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!!!

No comments: