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Taoist tea house
January 7, 2014 8:02 AM   Subscribe


 
Glad I'm a coffee man.
posted by KingEdRa at 8:05 AM on January 7 [5 favorites]


This is probably terribly sacrilegious, but all I could think of when looking at those photos was the movie Bushwhacked.

Just...belay myself off?!

posted by phunniemee at 8:08 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


My heart rate increased just looking at those pictures.
posted by jsturgill at 8:09 AM on January 7 [11 favorites]


Now I really want that tea.
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:10 AM on January 7 [7 favorites]


*walks to local coffee house for bag of coffee like an idiot*
posted by Fizz at 8:12 AM on January 7 [5 favorites]


My hands are all sweaty from the sympathetic vertigo right now.
posted by Kitteh at 8:15 AM on January 7 [6 favorites]


It's funny. We'll blow off a coffee shop or teahouse in our day-to-day lives because it's on a bad corner or there's no easy parking. But put a tea house up a treacherous mountain path and suddenly at least some of us really want that tea. I'm envisioning some kind of chart of degree of hassle versus desirability of tea and there's clearly something that happens on the right side of that graph.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:15 AM on January 7 [10 favorites]


Veteran Taoists just fly up there, or skip lightly up the side of the mountain.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 8:17 AM on January 7 [17 favorites]


At least once you've done it, you can just use the overworld map to fast-travel back if you want more tea.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:18 AM on January 7 [44 favorites]


Nope. Nope. Nope.

The way some people feel in spider threads? That's me here. I am sure it's a gorgeous view, but I would not be able to keep from thinking about the gorge.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:19 AM on January 7 [10 favorites]


I assume there's someone who does the trip regularly with a backpack of tea, right?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:21 AM on January 7 [7 favorites]


I only had to get to the first planks pic before being like NOPE
posted by threeants at 8:22 AM on January 7 [6 favorites]


I am struck by how many people are making this climb, and how nonchalant they look. Some of them are wearing jeans, fercrissake! If I was on this mountain I would be in a full-on climbing rig (if I had one, which I don't). And possibly hanging onto the rock for dear life.
posted by blurker at 8:25 AM on January 7


No way in hell.
posted by COD at 8:26 AM on January 7


Not for all the tea in China would I get on those planks.
posted by empyrean at 8:26 AM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Oh come, now, there's probably Via Ferrata routes in the Dolomites of Italy, that go up to where you can get a nice espresso.

You coffee drinkers don't get off that easily.
posted by alex_skazat at 8:26 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


"Sorry mate, we're out of milk."
posted by forgetful snow at 8:28 AM on January 7 [5 favorites]


Accordingly to the Wikipedia(so grain of salt), it used to be suggested to do the climb at night essentially so that you didn't see what you were doing.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:28 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Yeah, no. I have enough trouble gathering the motivation to walk ten steps to the kitchen for a cup of Red Zinger.

Now, if we were talking about Klondike bars...
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:29 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Maybe? It looks like they've added all sorts of safety improvements in recent years, so it's much less likely to kill you. And the summit's only like 7k feet! That's nothing.

I can confirm that the donuts at the top of Pikes Peak are pretty damn tasty, too.
posted by asperity at 8:35 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


This so needs to be in the next James Bond/Sherlock/Powerpuff Girls movie.
posted by jfwlucy at 8:36 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


I've been there! By 'there' I do not mean the actual tea shop at the peak, that would be crazy. But I've been to Hua Shan. It was breathtakingly beautiful, by which I mean I literally got lightheaded and short of breath and had to sit down, and we were like 'umm let's how about NOT climb the rest of the way up the mountain."
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:38 AM on January 7 [9 favorites]


IIRC that is not the only route to the top. I have only ever been to China in the winter so we never made it there, but tbh the most dangerous part of that trek, assuming you have decent balance and no inner ear problems, is actually those horrible fucking Soviet cast-off cable cars.
posted by elizardbits at 8:40 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


I want to go to there ... this despite the fact that I am terrified of heights.

Well, of falling off of heights, I guess.
posted by allthinky at 8:40 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


(and yes, the altitude is also a problem for those of you who were not born on the altiplano. *preens*)
posted by elizardbits at 8:40 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]




And also, from The Dangerous Huashan Hiking Trail in China: One thing that Frank's story did not make clear was that the insane wooden plank walk known as the Floating-in-Air Road is optional.
posted by achrise at 8:45 AM on January 7


I assume there's someone who does the trip regularly with a backpack of tea, right?

Tea trebuchet.
posted by yoink at 8:50 AM on January 7 [11 favorites]


One thing that Frank's story did not make clear was that the insane wooden plank walk known as the Floating-in-Air Road is optional.

Someone would be getting salt in their tea after pulling that stunt.
posted by arcticseal at 8:50 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope
posted by odinsdream at 8:50 AM on January 7


"It's fine, but the commute's a bitch."
posted by thinkpiece at 8:53 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm cynical, but I was waiting for the reveal that showed the large parking lot on the backside with RVs and buses that had made their way up a road on the opposite slope. That happened all the time to hikers when I worked at the summit house at the tippy top of Pikes Peak -- the hikers would stagger to the top, resting their hands on their heads to rush the thin air into their lungs, and survey the view, clear to Kansas. A thrilling moment.

And then a huge red train would pull up, or a Grey Line bus tour would appear. Kids in shorts and sandals, teenagers in hoodies with bags of Funyuns, grandparents, and dozens of Japanese. The summit house sounds like it would be a cozy little ranger station, but it's a couple thousand square feet of keychains and shotglasses and t-shirts as far as the eye can see.

All of the hikers always looked so disheartened.

I can confirm that the donuts at the top of Pikes Peak are pretty damn tasty, too.

Amen. They're sort of a consolation prize for the hikers.
posted by mochapickle at 8:54 AM on January 7 [7 favorites]


Now for the exiting part.

Exit, stage left.
posted by chavenet at 8:57 AM on January 7


I guess I feel a little deceived by this calling itself a photojournal, when it looks like they scraped a bunch of images and used them, unattributed, in a kind-of-first-person-but-not-after-you-get-suspicious-and-reread-it description of the trail.

My web-page-age fu isn't that great, but google shows links to this in October 2011.
posted by achrise at 9:02 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


The original-ish source page has a lot more information about the potential actual sources of the photos and more.

Also the "letters" page on that site is the best thing because you can see the "safety precautions" that were put in place in 2008 or so, which is a "safety harness" that will only serve to dislocate both your shoulders before you fall to your death.
posted by elizardbits at 9:07 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


Why are those mountain goats dressed up as cheesy tourists?
posted by mullacc at 9:09 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


You lost me at gondola.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:10 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Tea trebuchet.

Teabuchet, surely.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:12 AM on January 7 [7 favorites]


also oh my god those people are climbing the side of a mountain and they don't have harnesses or parachutes or anything and i need to go lay down now
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:14 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Aw, great. I have poor balance and a terrible inner ear, and was born in Melrose, Massachusetts. Now my fearlessness in the face of rotting second-world infrastructure is useless.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:27 AM on January 7


Just looking at the pictures made my hands sweat.

...

All of the [Pikes Peak] hikers always looked so disheartened.

I once hiked up another Colorado mountain (Ptarmagin Mtn, I think? Summit Co, on the Great Divide) and was told specifically to turn back early at a lookout tower IIRC because of the disappointment of reaching a parking lot on the summit.
posted by axoplasm at 9:33 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


This looks like a great location for a Starbucks.
posted by dr_dank at 9:36 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


-I only had to get to the first planks pic before being like NOPE
-You lost me at gondola.
You're both braver than I am - I chickened out at the first pic of the stairs.
posted by spinturtle at 9:45 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


At least there's two way traffic on the stairs. Who wants to be groped and jostled on the way down from high tea?
posted by de at 9:47 AM on January 7


I once hiked up another Colorado mountain (Ptarmagin Mtn, I think? Summit Co, on the Great Divide) and was told specifically to turn back early at a lookout tower IIRC because of the disappointment of reaching a parking lot on the summit.

I climbed Grouse Mountain in Vancouver on a lark with some friends as a teenager. We did the Grouse Grind, which was a lot of fun. Silly me, I thought that was basically the only way to get up there (Not a Vtown native).

Was very slightly annoyed when we reached the top and I saw the fucking gondola. But the sun setting over the Pacific made up for it. Mostly.

(Thank goodness my fear of heights wasn't so bad then)

Who wants to be groped and jostled on the way down from high tea?

Who doesn't? Besides, a tearoom is where you go to get groped and jostled.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:49 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


(tearoom) (NSFW text)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:54 AM on January 7


Not so long ago I got to cross this bridge:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3212/5872764222_d6ee17e507_b.jpg


It's an installation at Kitengela Glass, a kind of artist community just outside of Nairobi in Kenya. It crosses a ravine at a height of about 250 feet, sways like crazy in the wind, and has a floor made of a thin metal mesh. It is absolutely terrifying. And I say that as a guy who is known to dangle his feet off of high cliffs to get a nice picture.... That said, it's been up for five years and (as far as I know) no one's ever fallen off. My thought was that they need to put in some crocodile sculptures at the bottom of the ravine.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:55 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Before you start up there, you might as well talk to Kimmek at the base and grab his supplies - I mean you're going up there anyway and he'll pay you pretty nicely once you return. Just watch out for the frost troll 3/4 of the way up - I know you think you're ready for it, but you're not ready for it. Just do what you can to stay out of its way.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:56 AM on January 7 [5 favorites]


Not so long ago I got to cross this bridge:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3212/5872764222_d6ee17e507_b.jpg


oh hell the fuck no
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:01 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


If you are in the Vancouver area in summer, drive to Squamish and climb the Chief. Even though it's an easy hike few people walk past peak 2 to hike up peak 3. Climb peak 3. What you will find in addition to the panoramic view of the mountains is a naturally occurring Japanese formal garden, complete with stunted trees and a small pond of opaque jade water.

I have never brought tea. Consider bringing tea.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:02 AM on January 7 [5 favorites]


Not even exaggerating, I think I got pictures of this to my aol email in the 90's.
posted by cashman at 10:05 AM on January 7


For those of us with long memories, yes this has been on MeFi sites before, but as far as I know not as a FPP. Earliest reference I can find is this AskMe from 2006. The deeper link is actually still alive, somewhat amazingly, and features some of the exact same images.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 10:12 AM on January 7


Surprise ending; there is no tea. Or there is.
posted by gallois at 10:15 AM on January 7


Schrodinger's Tea?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:16 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Those first stairs look like the ones leading up to Pai Mei's crib in Kill Bill.
posted by Dr. Zachary Smith at 10:18 AM on January 7


One time I was hiking in Mexico (Tepoztlan, for those interested) and we hiked up into the mountains to get to a really cool indigenous ruin. Problem was, I hadn't been told that this was a HIKE, and thought we were just sightseeing, and I hadn't had any breakfast and had been ill for weeks prior. Halfway there, I sat down in defeat, for about an hour, before I mustered up the wherewithal to get to the summit.

But the worst part was, on my way up, there was a man climbing up with AN ENTIRE CASE OF FANTA on his back, which I discovered upon reaching the ruin was for the little snack kiosk that an enterprising family had set up at the top. I swear, you never feel so out of shape as when a man at least 30 years your senior carrying twice your weight cheerily passes you and then attempts to sell you a soda at the end of the trail. Which he got to a good 40 minutes before you.
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:20 AM on January 7 [16 favorites]


I swear, you never feel so out of shape as when a man at least 30 years your senior carrying twice your weight cheerily passes you and then attempts to sell you a soda at the end of the trail. Which he got to a good 40 minutes before you

I'm having pTerry flashbacks.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:21 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


If you zoom in at just the right moment you can clearly see the Red Rose tea bags.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:34 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


The chains are cool! I want to do this if only to make up for the fact that I was born too late to ever climb Longs Peak by the cable route.

Also, people climb Pike's Peak without knowing that it's a cheater peak? I suspect that such a person has many more disappointments coming to them.
posted by invitapriore at 10:49 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Surprise ending; there is no tea. Or there is.

You have to bring your own no tea.
posted by aubilenon at 11:07 AM on January 7 [4 favorites]


climbers of the world, unite! you have nothing to lose but your chaaaaaaaains
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:17 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


Video exists as well.

Was this place in operation in the Mao years?
posted by IndigoJones at 11:18 AM on January 7


Wait, no images of the inside of the tea house? After all that scrolling?

(I know.)
posted by Ratio at 11:23 AM on January 7


I love tea, I drink about two pots of tea a day, and different kinds. Different greens, some oolongs, some pu-erh, white, red, and so on.

Absolutely fuck no.
posted by hank_14 at 11:36 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


That video and those photos brought back to mind this thing, and between all of this and the cold weather I don't think my balls are ever coming back out again.
posted by jbickers at 11:38 AM on January 7


I would walk that. The worst part for me is actually the crowds. That's no fun at all.

Makes me glad I live in Alberta, where you hardly see anyone on a hike, unless it's one of the handful of really popular ones (Larch Valley in September for example).
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:42 AM on January 7


donuts at the top of Pikes Peak

Bearclaws in a blizzard on Whistler were sublime.
posted by arcticseal at 11:51 AM on January 7


There's something about the desire to do this, the enormous effort, and the sense of pride and specialness at having done it that seems very un-Taoist.
posted by rocket88 at 11:52 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


chainsofreedom! That's the mountain-top where I was simultaneously blessed and cursed! I'm remarried. I proposed in a forest.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:54 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Also, people climb Pike's Peak without knowing that it's a cheater peak? I suspect that such a person has many more disappointments coming to them.

Oh, they're aware but not aware. I think many just underestimate the physical challenge of the climb and the altitude, particularly sea-levelers, and overcoming all that only to see a gaggle of tourists makes hearts sink. (More than once, we'd get hikers banging on the doors at 10, 11, midnight, dressed in shorts, no jacket, freezing, thinking they could get up and down in a day. We'd call the ranger to drive 'em back down. This was back when summit house folks stayed overnight in dorms. They have an emergency call box now, I think.)
posted by mochapickle at 11:56 AM on January 7


There's something about the desire to do this, the enormous effort, and the sense of pride and specialness at having done it that seems very un-Taoist.

A wise man can go to this tea shop in his own home.
posted by srboisvert at 12:02 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


climbers of the world, unite!

Climbers of the world, untie! Wait, no, I meant, uniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii....i....i...i....
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:07 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


ObSF: "The Man on Top", Reginald Bretnor
posted by Chrysostom at 12:22 PM on January 7


Joshu
posted by fallingbadgers at 12:29 PM on January 7


I'll pass, thanks. I have tea at home.
posted by trip and a half at 12:33 PM on January 7


Just looking at the pictures made my hands sweat.

Images like this, and that antenna-tower climb, instantly give me a slight tingling in my knees, and I'm someone who is likely to climb both, given the chance. Someone here can surely tell me what neural pathways are involved in that.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:35 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


My labmate is from China, and I asked him if he had been there. He said when he was younger he wanted to go, but not that he's older, he realizes it's way too unsafe and would never do it. Plus something about people dying there every year.

I, on the other hand.... no wait, no I agree with him completely, NEVER EVER EVER!
posted by katers890 at 12:37 PM on January 7




The Way that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Way.

I can make tea at home and by perfecting my art of tea I shall be a taoist.

That man is perfecting the art of not freaking the fuck out while listening to some fairly poppy sounding music.
posted by lizarrd at 1:33 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Baby_Balrog: "chainsofreedom! That's the mountain-top where I was simultaneously blessed and cursed! I'm remarried. I proposed in a forest."

Was it to Ethereal Bligh, by any chance?
posted by IAmBroom at 1:33 PM on January 7


WHAT THE HELL IS THIS GUY DOING?

Too much chamomile tea?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:49 PM on January 7


Someday epic MeFi meet up. I might even attend.
posted by humanfont at 3:32 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


... the "safety precautions" that were put in place in 2008 or so, which is a "safety harness" that will only serve to dislocate both your shoulders before you fall to your death.
The only purpose I can see for that 'harness' is to permanently fold your arms behind you so you're more aerodynamic on the way down!
posted by dg at 5:29 PM on January 7


Hell no. I would choose bunga bunga over this.
posted by dios at 6:07 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


My mom did this two years ago, but not this particular peak - the one she finished had a small pavilion at the top, which was a bit of a letdown for her. But she was really proud she did it, and after seeing a documentary on the trail, I can see why!
posted by Alnedra at 8:35 PM on January 7


I get a little squiggly about heights but not enough that I wouldn't totally love to go there.
posted by aubilenon at 8:48 PM on January 7


The videos make it a thousand times more terrifying. Also shows children hiking the trail way braver than me.
posted by SarahElizaP at 11:55 PM on January 7


Not so long ago I got to cross this bridge:

That's nothing.
posted by empath at 7:01 AM on January 8


you people are trying to kill me

excuse me while i go hug the ground a lot
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:41 AM on January 8


feckless fecal fear mongering:
"you people are trying to kill me

excuse me while i go hug the ground a lot
"

eponist...obvious.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:11 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


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