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Routes in Stone Forest

Cloud and Wind (Feng Yun) T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Stone Forest 1 (Shi Lin Yi) S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Stone Forest 2 (Shi Lin Er) S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
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Shared By: Bob Moseley on May 3, 2008
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Description

CAUTION: This information is current circa 2004. Be prepared for things to have changed, like everywhere else in China

Here's a photo caption from a story about Kurt Albert in the American climbing magazine Rock and Ice (Issue 194, June 2011): "In 1986 Albert and Wolfgang Gullich went to China, becoming the first climbers to visit a number of areas including the Stone Forest in Yunnan Province where they established a string of routes including Present of God (5.10d)." There's a photo, presumably of Albert on Present of God, by Heinz Zak. Their visit to Yunnan was part of the same trip where they pioneered sport routes at Yangshuo in Guangxi Province, which went on to become the more famous climbing area in China. A record of their climbing legacy at the Stone Forest is not readily available.

In 1999 and early 2000, Ma Zhiyong, Wang Zhiming, Zhou Chenshu (aka, Chong) and others, in the first home-grown attempt at Yunnan sport climbing, bolted 2 routes on limestone towers within 2 km of the train station. There are also two or three trad routes in the same area, including the one listed here. The formations containing these climbs are difficult to locate without someone to guide you. They are widely dispersed and embedded within a landscape with many similar-looking features.

Several factors contributed to the Stone Forest climbing being abandoned in 2000. The travel time and cost between Kunming and the Stone Forest makes it inconvenient for regular day trips. The climbs are short and generally lack diversity. And the Stone Forest cannot compete with the much superior climbing terrain of the Western Hills and Fumin Canyon, which are easily accessible from Kunming.

Getting There

The Stone Forest (Shi Lin) is a well-known tourist attraction 100 km east of Kunming, in what is now called Stone Forest (formerly Lu Lan) Yi Autonomous County. Tourists are shuttled there either by bus or by the very convenient express train that departs regularly from the South Train Station in Kunming. The train ride takes 90 minutes and drops you at a seemingly improbable location in the rural countryside of central Yunnan. Stone Forest Park is about 5 km from the train station and nearly all passengers will transfer to the various other forms of transportation waiting outside the station. The rock climbing is in the vicinity of the train station. Checkout any China or Yunnan guidebook for the details of Stone Forest access.

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