shan, she wanted me to have some water. While stepping down stairs and holding out a water bottle, she tripped, hurting her knees and twisting her ankle. Austin and I helped her with a cane during the two days climbing Huang Shan. 


I of course felt pretty bad. She was always thinking about me, which resulted in her pain. But come to think about it, a knee scrape is nothing compared to the other pain she went through thinking and caring about me. And for all of these years, she has taken Austin and me back to China for vacation. It's very hard on her. After all, most families are two parents taking care of one child, and that's hard enough. Because Dad is busy, this is the opposite, one mother with two children traveling. Sacrificing so much time and energy being the wonderful mother she is, not just in the summer, but throughout my life. I really really appreciate it.





Hua Shan Day 2 

We went to the East Peak so we could see the sun rise. But we ended up totally missing it, as we were too tired to wake up before 5. I thought the commotion of the people going to see the sun rising would've waken us up, but either they were really quiet or we were just too tired. But that was okay, I didn't really think it was worth it to wake up that early to see three minutes of a sun rising. We did the same thing at Huang Shan, so I didn't need to see it again. 


We left the mountain top a couple of hours after the sun rose. Mom was a mess: her muscles were all tired and sore, and her knees were still scraped up. I, on the other hand, was fine, only a little tired. We went outside to see a crowd leaning over the mountain edge, watching a crazy activity (鹞子翻身). Turns out, they were waiting in line, not spectating. They were waiting to be strapped in and let down the side of the cliff. I didn't want to do that, and neither did Mom, so we left. 


We were walking towards West Peak to go down the mountain on a gondola, when Mom wanted to go to the 长空栈道 at the South Peak. It was a 30 cm wide wooden walkway nailed onto the side of a cliff, like 50 bloody miles off the ground (pun not intended, but it kinda is). I had already seen pictures of it before climbing the mountain, and it was CRAZY! 


We got there, and the line was crazy long, indicating the crazy number of crazy people there. Mom got in line as I waited on the side. After a bit, I decided to jump in. I told Mom, "If you go then I have to go". I don't know what I meant by that. Maybe I didn't want to lose to Mom in our "competition". Maybe I wanted to make sure she would be okay. It was probably both. I wanted to turn back, so did Mom. But a lady in front of us convinced us to stay. Also, I know I wasn't actually going to back out, I was tired of waiting on this cliff. We asked every person that was on his or her way back how it was, and every single one said it wasn't scary. I didn't believe them. After over an hour of waiting, it was our turn. Soldiers strapped us in with carabiners that definitely did not seem safe, and we walked forward to see a long staircase winding downwards to the actual path. It wasn't really a staircase. It was metal poles put between two converging cliffs, wide enough to fit one person. We lowered ourselves, easy enough for me but scary for Mom. Throughout the entire course, we had to unhook our carabiners and strap them on to the next part. We had two, so we would unhook one, put it on the next, then bring the other one forward. That way we always had at least one carabiner hooked on.





When we got to the actual path, it wasn't scary. I walked along easily, turning around every so often to peer down the cliff. Mom refused to look down, too scared, hugging the cliff for dear life. When it was time to get our picture taken, I stuck one of my legs and arms out, but Mom still stayed glued to the wall. The photographer asked her to stick out her legs and arms, but she ended up just extending one arm in an awkward direction. I, the one who was scared of this and didn't want to go, was the one who enjoyed it and wasn't scared at all. Mom, the one who wanted to go, was the one who was terrified. Halfway, she wanted to turn back. I told her, "we waited here for so long and came so far, you can't just back out", so she stayed. It was just like the situation at that set of stairs. Throughout our way there, we had to wait to let the people coming back by. They would go on the outside, and they would clip their safety belts on the top rope, while ours was on the bottom. There isn't much to say about that anymore. We reached the end, then turned around to walk back. It was very enjoyable and I'm glad we did it. Again, Mom suggested we do something, I do it, it's fun for me, Mom does it too, she's scared. Mom does know best. Apparently she knows me better than I know myself. 


After we got off, we walked to the West Peak, got on the gondola and went down. It had been a long and arduous and tiring two days, but I felt proud and accomplished as we zipped down this memorable mountain.


春燕注:每次回国,哥俩免不了写几篇记录,小时在笔记本上,去年和这次在iPad 上,朋友询问英文记录,争得儿子同意发出来,想不到得到叔叔阿姨们这么多鼓励。附下面留念。

转“每次看到你和儿子们一起做事、一起成长,我总是深受启发。我经常找各种借口让两个大娃自己去做事,或者我偷懒,让他们跑到前面探路。看到Arnold 的笔记,才意识到和孩子一起经历、偶尔走在他们前面,对他们是更大的带动,也更深化母子的感情。感谢你和Arnold的分享。”


转“同感悟啊。看来对孩子的教育需要把握平衡的艺术,有时候需要放手让孩子自己去体验;有时候又需要父母身先士卒,以身作则。”


转“真棒!读到儿子对妈妈的感言眼泪都出来了。儿子真贴心!好妈妈教出好儿子。好羡慕!”


转“心理描述得真棒,女儿看了全文,被Arnold的文字逗乐了。” “英雄出少年!太棒了!” “你们站在栈桥上,太勇敢了。” “赞你们母子俩!” “写得真好, 收藏了给儿子看, 既能向哥哥学习勇于接受挑战的精神, 又能学习写作!” “非常非常感动。 Arnold写得真好。” “虎妈虎崽。” “受感动,很想尝试,我家每年都去滑雪,他们爷三都去blackdimond,我想还是你们的活动更有挑战性,去年去华山,赶上暴雨,仅爬山但没去登岩。” “真是有勇气。” “好棒的孩子!” “记录得很详实,情真意切,佩服孩子的毅力!” “能感恩父母,好感动!父母教育得好!” “有多少付出,将来在儿子身上就有多少收获,虽然你的爱不求回报。” “如身临其境,也想去华山了。 年纪大了胆子大不比从前了--悬崖峭壁伸胳膊那张。” “写的真好,特别感人,好棒的孩子!一百个赞!!!” “Arnold 好样的。” “谢谢分享!很精彩!” “原来文采也可以遗传的。” “不是一般的棒啊!” “感动,好儿子!” “你儿子很有写作才华,要多加引导,顺水推舟,必远航。” “你儿子写的很详细,生动!你和儿子在半空那张,好惊险啊! ” “很感人,太到位了……也正是我们正在和将要经历的,不敢奢望孩子们能有如是的悟性啊……这,有时真的教不会。” “儿子非常感恩妳的陪伴和付出。” “养儿如此,不需哈佛。” “孩子的最终出息,和学校其实没有什么关系。在智力条件相似的情况下,起决定作用的,是进取的欲望(motivation)。对一个如此 self-motivated 孩子,以后必定是前途无量的。”


““Self-Motivation"---这个观察非常棒!回头看看我们走过的路,真正闪亮的,哪一步不是靠着自我进取获得的?漫漫人生途中,没了进取心,就像飞机汽车没了发动机,孩子大人概莫如此。这一点,真该是我们教育孩子的主攻方向。” “生动、有趣,还有创造性思维(我喜欢那个ASCII art 解释)青出于蓝而胜于蓝啊。” “好喜欢他这篇细致又深情的游记。读到关于你的描写,感动我湿了眼睛。好乖好懂事的一个小男生!春燕你真了不起,可以走长空栈道。有你这样的母亲,你的孩子必定会很优秀!”  “照片看得我腿都软了。家有小小男子汉初长成,最应该骄傲的莫过于当妈的了。真羡慕你把孩子教育得这么好!” “儿子真棒!”


转“太让我感动受教育了,女儿读完好佩服Arnold!大大👍” “@燕子 👍👍大赞!很受启发,你和孩子在游玩中得到的锻炼和勇气是一生的财富!你们母子间的❤️也让人感动!” “@燕子 你和Arnold太棒了!转给我家哥俩了。好佩服你,陪儿子一起争服了华山。” “写得真好,一口气就读完了。也要分享给孩子们” “存下了, 要和孩子们分享。 母❤️伟大!”


转“存下准备详读和给孩子们看。你老二观察仔细,心思细密且达观,敢冒险,能推己及人,真棒! 很喜欢你们母子间的互动和情感!”