Despite being very flat there are a number of climbing opportunities in the hills around northern Beijing and in ShiDu. Access can be tricky, and can change if the locals get unhappy. I advise checking with local climbers about the access conditions and locations of areas. below are some of the oddities associated with climbing in China below and on the pages; but any day spent climbing much better than watching DVDs in your apartment.
See the link in the Bai He section comments (bottom of the page) for most up to date info)
Chinese Climbing Ethics/Quirks:
It's China, things are different. Some Chinese may consider these remarks insulting, but what I am trying to be accurate and truthful to my experiences to help others. (Most Chinese consider any criticism, accurate or crazy, to be an insult so take their being offend with a grain of salt.)
Almost all of the climbing in Beijing is sport because most Chinese climbers cannot do trad or don't have the equipment. So you will often see bolts on perfectly trad climb-able faces or right next to cracks. Don't fret about it; this is part of the local ethic and makes these climbs more accessible to more local climbers.
Safety is simply at the same standard it is for US and euro climbers. I have seen some downright dangerous stuff that would get you yelled at (and rightly so) at any US crag. The Chinese really really care about face and this means that you cannot just publicly correct their safety errors without offending them; and then they won't be your climbing buddies. Try to get the unsafe climber one-on-one and teach them in a situation where their friends will not hear you so that they can save their face. You should always check another person's anchor before climbing on it, climbing is inherently dangerous; be doubly sure of your safety here.
Not all Chinese climbers are this bad, but I have seen enough of these problems to feel that I should put out some warning. Just like any area find climbers whom you like and trust and you will be fine; just be even more aware of other groups at the crags than you would here in the US.
Also, in my experience many local climbers will typically tie a figure-8 into a rope once and then just clip into the knot with a biner all day long. No one has told them how bad this is for the rope and they will do this with your rope if you do not keep a sharp eye on it; be a jerk and protect your rope.
Concerning access, it is not uncommon for a local peasant to demand money from you to climb on what they claim is their land. First, it is not their land; this is a shake-down(Only the main area at ShiDU is the exception to this; that is their land). Sometimes they will charge a reasonable fee (10-20RMB) other times they will charge 200RMB because that's how shakedowns work. Whatever you pay, please remember that you are forcing the next group to follow your actions. Please keep any payments at or below 20RMB per person out of respect for climbers (especially Chinese climbers) who do not have as much money as you.
After years of climbing in BJ I can tell you that they are simply going to yell and annoy you until you cave in b/c they have more free time than you do. The best way to deal is to leave for another area nearby if they start asking too much money. I speak fluent Chinese and have never been able to reason with the locals. Do not give them charity donations; this will be seen as a payment and they will demand a similar donation of the next group.
You will need to either charter a van from Beijing or take the bus to each location and taxi to the actual climbing area. Both are possible depending on your budget and group size. I reccommend chartering a van from BJ if you are 7 people or more.
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Latest Regional Forum Messages
|By Jim H|
From: Pasadena, CA
Jan 16, 2010
This site shows some great looking climbs in QingDao for anyone looking for a side trip. If you go, the Qingdao beer festival in mid summer is pretty fun too.