3rd Annual Yangshuo Climbing Festival a huge success
The third annual Yangshuo Climbing Festival, co-hosted by The North Face and Black Diamond, ran from October 29-31 in Yangshuo, China. In addition to bringing together more than 550 climbers from throughout China and 17 other countries for a weekend of climbing, slideshows, competition and socializing, the festival raised over $10,000 for the development and protection of climbing in the Yangshuo area.
The twin goals of the Yangshuo Climbing Festival are to promote a sense of community among climbers throughout China in a fun, friendly and casual atmosphere and to support the sustainable development of rock climbing in the Yangshuo area.
This year’s group of professional climbers included The North Face/Black Diamond Equipment-sponsored athletes Yuji Hirayama from Japan, Sam Elias from the U.S., Liu Yongbang (Abond) from China, and The North Face athlete Emily Harrington from the U.S.
On Saturday at White Mountain, Yuji offered a clinic covering onsighting tips and techniques, which was followed by a clinic hosted by Abond covering the basics of redpointing strategy. Over at the Egg, Emily taught the basics of steep rock climbing technique, while Sam and a team of volunteers ran a beginner’s clinic aimed at getting new climbers in a harness and comfortable with the basics of knot tying, belaying and sport climbing.
As in years past, the festival included slideshows from some of the world’s top climbers. On opening night, Wang Lei, the first Chinese female to climb the Seven Summits and travel to the North and South poles, shared photos and stories from her travels. Next up was a slideshow by Abond who returned to China a day earlier from a month-long trip to the Red River Gorge. On Saturday night, Yuji, Sam and Emily shared videos, images and stories from their recent sport climbing trip to Turkey.
Saturday’s activities revolved around climbing clinics held at White Mountain and the Egg and friendly competitions both outdoors and at the Sports Stadium in-town. The day began with a toprope comp out at White Mountain which ran through late afternoon. This was followed by the bouldering comp, which began Saturday night following dinner and live music and wrapped up with the finals of the Men’s and Women’s divisions on Sunday. In the end, Paul Brouard from South Africa placed first over Liu Shaoji and Huang Zhouwen in the Men’s division while Aleksandra Prybyn from Poland edged Gan Sumei and He Yongyong to take the Women’s title.
The Yangshuo Festival Organizing Committee would like to thank this year’s sponsors including The North Face®, Black Diamond Equipment, EntrePrises, Sea To Summit, Vasque, Outdoor Research, Mountainsmith, GSI, Teko, Jetboil, Innate, Vibram, Karrimor, Bolle, BlueWater, the Yangshuo Climbing Association, Sanfo, Pass By Bar, Outdoor Exploration Magazine, Outside Magazine China, Ispo China, Ole Climbing Gym, TerraTribes, the WMA, and X-climber. We would also like to thank this year’s team of festival volunteers who made the festival possible.
[Photos by Nick Rueff and Rocker Wang]