Monday, January 31, 2011

Allie Pepper on Everest!!!

So I am really lucky to know some really amazing people around the world. People getting out there chasing their dreams and inspiring me to do the same. This is just one of those people that I count myself really lucky to know. Allie Pepper.
I first met Allie years ago when I lived in the Blue Mountains in Australia. She was inspiring then and only more so now.
This year she is setting out to try and make an ascent of Everest via the South Col route from the Nepal side. Without supplementary oxygen! You go girl, so psyched for you!
Check out Allie's blog to follow her progress and support her on her epic adventure!

Allie Pepper on the summit of Cho Oyu in 2007

Lots of love to you girl, I'll be cheering you on from here... I would say good luck but your not going to need it :)


Not much news, but ten thousand views!

Hi all,

There's not alot to report on right now really. It's mid winter in Yangshuo which means cold and wet so not alot of climbing is getting done. Just training to be ready for the weather to break in the next few weeks so we can go out and crush in the nice temps :)
Some of you know I have not had the best of luck in the last few weeks, some personal disasters that set me back a little, well we can add another one.. My laptop died and destroyed itself and my back up drive that wa attached at the time so as a result have lost ALL my photography from the last few years. We tried recovering the data bt it had corrupted so its all lost. Not a great start to the year. So I will have to start again with the photography. Oh well, worse things happen I guess!

On the bright side, this blog has just surpassed ten thousand views! Not exactly record breaking I know but a nice milestone none the less. I'll be back again soon with some mpre climbing news as soon as I have some! Cross your fingers that the sun comes out one day soon!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beijing and Sichuan

So my trip to Beijing and Sichuan was fun. Got home a few days ago. Not much of the trip was climbing related but I was in some beautiful places so here are some pics, enjoy!

Beijing - mainly Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City

Sichuan - Jiuzhaigou Ice Waterfall Festival (and the 11 hour drive from Chengdu to get there because me and a film crew missed our flifghts haha)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Evolv - coming on board with sponsored goodies!!!

I am really stoked to announce finally that my good friends at Evolv have come on board to sponsor me this year with their awesome line of climbing and approach shoes!

I have been using Evolv shoes almost exclusively for a while now and I am a massive fan so this new partnership is super exciting.

Let me show you what I have been using lately...

For climbing...

Optimus Prime - A really versatile shoe that I have loved using on everything from slabs to steep

Pontas - Just ordered these ones, awesome edging shoe with a sharp toe for tiny pockets and edges

Talon G2 - These are my project babies... the best steep climbing shoe I have ever owned, absolutely love these things! Just don't try and climb anything vertical or slabby in them, they were made for the really steep stuff...

For walking around...

Escapist - another shoe that I have just ordered, a sweet approach shoe that is light and tough. Im psyched to use these for running too

Buck - I pretty much lived in these things over the last summer. THE sticky rubber flip flop, I went to the crag in them, hung out on boats in them, climbed 5.10 in them, you name it... love them!

So as you can see, I'm psyched on the Evolv range of shoes, they have something for everything I do so they have all my bases covered. Super excited to be working with the team from Evolv this year :)

Right now I am in Beijing for another 3 days. Tomorrow Jen and I are off to see the Forbidden City and Sunday we are going to go see the Great Wall which I have still never seen so I am really excited about that! Then on the 17th I am off to northern Sichuan for a few days for the Jiuzhaigou Ice Waterfall Festival, an eco tourism conference in an amazing and wildly beautiful part of China. Really looking forward to it!

Then on the 21st it's back to Yangshuo and back to work on my project out at Fuli... I have been training like crazy lately getting stronger and fitter with this project in mind... can't wait!

While here in Beijing I have been training at the O'le Climbing Gym which is run by some good friends of mine, here are a few pic's of their sweet bouldering room that I have been putting to good use... time to go train! :-)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Petzl Roc Trip 2011! China, Guizhuo, Getu Valley

So earlier in 2010, in early October to be precise, I headed off to a little known valley called Getu in Guizhuo Provence here in China to attend a small local climbing festival and to stay on to help bolting some new areas there. The new development was part of the prepartions for the 2011 Petzl Roc Trip and I am happy to announce that it is going to be amazing!!!

The area already had a few smaller walls outside the park that held a handful of routes but the first bolting team from Petzl (that included the likes of Gerhard Hörhager, Guido Unterwurzacher, Erwan Le Lann, Arnaud Petit, Stephanie Bodet and Dani Andrada amoungst many others...) set to work bolting mainly in the huge cave that the area is well known for here in China. The cave is a tunnel about 150 metres long, 80 metres wide and 3 pitches high on the inside!!! There is one route now that goes from the ground to the lip of the cave and it is a massive 5 pitches long!

So far the larger cave (that is called 'Dachuandong') has about 30+ routes in it from 5.7 to 5.14c and from 1 to 5 pitches and with several possible 5.15 projects bolted in it and there are several other walls being bolted nearby with a range of routes including some amazing long moderate walls with up to 7 pitches of 5.10 to 5.11 climbing... outstanding! The cave and nearby surrounds has the potential to hold alot of routes so it will be interesting to see how much gets done by the time of the Roc Trip.

A team from Petzl will be returning this year to continue bolting in preparartion for the Roc Trip in October this year. Their plan is to finish developing as much of the area as they can on this next trip. At present many of the routes bolted so far require the proper anchor sets to be placed at the top of the routes which was due to a shortage of these here in China during theor last visit but these will all be placed on the next trip soon and the crag will be sure to become another classic sport climbing destination here in China with something for everyone to climb, and all in a fantastically beautiful setting.

I will be sure to keep you all updated on news of the next bolting trip out there and with details of the Roc Trip dates, etc as they come to hand.

Here are a few pics from Getu to get you excited...

Here is a video from the 2010 Petzl Roc Trip, looking forward to this year!

Petzl Roctrip Mexico 2010 - El Chonta Rodeo from Petzl-sport on Vimeo.

Oh, and look out for a Location Beta post on the Getu Valley in the coming months, once the bolting is completed and some topo's are done I will unleash all the beta I can for you!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Hey guys, here is a more detailed trip repot from Mike Dobie on their new peak in the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain region near Lijiang, Yunnan (as written about in my previous post). Again, I am stoked to see these guys doing their thing!

Trip: Lijiang, Yunnan, China - Southeast face of Smaug Peak (jade dragon snow mt)

Date: 12/20/2010

Trip Report: Darryl Kralovic and I climbed an unclimbed peak in the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain area in the Lijiang county of Yunnan in China.The peak itself was between 16,500 and 17,000 feet and there was no evidence of previous human beings presence at the top. The Jade Dragon Massif itself is commonly known for its major peak of 18,306 foot peak but most do not know that the area consists of 13 other significant peaks that have never been climbed. Smaug peak is one of them and the furthest south along the south to north oriented ridge that these peaks lie on.

Gear Notes: Brought the whole get up. Small rack to 4, snow and ice pro and rope and didn't use it. Only used ice axe, crampons, and helmet. Night was very cold that time of year recommend a -20 F bag for that time of year.

Approach Notes: Red Tape: We traveled to a small village named Yuhu "village" from the Lijiang old town, bought a ticket for 120 rmb each. We were harassed by police and government officials as to how long we were going to bein the area and they told us to be back that same day before 4 pm. (I think they were trying to get us to buy another ticket or something) I told them that we will be staying up in the mountains for at least 2days. They got someone on the phone that spoke english and they gave the phone to me. The man on the phone told me that they were afraid that we might die in the night and I responded by telling him that weare experienced outdoors-mans and where prepared to spend the night. He said OK and to call him if there where any problems. At no point do they say that climbing the mountain was illegal. So I guess the thing to do is tell them that you are backpacking and will probably be staying the night, and not climbing the summit. They might charge you for additional days if that is the case, but the experience is worth it.

Approach: From the ticket office we headed up the prominent horsetrail/road towards the beginning of the snow mountain ridge. There was one trail that seemed the most obvious and we passed a few horsestalls (used for Chinese horse tourism) and buildings as we headedtoward the peak we had in mind. We went off trail at about 11,000 feet and headed straight up the grassy slope to an alpine basin where weestablished a base camp. (see pictures) From here we camped at 13,900 feet. The following morning we traveled up a snowy scree field to a Southeast facing gully. Once in the gully we headed up and left till we could reach a few gully systems thatheaded to the right until we reached the summit ridge. We met highwinds and a developing storm as we ascend a 4th class block to the summit. Descended the same way. Downclimbed with no rappel. Steep snow and ice travel (50 degrees) Class 3-4 rock steps.
From the summit it looks like there might be a few other gully systems that access the summit further to the north.


Thanks again to Mike for the beta, keep it up boys!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More upcoming adventures and some China news...

Life is amazing. Every day brings new opportunities for adventure. So many things in the pipelines for this year... more on those as they develop. But for the moment January is already looking to super fun!

So far the year has started cold and a little wet here in Yangshuo but we have been climbing loads regardless and training hard to be ready for the spring and loads of project sending.

Tomorrow I am off to Beijing for 11 days to hang out with my wonderful girl Jen who will be working there this year with the Jump Foundation ( ) and to train with my good friends at the O'le Climbing Gym. I am super excited to be going to beijing as I have not been there as yet and it will be my first time getting to see the Great Wall... I am hoping some amazing landscape photo opportunities are on their way!

Then on the 17th of January myself and Jen have been invited to to go to the 'Jiuzhaigou Ice Waterfall Festival' in the Jiuzhai Valley in northern Sichuan provence to offer our advise on the eco tourism projects going on up there. Super excited to get up there as I have not yet been to Sichuan and the area looks stunning (see this site for amazing pics! - ). We are hoping that later in the winter this year we will return for some ice and alpine climbing if this recon trip goes well... psyched!

So over this last year I have made many good friends around China and discovered that while climbing is relatively new here this country has an unbelievable amount of climbing of all styles to be enjoyed and developed and there are a hand few of people around the country getting it done. People are out there developing bouldering, trad climbing, ice climbing, sport climbing, alpine... you name it. So I am going to try and get more news from around the country and more location beta posts done for people (info on some of it is out there on Chinese websites, but nothing in English for the rest of the world to find info from) so you can all enjoy more of what this amazing country has to offer and help progress the sport in all it's forms.

For a large part of 2010 my good friend Mike Dobie has been up in Lijiang in Yunnan developing climbing of all types on the plethora of granite, sandstone and limestone up there in north west Yunnan and south west Sichuan. He and his crew up there have found endless granite boulder fields, beautiful red sandstone splitter cracks, steep tufa dripping limestone and endless alpine peak first ascents ripe for the picking. Here are some pics from Mike himself...

Highball granite bouldering anyone?

The above two pics are from the amazing Liming Valley. Amazing sandstone splitters? Heck Yes!

And here is the story and some pics from a recent alpine ascent Mike did...

From Mike:

Hey all, here are a few pictures and a brief trip report of a first ascent we did of a mountain in the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain area.

Southeast gully of Smaug peak- Altitude 16500 - 17000 feet, 45 to 50 degree snow and ice travel, Class 3-4

Darryl and I did it in two days starting from a small village named Yuhu in the lijiang valley at 8,700 ft. (see lijiang plateau pic.) The first day we took a base camp at 14,000 feet in an alpine cirque belowthe summit (see view from BC). After a chilly -10 degree Fahrenheit night we set out for the summit. We followed a steep snow and ice filled gully and small class 3 rock steps to gain ledges that seemed to cut to the summit along its southeast face (see weather coming inpic). Large cornices and high winds met us at the ridge of the summit. A small class 4 hurdle was overcome on the summit block to grant usaccess to the peak (see summit shot pic). Clouds were forming as the winds increased as we descended back to base camp and out to the lijiang valley later in the day. The summit of the peak was somewhere between 16,500 and 17,000 feet. It does not have an english named so we decided to call it Smaug (like the dragon from the book the hobbit)to go along with the "dragon theme". Plus I have noticed in my time living near this peak that it seems to develop clouds before the restof the mountain ridge and be the start for most weather systems on the mountain. It gives it a smoking appearance at times like a dragon lives up there or something. During this trip we scouted more areasalong the ridge massif and we hope to have another trip up there in Feb. Love you all!


Awesome! The boys on the summit!

So psyched to have such amazing friends doing amazing climbing all over the world but I am always most inspired by guys like Mike and Darryl out there doing new first ascents in frontier locations like here in China.
Stoked for you boys! Keep it up!!!