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|Shared By:||Jim H on Oct 27, 2008|
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DescriptionDespite 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 I am trying to be accurate and truthful to my experiences to help others.
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 climbers.
Safety is simply not at the same standard it is for foreign climbers. I have seen some downright dangerous stuff which would get you yelled at (and rightly so) at any U.S. 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 discuss the situation where their friends will not hear you so they can save face; while keeping the sport safe for us all. You should always check other climber's anchors before top-roping on them, climbing is inherently dangerous; be doubly sure of your safety in China.
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 the climbers you like and trust and you will be fine. Just be even more aware of other groups at the crags than you would at home.
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 (the main area at ShiDu is the exception to this; that is their land). Sometimes they will seek a reasonable fee (10-20RMB) other times they will seek an absurd 200RMB--because that's how shakedowns work. Whatever you pay (IF YOU PAY), please remember your actions 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 the local farmers 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. Do not give them charity donations; this will be seen as a payment and they will demand a similar donation of the next group.
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