In Singapore for just under 5 weeks and got many things done including putting up the first urban highline in Singapore and also Singapore first Urban Highline gathering! It was great to see slackliners in Singapore opening up to new ideas and get out of their comfort zone. =)
Above all, we are also proud to have Arc’teryx Singapore as our sponsor for the 2nd year in a row! This time we have Marmot, Singing Rock,Boreas and Exped throwing in new clothing and gears for another year of exploration and climbing! Big thank you to Campers’ Corner, it is important for us to have your support so we can continue our adventures!
First stop this time is to Liming, 黎明, a little village 3 hours from Lijiang nested in Yunnan, known for its landscape and beautiful snow peaks. I have wanted to climb in 黎明 for a long time since the first news of trad climbing have appeared in this Red Sandstone walls. Also described as the Indian Creek of the East, 黎明 spots walls and walls of red sandstone with splitter cracks and corners.
The minute we arrived in 红石街， Red Stone Street, the thing that caught my attention is the Dinner Wall, a huge red sand stone wall at the back drop of the street. The noisy and busking street of Lijiang was quickly replaced with the quietness of the gorge and the music of the flowing river. From the street, I could quickly pick out lines that were striking and calling out to us to climb it, and one of them is Soul Awakening, 5.10 that rise to the top of Dinner wall.
Unfortunately, no trip to China is not accompanied with food poisoning and blackouts. This time is was me who wasn’t feeling great in the stomach and have to spend the first day in bed puking my guts out and nesting the high fever. However, I was up the following day and we wasted no time and headed to the crag we came for, Lisu Pillars, 立柱区. This is where the hardest trad climb, Air China, is nested at together with mixture of 5.5 – 5.13 routes. The access was easy with hikers stairs that lead us to 3/4 of the way and the rest is on climber’s path.
Still feeling the effects of puking my guts out the previous day, I took it easy and climbed easier routes on Screaming at the Moon, P1, 5.9, Highway to Hell, 5.10a and Morass, 5,10d. With the body warmed up and getting excited, I decided to get on Faraway Corner, 远角， 5.11+ after watching Kelly TR it. My body must be feeling great after a whole day in bed and itching to sink those finger locks and lay backs as I flashed 远角 giving the trip a great start!
Working on my 2014 resolution, which is to climb a 5.12 trad route in Yosemite, I decided to try to onsight as many 5.11s as possible and work on as many 5.12 as possible. The hardest route could be Japanese Cowboy, 日本牛仔, 5,12+ which is a steep layback on 6 inch cracks all the way up to a tiny crack that barely takes C3 0. It was a little too much for me as I haven’t climbed a lot of overhanging crack lines but I make it a point to red point that route on my next trip back to Liming.
There was indeed something in the bag after trying at least 5 5.12 routes in Liming as I unexpectedly onsighted Boving Reflection,5.12- in the Primitive area. Its a awkward hands to finger crack that runs up over 2 arch with very thin feet for smearing. It was kind of a fight at the crux of the route as I developed the sewing machine legs and was jamming gears in the undercling crack.
终审判决，The Reckoning, 5.12c is the other route that is worth mentioning for this trip. Its the hardest route I have worked on trad and also pretty close to what I usually climb on bolted routes. The great thing is there is a top rope on this route! Whoever is working on it, big thank you for your TR! I climbed 终审判决 twice on TR to find out where to place gears also to know the moves on the route a little better. The next time I had a chance to get on it was the last day of the trip when I have 2 lead attempts on it, with the first attempt being the closest as my finger locks slipped out of the crack while trying to step above the crack to make the next move.
Now most of you Singapore climbers will think that the good routes in Liming are all pretty hard lead on trad but there’s where you are wrong! The great Owl, 5.9 is a great route in the primitive area with a 22m hand crack that runs all the way to almost the top of the wall!
Soul Awakening, a 6 pitch 5.10 route is worth spending a morning on too. The first 4 pitch are superb with good gear and long endurance climbing. Pitch 5 is covered with bird shit and if you are looking at climbing a off width painted with birdshit, this might be your thing. Pitch 6 is a long chimney with some loose rocks so please take care when climbing P6!
Scarface 2 , at a moderate 5.11- grade is a long endurance climb with some great hand and feet jams. If you are Kelly’s size then it may not be your thing as the size 5 crack down low might put you off.
Pine Apple upside down, 5.9, at Dinner wall is also another great climb with a little twist to it, since nothing really fits in the crack except for your knees.
Liming is a great trad climbing place in Asia, apart from the great culture experience from the Lisu tribes, there are also many beautiful attractions like the Lover’s pillars and the Thousand Turtle mountain, 千龟山. In my opinion, just being in Liming, Lao Jun Shan National park is a great get away from the busy crags at home and busking city. A beautiful trad climbing crag with more than climbing it has to offer!
Look out for trad climbing courses and trips to Liming, Lijiang soon! Or contact me if you are interested in travelling to this beautiful sandstone trad paradise! Private guiding, multi pitch or SNCS L3 courses and Crack climbing workshops/coaching available!