2012-Trying harder

Li Ming in 2012, was a great time. The first Chinese trad climbing festival happened and I got the opportunity to take down some projects.

Wind of the North 5.12+: Upon arriving back in Li Ming before the climbing festival I was working this project. The route is 5 pitch long with the second being the crux. Two meters of footless vertical green aliens followed by 8 meters of more footless fingers. So awesome! After a good few days of work I managed to one fall the route (fell in an easier section) but I soon realized that this epic finger crack was injuring my fingers…so I had to rest. As I rested the weather got colder and the entire route is north facing. I attempted to climb it again, but the wind and cold made it impossible (this inspired the name). I needed to come back for it in the warmer months. So the focus went to the development of crags with lots of routes. After the end of the winter I headed back to the Wind of the Valley. Two days of work and it went down. In 2014, a Chinese climber named Yanfang did the second ascent of this route and gave me the opinion that it is 5.13b and significantly harder than Japanese Cowboy 5.12+.

Looking at the crux finger crack of Wind of the North
Looking at the crux finger crack of Wind of the North

The Wildman Variation: The other big project for me was a line that is a variation to the route Back to the Primitive. Similar in grade as the Wind of the North it was going to be a harder send because of thinner protection and having to climb past your protection before placing it. Ohhhh scary!!! Whipping onto a 0 TCU!

Bottom of the Wildman Variation Photo by: Garrett Bradley
Bottom of the Wildman Variation Photo by: Garrett Bradley

This crux pitch was just a variation to a route that I put up in 2011. Back to the Primitive is a 8 pitch route with 5 pitches at 5.11. It has become known as “the Rostrum” of China. A route in itself worthy of a “flight over the Pacific Ocean”, multiple climbers have told me this. Super high praise. The variation adds the Wildman pitch to the mix and makes it even more memorable. It took me about 6 shots but it eventually went down at 5.12c/d

Back to the primitive route
Back to the primitive route
5.11 crux pitch of Back to the Primitive Photo: Eben Farnworth
Pitch 2: 5.11 crux pitch of Back to the Primitive Photo: Eben Farnworth
Top of the Wildman Variation Photo by: Garrett Bradley
Top of the Wildman Variation Photo by: Garrett Bradley

The big new climbing area for 2012 in Li Ming, The Guardian, was more or less establish (with more potential cracks waiting to be climbed) in a month. Five 5.11’s, three 5.10’s, and a 5.8 multipitch. Probably the single best 5.10 and 5.11 trad crag in China.  All established by the great efforts and dedication of Sarah Rasmussen, Mo, and myself.  Below are pictures of the area and a few of the climbs.

The Guardian Crag
The Guardian Crag
The Guardian and it's Valley
The Guardian and it’s Valley

This is a route called Akhum Rah. Might only be 5.11 for those tall and skinny fingered.

Crux of Ahkum Rah 5.11
Crux of Ahkum Rah 5.11
Super classic layback section of Ahkum rah
Super classic layback section of Ahkum rah
Super classic layback section of Ahkum rah
Super classic layback section of Ahkum rah
Sarah Rasmussen on the lower half of Brassen Hussie 5.10
Sarah Rasmussen on the lower half of Brassen Hussie 5.10

Looking across from the routes is a really cool feature we are calling “The Gorilla Face”. No established climbs yet, but there is potential

The Gorilla Cave. Just right of this is a arch feature with a realy hard project in it.
The Gorilla Cave. Just right of this is a arch feature with a realy hard project in it.

© All text, pictures, and media copyright Michael Dobie Do not reproduce in any way without consulting

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