Some(most) people would not suggest visiting the Great Wall in the winter. I am not one of those people.
There are of course advantages to visiting the Wall for each season such as the best weather to crowds ratio. The winter season certainly has fewer people except for maybe the spots close to the city but the weather can be pretty brisk. In fact, when you first get there it can be downright bitter. However, as anyone who has hiked the Great Wall before will tell you, after a couple sections with those very uneven stairs, you will start to shed some layers. I started with 2 sweaters and a hoodie and was down to just my short sleeved t-shirt by the time we hit the top.
Now I’m not going to talk about the view, which is quite spectacular, or the history, which is very interesting, because that has all been discussed before. Plus if that’s your jam then go in the summer anyway. What I want to tell you is how I found out that in the winter, after a snowfall, you can sled on your butt down the Great Wall.
You can get a bit out of control as well, so make sure to only do it in parts where the walls go above the walking path…obviously.
This also most likely depends on the part of the wall you are visiting so for reference I was at the part of the wall at Huanghuacheng. There was also nobody else on the wall at this time besides our group and I could see this activity being a bit more difficult in a more crowded spot.
Also don’t let the videos fool you, you can get going pretty freaking quick…
Also, as dope as this whole activity sounds, it makes the trip up the wall substantially more difficult. Have you ever tried to pull yourself up a hill?
I wish I had prepared more for this experience as the whole point was because my girlfriend just wanted to see the wall while we were there and I wasn’t expecting this experience. Though I’m not sure where I would have been able to buy a sled there on short notice. Anyway, she definitely got her wish.