A note from the developers: For many of the crags that are being newly developed around Kunming, by us and by other climbers in the area, the bolts used are sourced locally. They have no official rating, though they have been independently tested and held a minimum strain of 1.5 kN. We are confident they are good enough quality, but make no guarantees towards anybody’s safety and offer no responsibility for anything that may go wrong, due to poor bolt placement or bolt failure. We have however equipped routes in such a way that we feel are safe enough for ourselves. And of course, personal safety is something we value quite highly. For information please feel free to contact us through this website.
With a strong (if not so large) local scene and plenty of bolting going on, Kunming is an up and coming climbing destination in Southwest China. Numerous high quality crags and great weather year round make this a place well worth visiting. Even on the coldest of days or in the heaviest of rain there is always somewhere you can climb. Recently five new crags have been developed, with new routes still going up on a weekly basis, adding to the existing climbing and offering a wide range of grades from 5a to 8b (and beyond?), there are still quite a few open projects still awaiting first ascent.
Great, steep climbing out here in a part of China that is not well acquainted with English, or climbers, or foreigners. Be creative with your communication, it’s not always going to be easy. This isn’t Tonsai, and getting to the crags usually involves hopping on a local bus, however that said, most of the crags are only about 20km from town.
Please be aware when visiting the new crags that in spite of the best efforts of the developers to clean the routes and make them safe, tufas do break, especially in the wet season, so wear a helmet, and don’t picnic under your mate’s project.
Here at Kunming Rock we have put together all the information we have available about climbing in Kunming – we hope you will find it useful!
1.) Xiao Mo Yu Village
- Xiaomoyu village is now the home to much of Kunming’s crags. The “Xiaomoyu Cave” is the most well-known of the crags and remains the highlight of any trip to Kunming, a beautiful natural feature with a full grade range of steep climbing, mostly hard climbing though. There are a few other crags though that are worth visiting. First, this is more like an extension of the Cave, there are a bunch of top quality climbs in the cornfield down and right of the Cave, this crag should be visible from the village as you approach the climbing area.
- Secondly, there is the TNT Wall, this is one of my favorite crags in Kunming, great lines ranging between 6a and 7c+, with a number of good climbs around 7a, a mixture of face climbing and fun roof climbing. Belayers please be aware of not standing under your climber at this crag, we’ve tried to clear the loose stuff, but not worth taking chances. A pleasant walk of about 25-30 minutes, through the forested mountain side acts a good warm up for the climbing.
- The last two walls are alongside each other, The Pregnancy Wall and the Honey Wall, bolted a few years ago, but remained relatively unknown (hence this website), some shorter climbing, ranging between 6a and 7c, with a couple of open projects (7c and beyond).
2.) Da Mo Yu area
- The climbing area near Damoyu is contains 1 crag – The Wind Tunnel, aka “Windy” and two amazing features that provide some interesting bouldering. The bouldering occurs on two sections of steep rock, about 50m long and up to 8m high (though most problems don’t go nearly that high). Great bases mean you can really throw yourself at the problems, with anything from steep jug hauling to crimpy, technical face climbs and even some boulder problems on the tufas. The sport climbing is a different style to most of the surrounding climbing, it is dominated by technical face climbing, though there are 1 or 2 nice juggy overhangs to pull. I think the highlight of this crag is the “R-complex”, a tough climb with an awesome dyno in the middle.
3.) Fu Min Area
- Fumin Canyon has a lot to offer, great venue for families, climbers of all grades and plenty spots to go camping. The area has developed a lot in recent years, the guidebooks are a little outdated, but most climbs names and grades are written on the rock. Be sure to visit Old Red Rock, some of the best climbing around in the intermediate grade range, mostly face climbs. Eye-cave is where the hard stuff is, bring on the body tension and strong fingers for this area!
- Another crag in the Fumin area is The Gash, a wall that is still being developed. This is a great climbing area with much recent development – by ourselves as well as the Kailas bolting team- easy access, comfortable camping at the crag, climbs of all grades, lengths (up to 40m) and styles (except roof climbing) and beautiful views of the surrounding hills.
- Finally we get to Swallow Cave, found in the hills somewhere in between Fumin and Xiaomoyu. It is a mission to get to, but definitely worth the effort, you would probably need a to get a lift with one of the local climbers get out there. A deep cave emerging form a beautiful pine forest, this crag is turning out to be the home of hard climbing for Kunming. The hard climbs are really long and really steep, starting deep in the bowels of the earth and heading for the light and the trees. A good choice of easier climbs makes this crag accessible for all. There is bouldering here as well, mostly waiting to be explored, so far we have just been too excited to bolt the sport lines.
4.) Xi Shan area
- The climbs on Xishan are some of the most scenic climbs in the area and some of the original lines for Kunming climbing. After a period of access problems this area has begun reopening, with a lot of bolting activity taking place. Best to check in the local gyms (NOW climbing; Panda’s Gym) for access information. Some amazing looking walls and even better views.
Directions and topos
You will find directions to all of the crags under “Directions to the crags” in the menu bar.
For topos, see the “Topos” section in the menu bar. No topos are available for Xiao Mo Yu cave or the Fumin area on this site, out of respect for the locals who developed those areas. Contact Panda or Wang Er or the NOW climbing gym for those topos.
by Greg with 1 comment.