Before the sunset & when there's rain, the clouds in Huangshan can be spectacular.
It's moving & with the rugged mountains, it's basically like viewing a painting in the making.
A chinese painting!
It's a moving experience...
Unfortunately, no camera of mine could capture the essence of those spectacular moments!
I guess you'll have to do the works yourself & to see them for yourself! ;-)
Here is a closer look of the...
Here is a closer look of the same 100-Step Ladder to the Heaven. Be very careful with the very narrow path carved out at the center of this huge rock. If you are a BIG person, you might find it hard to pass through it! The name says the ladder is above the clouds, just wait to see when you are surrounded by heavy clouds. The three days we were there, it was all sunny, no luck to see this mountain area's famous cloud scenes.
According to Lonely Planet, the best way to tackle Huangshan is to climb the eastern steps for 3 hours and descend via the longer western steps(6 hours going down for me). I guess one could do the opposite, depending on one's fitness level.
If I were to do it a second time, I would take the Yupinglou cable car halfway up the western route (and shave off a few hours of climbing the not-so-scenic lower level) and not be too tired to enjoy the incredible views that really begin from the Yupinglou upper cable station. Incidentally, a number of tour groups did just that and they had some older folks with them.
However, if you climbed up one side and down the other, you will feel a great sense of achievement and know you are still fit ;D
"Huangshan, the highlight of my trip."
Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise
Clouds, mist and rain remained with us during our two days on the mountain. We could end our hikes if we got too wet or windy. The Chinese tour groups, however, plowed ahead on schedule, despite the weather.
On a cloudy morning, you still can get some very nice views. The high winds will push the clouds around, with ever-changing views. Don't wait to get a better shot; you might just lose the view in a matter of seconds.
If you have a hotel on the mountain, you don't have to stay out all day. Just plan your hike carefully. Hikes can be longer than they seem on the map, especially in bad weather. We went back to the hotel after several hours. But, don't try to play cards with your family in the hotel lobby; you may be asked by the police officer on duty 24/7 to put the cards away. Don't worry, though, you can always smoke in the hotel lobby, but not outside.