Zhangjiajie(张家界)/National Day Part 2: Chinese Tourism

3 thoughts on “Zhangjiajie(张家界)/National Day Part 2: Chinese Tourism”

  1. Interesting report on Part 2; waiting for Part 3.

    Re: paving 3000 steps:
    I assume the two stones are lad flat so that each step has a 12″ tread and 8″ rise, right? And the width of 3′ would be just enough to allow one person going up to meet and pass another coming down, right, again?
    As to weight: The volume of each stone is a little over 1 cubic ft. Now, stone typically weighs about 150 Lbs/ cubic ft, so we have about 160 lb per stone, or about 320 lb per step. Multiply that by 3000 steps and you have about 960,000 lb, say 1,000,000 lbs for each stairway.
    I’d guess it would require two men (or women?) to jockey each stone into place, so I see a team of two m/w placing stones at the head of a long line of paired lifters passing stones up the mountain, rain or shine. (I assume lifters in pairs because I doubt that one m/w could lift 160 lbs and also carry it up, say, 6 ft to pass it on, especially in the warm rain.)
    If lifter pairs were spaced about 6 ft apart, it would take about 500 pairs to reach the top, but they probably wouldn’t use such long line. More likely a series of staging platforms, using mules, bay mules to carry stone up from one to another. So let’s picture a work gang of about 200 m/w, or 100 pairs swinging stones up the mountain.
    I’d like to think the lifters had songs or chants (like sailor’s chanties) to help the work flow smoothly. Listen . . . there may still be echoes in the valleys.


    1. Thanks for doing the math, that seems about right. Though complicated somewhat by the fact that some mountains are on the edge of the valley, and roads lead reasonably close to the top. So maybe for some, some kind of slide/pulley section to raise and lower stones? I don’t really know how practical that would be for individual sections of stairs, but certainly for the large tourist platforms with shops and food that appeared every so often.


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