In the beautiful western part of xinjiang, there is the highest arch in the world. It is known locally as the “heavenly gate”. This natural wonder in wucha county, kezhou prefecture, xinjiang, has attracted many explorers from home and abroad. It was discovered in 1947 by the British explorer Eric shipton, also known internationally as the shipton stone arch, after three failed attempts to reach the top because of the high mountains.
The stone arch is 120 meters wide and more than 450 meters high. But the most mysterious thing about it is that it is impossible to measure the depth under the arch. Russian, Japanese and national expeditions have all tried to measure its depth, but none have succeeded. But this time, when we came to this “adventure” shooting, two friends suddenly lost control of the drone, one hit the stone wall “shattered”, one inexplicably lost contact, no whereabouts. People speculated that there must be something hidden under the gate. What it is, no one knows.
The whole heaven gate, standing between heaven and earth, tall and powerful momentum, people imagine it as the door to the gods to live in heaven. There are two local legends. The first is that the gods in the sky are from here to the earth to the world wide enze, for this is the entrance into the celestial world. However, others believe that the gates of heaven, like the crop circle Stonehenge, are traces left by aliens when they came to earth.
This stands on the pamirs “heaven gate”, hitherto little known, but deeply attracted numerous outdoor explorers. Here the average mountain elevation of 4200 meters, car travel valley, surrounded by undulating mountains, magnificent. Snow covered the whole valley, making it look like the secret territory of western xinjiang.
Located at the end of the tianshan mountain and the top of the kunlun mountains, the county has become the “natural garden of wanshan mountain”, where we can see the original image of the mountain. What’s even more surprising is that this is almost a pristine natural spot, completely undecorated. Along the way are about 2.6 million years ago by wind erosion, erosion form pictographic mountains, spectacular and desolate. In order to explore the mysterious landscape ahead, we walked all the way, also can only go on foot.
In the meantime, how small the human race is. The magnificence of mountains and the charm of nature are more formidable than we have to be. The cliffs on either side of them were filled with strange hives of different sizes, like beehives. And this is the remarkable feature of yadan landform. At this point, the road under our feet was the only way to the gate, or a river.
Before the Paleozoic era, the whole of xinjiang was a vast ocean, with only tarim and junggar platforms above the sea, while the atush region was a piece of coastal land on the northwest edge of the tarim basin. Today, the sea land is between 1200 meters and 4500 meters above sea level, and the god heaven gate is one of the most magnificent geological wonders on the mountain.
It was very steep, and the roads were paved with falling stones, and when we entered the river we had to cross deep passes, some of which required iron ladders. It is reported that before there was no iron ladder, the earliest time only rope, then wood, now is the iron ladder, but very steep, especially snow, is a psychological challenge.
In 2005, American magazine ADVENTURE recommended tianmen as one of the 25 newest ADVENTURE routes in the world, attracting many foreign explorers and ADVENTURE lovers. Since I have been working out for a long time, this part of the trail is not a challenge for me. But as the altitude gets higher and higher, many of my fellow travelers find it difficult. It takes a lot of hard work to see a magnificent landscape. Not far ahead is the tianmen. However, it is still a little far away from us.
The steep, long wooden walkway is daunting, and the elevation is getting higher, but no one will give up at the last minute to see the wonder of the heavenly gate.
All the hard work was worth it. The peak of the mountains, the great bank of the tianmen, unable to measure the height to make us like the discovery of the new world general, never thought of the great beauty of xinjiang and so magnificent scenery. The tianmen gate stands at the junction of tianshan mountain and kunlun mountain, with its back against the kunlun mountain and facing the tianshan mountain, which means that the threshold of the tianmen gate enters the kunlun mountain from the tianshan mountain.
As I zoomed in on the camera, I couldn’t help but marvel that this heavenly gate might really be the entrance to wonderland. How did such a huge sky gate come into being? In 2017, geography China, a science and education channel of China central television, said that because it is in the wind, the wind is stronger than other places. With the arrival of the high wind season every year, the wind at the top of the mountain will reach level 10 instantly.
Due to the loose gravel surrounding the rock arch and the lack of vegetation protection, the wind has eroded the cliff over the years, resulting in a variety of strange patterns.
Standing at the heaven gate, looking around, life and nature are like a mysterious collision. A long and long geological evolution, the door of the atush area experienced great changes. Here, there are also the transmigration of heaven and earth shaped like the Milky Way, a line of gorges, full of mythological color of the golden monkey shou sui and other natural wonders, and this is the uncanny workmanship of nature.
If you have a chance to visit xinjiang in the future, don’t miss it. It satisfies not only explorers’ desire for adventure, but also photographers’ pursuit of magnificent nature. More importantly, travel early.