Friday, April 29, 2011

China-Yangshuo-Chicken Cave (Day 76)

We rode out to Chicken Cave in the Low Mountain Area because there was a route called Tufa Rufa 5.10c and Jugtastic 5.10b.  That sounds like Anja climbs if I’ve ever heard them.


The bike ride was about 6 miles out.


We were really excited when we saw the 5.10s on the right they were in this really awesome little cave.  We started on Turd Burglar 5.10a.


Normally, we would have got on the 5.10b next but Anja couldn’t contain her excitement about Tufa Rufa 5.10c and jumped on that next.


I led it too and got it clean.


Then I led Jugtastic 5.10b but couldn’t make it and had to hang twice.  It was really good but super steep and you could not tell where the good holds were.  We were having a great day.


We wanted to checkout Scary Mary 5.11b which starts from Clean Jean 5.10c so Anja led up to to be able to check it out.


Clean Jean was ok but the crux was a thin unpleasant move.


Views from the top of the belay were great.


Scary Mary 5.11b looked awesome with lots of bolts!  You climbed out left directly above the floor of the cave 80ft below.  We were excited and Anja headed off on the lead.  The last crux move was too hard and she hung and had to pull on a draw but it was super awesome.


We did a little 5.5 and then went up Weekend Warriors 5.10b.


To round out the day we climbed Team Sweden 5.10a which was really good and we both got clean.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

China-Yangshuo-Low Mountain (Day 75)

We had a full day to go out climbing and it was sunny and amazing. 


We rented bikes for 5 Yuan a day each and headed down to Low Mountain.


This is Low Mountain we had come to get on the multi-pitch Monkey King but a party was on it when we got there.


We got on Footsteps of Our Ancestors, The 5.8 to warm up.  It was kind of polished and slippery and felt hard for 5.8.


We then got on Lazy Days 5.9.  The drag was while Anja was leading two local Chinese guys walked up and started saying “Hello” and rubbing there figures together.  It was the now well know Chinese bums trying to make us pay to climb.  We’d been told not to pay them as they are not swards of the crag they don’t offer any service, they are not the land owners, they are just trying to make a buck off climbers.  So I just kept saying “no,no”.  

We were going to try to wait longer for the party to finish Monkey King, The 5.10a but Anja wasn’t very good at dealing with these guys and wanted to argue with them so I said we should get on the multi-pitch and sent her up first.  We shoved everything in a pack and they gave a hard push for us to pay but I just kept saying “no, no” and ignoring them.  Once Anja finished the led and was not coming back down they walked off.


Top of pitch 2.


Anja leading up pitch 3.


Looking down at Anja belaying at the top of pitch 3.  The party ahead of us was rappelling down.


Anja following pitch 4.


Views from top of pitch 4.


View of Space Buttress.


We got back down and thought we’d see if the guys would come back and got on Sherrif Fatman 5.10a.


Then we got on Ten Thousand 5.10b to round out the day.  It had a really hard lieback move that I had to pull through on the draws.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

China-Yangshuo-Swiss Cheese Wall (Day 74)

We took most of the day for Anja to work but at 4 pm she wanted to get out of the room and climb.  Swiss Cheese wall is the closest wall to Yangshuo so we rented bikes quick the headed out.  We found the turn for the road after about 30 minutes.


The ride in was really nice and scenic.


We were at the wall and climbing at a quarter til 5.  We were going to have to climb quick since the bikes were due back at 7 pm.  We figured it would workout as most of the routes here were easy with the hardest routes being one 5.10a and one 5.10b.


We headed up Philly Cheese Steak 5.9.


Then up Lomito Complito 5.10a at 5:15 pm.


A Chinese group was top roping the 5.10b so we headed up Two Faced 5.8 at 5:36 pm.


Chinese group was still on the 5.10b so Chairman Mao 5.8 at 5:51 pm.


They were still on it so Spam the Chinese Ham 5.8 at 6:11 pm.


Finally the group pulled there top rope and we headed up Captain Kirk Eats Bruchetta 5.10b at 6:28 pm.


I top roped the 5.10b to save time and we high tailed it out of there.


We raced back on the bikes and got back at about 7:10 pm and were able to get our deposit back no problem.  Good fast day out climbing!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

China-Yangshuo-The Egg (Day 73)

We had heard the two new places to go were White Mountain and the Egg so we headed out to the Egg sharing a mini-bus with some other climbers going to White Mountain.  We were joined by this Spanish guy and a Chinese woman.  It was nice to be headed out climbing with some other people.  The Spanish guy was kind an odd guy and wanted to barrow 3 draws from us but then companied about the draws we had that they were not safe and too small.  So I made a draw of two junk bail biners we had and he seemed happy with those biners.


The Egg.  The hike in was pretty nice and great scenery again.


The North East Face of the Egg.


The North Face of the Egg.


We headed over to the West Face of the Egg as the Spanish guy wanted to go over there so we started on Handsaw Returns 5.10a.  Spaniard being strange again on the climb next to us.  Apparently his rope had been cut a few times and was now only 52 meters so to get down from the 27 meter climb he tied the end of our rope on to the end of his.  Whatever.


Views from the ledge at the base of the West Face were great!


I wanted to move a little away from the Spaniard so we moved right to Pulling Perfection 5.10c a two smiley face route in the guidebook.  After Anja led the Spaniard came over and wanted on our climb or to use our rope to do another climb and for me to climb on his rope.  I told him I wasn’t climbing on his rope and I was doing this climb as our draws were hanging on it.  “Well this is the only climb I can do here.  Do you want me to have to wait?”  Ken: “I don’t care what you do but we are on this climb.”  At this point I was wishing we were just climbing alone and not saving the 40 Yuan ($6.50) on the mini-bus.  Whatever, I just climbed.


We then got on Helter Incendo 5.10c to the right of the pervious route.  The lower part of the route was really great pumpy and steep moved but the last section at the top got a little runout and really sharp.


After that the Spaniard wanted to go back to the North faces so we followed them over there.  Once we got over there they decided it was too cold and were heading back to Yangshuo.  We asked the Chinese woman if she could call Ting from Rock Abond who was at White Mountain to send a mini-bus for us at 6 pm and that we’d meet them on the main road.  It was cold and she didn’t have a down jacket so I didn’t blame her.


We were feeling bold after on-sighting 5.10c without a problem at the Egg so I encouraged Anja to get on Poser's Lonely Reunion 5.10d, a two smiley face guidebook route and 3.5 start mountain project route.  It was really good but a little too strenuous with the bolt a little too far apart for Anja to get the on-sight.  She almost even backed off and asked if I wanted to try leading it from her high point.  I said ok and that way all the encouragement she needed to give it another effort and push through to the anchors.


I was feeling really tired and wiped after following Anja’s 5.10d but jumped on Rooster Booster 5.10a 31 meter route with a tough bouldery start.


This route just kept going and was really fun!  After getting down we packed up hoping we would find a mini-bus picking us up at 6 pm.  At 5:55 pm we very nervously turned down a ride from some other climbers going back from the Egg assuming Ting had been called that she would be looking for us and didn’t want to leave them hanging.  We were relieved at 6:07 when Ting and Abond pulled up in the mini-bus.

Monday, April 25, 2011

China-Yangshuo-Work day (Day 72)

We’d gotten in a good day of climbing so we took a rest day for some work for Anja. 


One Guilin made novalty is Sweet Osmanthus Wine so we tried a bottle.  It is really sweet, like a muscat, with a strong alcohol taste.  Can’t say we liked it much, even tried watering it down as it was so sweet.


One of our favorite dishes we’ve been having is fried eggplant beans.  It is eggplant, green beans, and green onion with sauted in oil with ginger and a little garlic and peppers.


Another 3 dishes we have really liked that we tried are chicken potato curry, hot and sour soup, and fried pumpkin. 

I think the chicken potato curry dish would be made in a crook pot: throw in sliced cooked chicken, 1 inch potato chunks, large carrot chunks, snap peas, and broccoli chunks with a curry sauce poured on top for simmering and served on rice.

Hot and sour soup: sliced green, red peper, and onion with diced peppers (looked like thai peppers to me) not sure about the broth?

Fried pumpkin: when we ordered this they went and got the pumpkin so it must be peeled and chopped then fried in oil with ginger, shallots, and a little pepper and maybe brown sugar.

Friday, April 22, 2011

China-Yangshuo-White Mountain (Day 71)

In the morning we moved over to Rock Abond Inn.  It is owned by a guy Abond who is a sponsered Black Diamond climber and is run by his girlfriend Ting who speaks great English.  The wifi is fast and they are way helpful and got us a mini-bus to take us out to White Mountain to climb for the day for 60 Yuen ($10) round trip.


We got dropped of at the end of a dirt road and had a 10 minute walk around to the back of the formation.  This area felt really out there and the scenery was just amazing.  I loved it!  It was a rare sort of area that inspires that sense of grandeur that places like Yosemite and Zion inspire in me everything I see them. 


White Mountain is a huge wall with some really steep climbs on it.


It is now the new heart of Yangshuo climbing with famous climbers like Chris Sharma coming here to put up some of the hardest climbs in the world.


We would not be climbing those routes.  We headed over to the far right side of the wall to start on Jie Jie Hua Xiang (Tangerine Blossom Fragrance) 5.10a.


Then a 5.10b to the right Prowl, The.


Then Liang Ba Sua Jie 5.10b just to the left of the first route


We then moved over to the far left for a the pumpy Missing Link, The 5.10b


It had a bit of a beached whale move up near the middle but it was a nice rest.


Then went over to Stone Dog 5.10c in the middle of the face which had a really strange move down low that I didn’t care for much.


What people really come to White Mountain for the over hanging left side of the wall.


To pump out the day Anja tried a quick burn Devil Sticks 5.12a and fell off about half way up and we had to run to catch our mini-bus. 


It was a nice day of climbing at White Mountain and walking back we got stuck in a traffic jam behind a couple of cows.  Just amazing to be out climbing in the farmland of China in such a grand setting.  We loved it.