The Rise of China 2013

Wow.  Happy one-year relationship, Asia.  I had a feeling you’d convince me to stay in this wild-ass weird place, but I certainly didn’t expect to remain here for this long.

I’m glad I did.

Asia is an amazing continent.  If you haven’t been here and you claim yourself a seasoned traveler, then you are definitely missing the most crucial region of the world to visit.  Just watch the documentary ‘Wild China’ – a six-part series by the BBC and you’ll get why I’m still here.

I’ve passed through most of the major cities in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guilin, Kunming, Chengdu, Mianyang, Daoxiang, Laibin, Nanning, Guanzhou, Guangdong, Changsha, Changde, Guiyang, etc.  I’ve logged over 150 hours riding trains this year – not a difficult thing to do considering China has enough public rail-lines to go from the Florida Keys to Seattle eighteen times (and they will have five times this much by 2020).

Shanghai Train station.

Shanghai Train station.

With such convenient transportation, it’s no wonder I’ve traveled so much for climbing.  I’ve been on multiple, paid Chinese Government sponsored climbing trips.  One to Getu Valley with the Chinese National Climbing Team and one to another promising limestone sector near Yangshuo called LeYe.

Inside Getu's Arch.  It's the biggest climbing gym in the world!

Inside Getu’s Arch. It’s the biggest climbing gym in the world!

Getu Rock Trip.

Getu Rock Trip.

We are not climbers.  We are sportsmen!

We are not climbers. We are sportsmen!

It’s been amazing to be a member or a ‘sportsman,’ taking part in what’s going on here in China.  This country is the size of the USA, yet it has only a handful of climbing areas.  It’s been an extraordinary experience, being able to explore many of these new sectors and marvel at the future of climbing here.  Let it be known, climbing is BOOMING in this country, along with everything else here apparently.  In the summer we are planning a sponsored climbing rock search trip to a nearby city called Xian (where the terracotta warriors are buried).  There, there’s everything.  It’s as important to climbing for China as Yosemite was for the USA.  That’s what my housemate, Duncan Brown, a Kailas sponsored climbing athlete, keeps saying anyways… So, yeah, I’m stocked for that trip; going out and developing some 10-15 pitch bolted routes and find the sickest boulders – all First Accents hopefully!

For now, I’m climbing here in Yangshuo, training, and working on a few climbing projects.  I can’t wait for what is held in stores in the coming months.  More writing to come… Here are some photos.

Karst towers in the distance.

Karst towers in the distance.

At the FREE outdoor climbing wall.  Yangshuo, China.

At the FREE outdoor training wall. Yangshuo, China.

Jennifer Chang on Over the Moon (5.12c).  Moon Hill, Yangshuo.

Jennifer Chang on Over the Moon (5.12c). Moon Hill, Yangshuo.