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Arch Madness

It is alleged by those who like big things that Shipton’s Arch is the highest arch in the world. At approximately 1,200 feet, you could fit the Empire State Building inside it, assuming you could first get it through Customs.

The arch was only discovered by foreigners in the 1940’s, by climber extraordinaire Eric Shipton. But then it got lost again until National Geographic found it in 2000 in Al Capone’s vault. (Thanks, I’ll be here all week.)

It’s located about 90 minutes from Kashgar on a road that only opened in the last couple months. Go now, before the Chinese build a tram to the top. For now it’s a half hour hike up to an unassuming-looking arch. And then when you get to the top, it opens into precipitous drop and swallows you whole, like a bloodthirsty clown.

Natural moments love gags like this.

One Comment

  1. So I’m not sure if this website is still updating, but I thought it would be worth mentioning that a lot has changed around Shipton’s Arch since your visit in 2012.

    There’s now a paved road that leads to a visitor’s center, sturdy metal staircases instead of rickety ladders, and a viewing deck at the top. For better or worse, it’s easier to visit (which is nice) but a bit more “touristy” (which is a bummer).

    You can see all the changes that have occurred here: Shipton’s Arch…16 years after it was rediscovered

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