Keller and I both have projects that we're psyched on, but it's pouring rain outside. I’m sitting in bed right now, even though it’s past noon. It’s been pouring rain outside since we woke up. I just ate a bowl of yogurt with banana, kiwi and muesli for “breakfast”. All the windows in the room have the blinds drawn over them. Noah and the Whale is humming out of my headphones while I soak up pictures of perfect waves on the north shore on surfline… We’re gearing up for another proper rest day. It’s ok. I needed another rest day. We gunned it pretty hard the last couple days at White Mountain. Maybe we’ll hike back up to the TV tower overlooking Yangshuo again today.
Ethan Pringle Reports: Yangshuo 3- Rain
Update: I’m being told by Abond and GF Ting that this rain may be a result of the seeded clouds 500KMs south of here in Guanzhuo where the Asian Special Olypics are taking place… where they don’t want the rain to fall.
So, guess what I did the the first time on Friday?!? Hammered in some permanent protection at White Mountain! Yay! Our gracious host Abond (who’s Hotel is the finest in town, BTW!) lent me his drill and gear. I replaced two bolts that had previously gotten chopped by some villagers about a year ago off the bottom of this sandbagged but really awesome 13a that was FA’ed by Gerome Pouvreau back in ’05. The nameless 13a that feels a lot closer to 13b is right in the middle of the steepest part of white mountain, between the start of French/American Gangster and China Climb. Now the first bolt is 8 feet off the ground instead of 20 feet up. Hopefully the bolts I placed don’t rip out of the wall and break some one’s butt! Naw, they’re solid. And yeah, I know it’s not a new line, but you gotta start small right? I’ve been wanting to experience placing bolts for a while now, and I have to say, it’s a thrill! Can’t wait to do it on a fresh piece of rock!
I was all psyched to bolt this new project because I was sort of running out of hard things to climb that I thought I could actually do. I thought would be a straight up extension to the 13a that I re-equipped the bottom of, so I decided to fix the bottom before embarking on the mission on the upper part of the wall. When I am ready to bolt the upper part of the wall, I’m going to have to traverse from another anchor about 20-30 feet to the left or right, try to find some good hook or cam placements, and drill a bolt. Then I’m going to have to decide weather I want the route to finish much higher or stop there. If the decision is to take it higher, I’m gonna have to climb/aid up and try to find some more placements to drill a proper anchor from. After that it’ll be placing the bolts on rappel… psyched! The line I’m looking at looks pretty bitchen.
I was going to try to do all this on Friday, but I hopped back on the Dumpling of All Evil to grab my few draws that I had left on it after my first attempt. I thought while I was up there I might as well try the move I couldn’t do before and ended up sticking it on my second try! Shit… Now I’ve gone up it four times and, realized that it’s well within my grasp and also that it’s an amazing line that’s worth devoting the rest of my time here to. So the bolting mission is on hold… Not to worry though, I still have like 8 days left in the trip and I’ll be able to at least bolt the line before I leave.
The DOAE is awesome! Super psyched on it! Hopefully it’s not getting soaked right now. I do pretty much every crux sequence different than Sharma does in the Made in China video series, mainly because he’s an absolute beast who doesn’t really need his feet very much and I’m a wimpy weakling who needs all the cheater beta I can find. The hard shoulder move I couldn’t do my first time up, about halfway up the climb is still really hard, but I’ve done it every time I’ve gone up the route since then and I think I might be able to do it from the bottom soon. After that crux, which is definitely the hardest for me, you have a 15 foot section of easier (about 13+/14-) climbing to another little crux which is mostly balance and crimpy, but not super powerful. That’s the move in the video where Chris gets this bad wide pinch with his left and stabs up to this under cling pocket with his right. Heinous. I tried it this way a couple times but just didn’t have the reach. I ended up finding this really cool sequence out left that’s a lot easier and flows really well still. Oh man! My heart starts thumping when I think about it! Or maybe that’s the result of all the sugar I ate for breakfast… K so, after that second little balance crux, you have a pretty decent rest on some good pockets (a jug for your left and that pocket that Chris stabs to with your right). From that rest you embark on the last section of the climb which starts out with some big moves between good side pulls, before you have to do all these heinous tick-tacky moves between crappy little pinches, then up this totally chossy tufa that’s covered in a half inch of dark-blue-limestone-water-streak-dirt. Epic.
Keller has one more week, and I have about 9 days before my plane departs for Cali… we’ll see what we can accomplish before then. Keller is close to sending China Climb 8C and wants to get back on French G before he leaves. The stomach flu is gone, the projects are lined up, and hopefully soon the rain will stop and the conditions will be cold and dry! A Muerte!