During winter quite formidable; the head, second and third rapids situated in close proximity, the head rapid being far the worst to negotiate. On a bright winter’s day one of the finest spectacles on the Upper Yangtze. Wrecks frequent. Just at head of Ox Liver Gorge.
River reduced suddenly to half its width by an enormous detritus of boulders, taking the form of a huge jagged tongue, with curling on edges; commonly said to be high when the Hsin T’an is low. At its worst during early summer and autumn. Wrecks frequent, after Mi Tsang Gorge is passed, eight miles from Kwei-chow.
Situated at the head of Buffalo Mouth Reach, said to be more difficult to approach than even the Yeh T’an, because of the great swirls in the bay below. H.M.S. Woodlark came to grief here on her maiden trip up river.
Encountered through the Urishan Hsia or Gloomy Mountain Gorge, particularly nasty during mid-river season. Just about here, in 1906, the French gunboat Olry came within an ace of destruction by losing her rudder. Immediately, like a riderless horse, she dashed off headlong for the rocky shore; but at the same instant her engines were working astern for all they were worth, and fortunately succeeded in taking the way off her just as her nose grazed the rocks, and she slid back undamaged into the swirly bay, only to be waltzed round and tossed to and fro by the violent whirlpools. However, by good luck and management she was kept from dashing her brains out on the reefs, and eventually brought in to a friendly sand patch and safely moored, whilst a wooden jury rudder was rigged, with which she eventually reached her destination.
Almost at the end of the Wind Box Gorge.
Twenty-five miles below Wan Hsien. Sometimes styled Glorious Dragon Rapid, it constitutes the last formidable stepping-stone during low river onward to Chung-king; was formed by a landslip as recently as 1896, when the whole side of a hill falling into the stream reduced its breadth to less than a fourth of what it was previously, and produced this roaring rapid.