Swallow cave high line is open for business!

Kunming has gotten its second highline! This line is much improved from the first one set up at the TNT wall. The line at the TNT wall drew some criticism as it had a cave roof above with tufas hanging down, which were a bit disorienting and some people believed it to be a bit dangerous….Anyway….

The new line at Swallow cave is great, you step off a platform into open space, with trees swaying in the breeze below you, the valley soon opens up and you get the full exposure of the line. The line is about 25m long, has bolted anchors and nice platform on one side to chill out and prepare for your walk. The opposite set of anchors requires a person to rap in, but we have bolted rap anchors above, so this is quite easy to do.


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A cautionary note

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 15 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.

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Calling high lining enthusiasts

We love high lining and have put a lot of effort into developing a line at the TNT wall, we are keen to find people who have high lined before and who want to contribute their experience to the founding of high lining in Kunming.

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Falling fridges at TNT wall is closed

Falling fridges at the TNT wall is closed because it is unsafe to climb. There is a gigantic flake on the route (marked with a white skull and crossbones) that is loose. The flake needs to be removed and the route rebolted before it is climbable again. We have tried removing this flake using two people with crowbars to pull it off but so far it has not budged. Rather play it safe and stay off this route!

If this flake comes off it will kill both you and your belayer should you not heed this warning!!

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Slacklining in and around Kunming

For all the slackers out there, the local scene is growing fast, mostly amongst the expats of Kunming, but it is catching on with the local Chinese as well. There are many lines and locations around the city, the most popular is the campus of the Science and Technology University, on Xuefu Lu, the guys using a range of lengths and styles (1” and 2” lines). Another popular area is out at the Kunming Botanical Gardens, in the north of the city, but far away from the hustle and bustle.

Pete Slacklining KIB

For the more serious guys out there, we have a highline set up out at the TNT Wall, near Xiaomoyu Village (click here for directions). A fun line bridging a gap between two walls, with a shelf to start off of, a roof with tufas hangs above, while the world opens below. See the gallery section for more great photos from this line.We have scouted 2 new spots for highlining and will be bolting the anchors in the weeks to come, watch this space!




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Directions to Xiao Mo Yu village 小墨雨

Xiaomoyu climbing area 小墨雨

To get to the epicentre of Kunming rock climbing you want to head to the Xiaomoyu village, which can take anywhere between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. To get there, take the C61 bus from Huang Tu Po黄土破 or Hei Lin Pu 黑林铺  ( map 1), this is the bus that goes past the Bamboo Temple 筇竹寺 (check your Lonely Planet). Most bus drivers will try to convince you to climb off at the temple, not knowing why you would want to go beyond. Just say “Shee-yow-moy-you” and make hand signals for climbing, works everytime. After the Bamboo Temple you stay on the bus for about another 10 minutes, just after you go under the huge superhighway it is time to leave the bus. There is a dirt road on the right about 50m after the highway, take this road on foot and walk to the village, about 2km. Follow the road down to the village and at the first “intersection” in the town decide where you want to climb.



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Directions to Xiao Mo Yu cave 小墨雨洞

For the Xiao Mo Yu Cave and the related climbs in the corn field, you want to turn left at the very first left hand turn once you arrive in the village (opposite a little house for the trash –  you should smell it easily enough). Go down this road, skirt past the houses and follow it down into the fields. Take the path as it bends right and you will come to a small irrigation waterway, cross the waterway and keep left. After a couple of minutes you should see the crags on your left hand side, across the fields. The cave can be a bit hidden by surrounding vegetation, but the outside walls are quite obvious.

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Directions to the Pregnancy and Honey walls

Directions to Honey and pregnancy

Directions to Pregnancy wall: To get to the Pregnancy Wall and Honey Wall, take the directions as for Xiao Mo Yu village and just follow the road you came in on, all the way through the village and out the other end. The road becomes a dirt road and you come up to a small reservoir/dam. Keep going a little more and as you turn the right hand bend at the corner of the reservoir stop and look up at the cliffs above you, on the left. The Pregnancy Wall is in the middle and The Honey Wall on the left hand side. From this point you leave the road and take a small path into the orchards, (prickly ash is so called for a very good reason) stepping over the stream (sometimes this is overgrown and hidden, so be careful not to fall into the stream). Make your way up to the top left section of the orchards, please be careful not to disturb this farm land or damage any trees. Up in the top left-hand corner, about 10m in from the corner you should find a path heading up into the forest, follow this all the way up, in pretty much a straight line until you hit the crag, this is the Pregnancy Wall. About two thirds of the way up is the branch left for the Honey Wall. Look out for the path, it’s not always obvious, but there should be a stone cairn marking this point. If you miss the turn and arrive at the Pregnancy Wall, follow the crag to the left and you’ll see a gap in the vegetation below, you can climb down through this (only about a 3m decline) to the path below and head off to the Honey Wall.

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Directions to the TNT wall

For the TNT Wall, follow the directions as for Xiao Mo Yu and at the ‘intersection’ take the first right after the smelly trash house, this is also the first option right as you enter the village. Follow this road through the houses, into the fields, stick with it through the fields, don’t turn off at any junctions. At the end of the road (there’ll be old broken buildings on your left) turn right and right again (through the vegetable patch), heading back in your original direction to another set of derelict buildings, these should be obvious.

Walk past these buildings and then there will be a small field of some sort of crop, at the back right corner of this field is a path heading up into the forest, follow it all the way up and keep in the direction of the rocky outcrop at the top, the path branches a few times but if you keep in mind where the crag at the top of the hill is it should take you up there, a steep 30 min walk (maybe longer if you’re not sure of the path). About 2/3’s of the way up you’ll reach a rocky clearing and you’ll see the wall up to your right, after about 100m the path turns right and drops down before heading to the crag, turning left and uphill at the base of a large cypress, and then right following a rocky outcrop (you might need to use your hands at this point).

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Directions to The Gash 松林

The Gash is an enormous crag located close by the village of Song Lin 松林, which lies on the road between Bamboo Temple 筇竹寺 and Fu Min 富民 and can be reached on  the  C63 bus. Be careful as there are 2 different C63 buses, who knows why they have the same code, as they go to different places??? The C63 that you want to take departs from the bottom (about 40m from the railway tracks) of Hong Shan Dong Lu 红山东路 at 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm and returns on a similar schedule, taking between 1 and 1.5 hours. You could also catch the bus at Hei Lin Pu  黑林铺, but then make sure it is the correct C63…… Once you have reached Song Lin village 松林 (bus terminates here) you must take a right turn up the hill and walk for about 2km, past a brick factory and then upwards towards the crag. There is a left turn onto a dirt road, off the main tarred road that you are walking along, which leads all the way up to the crag. If you miss the turn onto the dirt road you will wind down and right into the valley and village below the crag. The crag is visible from the road and so finding your way should not be too difficult.

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