Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Luo Cheng!!! EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!

So I am back in Yangshuo fresh from our epic trip to the Luo Cheng Climbing and Cultural Festival. First a little background if you didn't know. A few months back I was asked to come down and scout the area around Luo Cheng for the potential for a climbing festival. The area is replete with caves, walls and arches of amazing limestone so it was a done deal. I sepnt a few weeks there with my friends Eva and Marcelo then Marcelo took a team back while I was in Oz to bolt the amazing arch of the Moon Hill there.

Last week saw a few bus loads of Chinese and foreign climbers head of to what we knew was going to be a crazy trip. Little did we know just how crazy!

We piled onto buses here in Yangshuo and 5 hours later arrived at our hotel in Luo Cheng all done up and awaiting our arrival. There we banquet dinners every night, Friendship Tree plantings, and an Opening Ceremony that left us all speachless. We arrived in the main square of town to about 15000 locals cramming in to see the show. An enourmous stage had been set up and a cultural show for 3 hours that was mind blowing. Absolutely amazing! Capped off by 30 foot images of Marcelo and myself bolting routes there! Haha, soooo crazy to see!

The climbing comp itself was devided into 2 parts. A toprope comp held on newly bolted routes in Moon Hill and a bouldering comp on an artificial was put up in the main square of town. The climbing went well and everyone had a blast but the bouldering was the real showcase. I was asked to route set for the bouldering comp and with the help of my good friends Andrew, Edd, Panda and Lao Su we managed to set for the entire comp in full sun in 40 degree heat in about 8 hours. Then it was time for the show! 20 women and 50 men from around the world stepped up to the plate and showed us what they are made of!!! I was MC for the event with help from a few Chinese cats as although I speak a little Chinese its not good enough to MC to the 3000+ strong crowd of locals that cam to watch! It was amazing! I had such a great time and the competitors loved it and the locals were stunned... it could not have gone better!

Here is a handful of pics from camera which unfortunately ran out of battery and I left my charger at home. I will have more pics including some pics from the comps from my friends soon, until then, enjoy!!!

The first bus load ready to leave Yansghuo
Bus ride shenanigans
Arriving at the hotel in Luo Cheng
Who loves Luo Cheng?
Dirty Dane... love that moustache haha
A small part of the enourmous crowd at the opening ceremony
And the show begins!!!
Yes, thats a 30 foot tall screen showing a video of me bolting haha
Nothing in China is complete without fireworks!

Me next to the tallest man in the world at the Friendship Tree planting... Im standing up hill and he is standing in a hole... he's pretty darn tall haha


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