New multi-pitch: Funny looking white guy

Having recently received a pile of new shiny bolts from Kailas, the Kunmingrock team has been quite busy with developing new climbs around Kunming. In the past couple of weeks 3 new routes have gone up at Swallow Cave (between the grades of 5+ and 6b), and then over the long weekend of Qing Ming Jie we bolted a two-pitch climb in Fumin canyon, on Doug’s Wall.

As with many bolting missions, it involved a lot of walking, sweating and cursing. Tom was out in the area the day before scouting out what line to bolt and at the same time he stashed the static line and bolts for me in a bag, under a bush, on the side of the mountain. He also said it was near some red earth…..with some grass. Clear enough. I set off early Saturday morning to make sure I could finish bolting in time for us to still try send it that weekend.

Funny looking white guy

Fumin multi pitch - Funny looking white guy

Fumin multi pitch - Funny looking white guy

Well, it took about 3 hours to find this bush that the bolts and rope were stashed under, then it took another 2 hours to carry about 35kg of gear to the top of the wall and locate the top of the climb we wanted to bolt. I finally got set up, kitted out with all the gear in place on my harness and backpack, established a rappel and lowered myself down the wall. Once over the edge I soon realized I was on the wrong part of the cliff! Had to pull back up the rope, move down the cliff line, reset the rappel anchors and gear up once again. By now I was tired, thirsty and grumpy. But, off I went, over the edge, in the right place this time. I placed located the correct place for the anchors, placed the bolts and then got ready for the rest of the bolting to come.

As I looked around and down the wall I got really excited, the line was going to be a good one! Two long pitches, gradually getting steeper and finishing at the top of the wall on some lovely tufas and overhanging rock. I set off bolting with a smile on my face. I bolting went smoothly; very little cleaning was required (only a few blocks to pull off). I managed to get most of the climb done before my drill batteries died and I had to quit for the day.

The next morning we asked a local farmer if he would charge our drill batteries, and he happily obliged and we chatted with him about his fruit trees while waiting. Tom then set off and bolted the remainder of the route, cleaning off some flakes and blocks and doing a nice job and spacing out the bolts. He was done before lunch, which meant we had an afternoon to open the climb. I had a friend visiting from Shanghai who joined us as a team of 3 to open the climb; given the nice stance at the top of the first pitch we figured it shouldn’t be a problem. With a bit of effort and some grunting, and a touch of sunburn, we got the two pitches open with plenty of daylight to spare.

Pitch 1: 38m, 6C+

Pitch 2: 28m, 7A+

We called the route “Funny Looking White Guy”, because my friend Mark is exactly that!

Note – you should be able to rappel off with a 70m rope in 2 rappels, if you have a 60m rope or are unsure if your 70m will get you down, you can do the lowering off in 3 rappels by lowering to the set of anchors about 10m down and left of the first stance. Given the steep nature of pitch 2, you will need to use some quick-draws to keep you close to the rock and prevent you swinging out into open space when lowering to the first stance (the second person can then clean, while the first person holds the end of the rope to pull him into the stance). Knot the ends of your rope!!

Fumin multi pitch - Funny looking white guy

Fumin multi pitch - Funny looking white guy

 


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Pregnancy and Honey wall topos (Xiao Mo Yu area)

For directions on how to get to the Pregnancy wall and Honey wall crags, please see the directions for how to get to Xiao Mo Yu village, and then take these directions from there.

Pregnancy and honey wall topo, Kunmingrock


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Gashfest 2013 – We were there

The Gash - Kunming climbing

The legend of Gashfest 2013 is quickly turning into myth, and the rumour mill has spun so many yarns now that few people really have any idea what went on at all. The climbing community has been buzzing with stories of hard new routes, first ascents, a deep underground cave of perfect hard white limestone with endless route possibilities….

None of which is true.

gashfest

gashfest

It basically a total failure. We didn’t bolt any new routes, we didn’t climb anything worth mentioning, we more or less spent the whole time trying to get warm round a smoky fire of green eucalyptus stumps.  Jim and Angie spent the two entire days speaking in Australian accents, and the only thing I could do in retaliation was dive into their tent into the middle of the night and fart as much as possible.

Saturday it snowed really heavily, all afternoon, into the evening and through the night. We got a bit drunk and barbecued some meat and then went to bed. Sunday basically consisted of taking down the tents, and the quickdraws, and stamping our feet to avoid frostbite. We ate all the food, walked down to the village and played charades while we waited for the bus.

Make sure you join us for the next Gashfest so that we don’t have such a shit time!

gashfest


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Directions to Xi Shan

Would be easiest to check the Kunming climbing guidebook released by Red Point Gym (Click on their logo to the left when on our main page for a link to their site) for directions.


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Directions to Da Mo Yu/The Wind tunnel

We say Da Mo Yu, as this is the nearest village, but the climbing (Wind Tunnel and related bouldering) is actually a little way from the village itself. To get there, take the same bus as for Xiao Mo Yu (bus C61), but you don’t get off at the drop off point for Xiao Mo Yu, stay on the bus for maybe another 1 or 2 km. After the Xiao Mo Yu drop off, the road bends left and then right, and goes down a long hill. Climb off at the bottom of the hill, as the road levels off. As usual, the bus driver will be confused as to why a foreigner would be climbing out here, just stand up, shout, take off your clothes, whatever is needed to get him to stop. Then, once you have put your clothes back on, cross the road and head back up the hill for a short distance, to the first road on the right hand side, this is a dusty dirt road accessing a nearby quarry (i.e.: many trucks). Follow this road for about 1km (less?), going under the new superhighway and head up a short dirty hill. At this point you should see the crag up and left, above a small forested area. The topos section should provide a clear picture of the crag and bouldering areas. As you near the top of the dirty hill, you’ll see a small road on your left, turn in here. There are a couple of paths heading up through the forest to the crag/bouldering, maybe a little overgrown, but it’s a short walk, so shouldn’t be a problem accessing the climbing.

Sadly one of our pads was stolen from the bouldering wall, so now we make a good job of hiding the remaining pad in the bushes near the bouldering. If you find it, please make sure to put it back.


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