In June 2019, the Life Solutions team took a weekend trip to Huangshan (Yellow Mountain). Escaping the summer heat of Shanghai, we traveled to Huangshan City for a weekend of site-seeing, teambuilding, hiking, eating, discussing our business, socializing and celebrating our achievements together. Everyone from our housekeeper to senior leaders had a great time together and built positive memories that will last for as long as the ancient mountains themselves.
Formed over 60 million years ago in Anhui province, Huangshan has been ‘held in high esteem in China’s history’ for over 1,500 years
Not only is the mountain range vast with dramatic peaks, Huangshan also has significant cultural and historical value. Legend has it that Yellow Mountain, which used to be called Yishan (Black Mountain) was where an aging Huangdi (the Yellow Emperor) went to source a magical elixir from the mountain’s unique herbs, which made him immortal. To honour Huangdi, Yishan was renamed Huangshan, Yellow Mountain
Huangshan also has strong environmental significance and draws thousands of tourists from around China and the world each year for its natural beauty. Environmental protection and sustainable use of life’s resources are at the core of Life Solutions’ mission and so visiting this beautiful, pristine region was an obvious choice for us. In 1982, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China named Huangshan a ‘site of scenic beauty and historic interest.’ Then, in 1990, Huangshan was named as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) world heritage site for its scenery and its role as a habitat for rare and threatened species’ , including both plants and animals found nowhere else in the world
After settling into our hotel, early on the second morning we set out to conquer Yellow Mountain. Carrying backpacks and water bottles and wearing raincoats we got into the gondolas in small groups and were whisked up through the rainy clouds. Half-way up, we got off the lift, regrouped then began climbing thousands of stone stairs, along with crowds of other tourists. Our journey to the top would include several of the 77 peaks that day, admiring beautiful, unique vegetation and birds. As we climbed, we felt the wind pick up strength and the rain began to fall. We held tight to the railings and massive boulders that flanked our path, thousands of feet above the valleys below. As the rain fell from the sky, filling streams, feeding plants and recharging ground water, we could see a part of the age-old water cycle happening before our eyes.
With aching limbs, cold fingers, drenched shoes yet wide smiles, we reached the summit of the majestic Lotus Peak (Lian Hua Peak). As the wind cleared away the rain, we saw a vast sea of clouds reaching out to the horizon. Finally, in the afternoon, after hours of hiking and almost a thousand meters ascended, we, together, had reached the top. We laughed and marveled at the peaks in the distance, the valleys below reminding us of the heights we had climbed together. Getting out of the city, as a team, reinforced why we do what we do at Life Solutions and the importance that a healthy environment with clean water holds in our lives.