Getu Valley Rock Climbing
|GPS:||25.678, 106.258 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Joe Freeman on Apr 17, 2013 with 6 Suggestions|
|Admins:||Dan Flynn, Nate Ball|
Villages like Getu connected to larger cities on China's road network in 2003... and because of it's rural nature, it is not the easiest place to travel to (how to get-to-Getu below!). The area was put on climber's radar by Olivier Balma, a French alpinist, who visited in 2007 and was astonished by its potential. In 2011, Getu experienced a boom in sport climbing development with the Petzl Roctrip, and since then has seen more development catering to climbers and tourists.
Even when I was there in Nov. 2019, the village was undergoing massive construction projects in anticipation of scores of tour buses and climbers (they even built a massive state-of-the-art outdoor climbing stadium for IFC competitions and a climbing-themed hostel!). As this site is located around a small village in the countryside of China, no one is able to speak English over there. It is still possible to communicate by translating sentences on your smartphone, but having a climber friend who can speak Chinese is invaluable and will make things much easier.
The rock is made up of bullet karst-limestone, with insane tufas and scoops that form whenever the wall steepens and overhangs. Lower angle and vertical walls are also featured. The sport climbing here ranges from easy tufa pulling to 300m of sustained roof climbing (seriously), and is well-protected. All the crags in Getu are within walking distance from the main town and are generally visible from the main road. Crags that are in Getu River National Park (where the Great Arch is) will require the purchase of a visitor pass before entry into the park will be granted.
You'll need at least 16 quickdraws, 70-80m ropes (bring 2), and maybe a kneepad if you're climbing hard.
Tread lightly through the local farms and villages when approaching the crags. Getu is still a brand new climbing area and many routes haven't seen much traffic so there is still dusty and/or loose holds so be careful... this is as adventurous as sport climbing gets! One thing to be aware of is that the anchors are offset bolts with tat connecting two quicklinks. Most have not been changed, and it might be good to bring a few spare quicklinks or chain with you if you have the skills/time to replace them.
The Petzl team and CMDI for RocTrip 2011 posted the free digital guidebook online (they have physical ones at the Gezhen Hostel): http://books.climbinginchina.com//pdf/aab975c122b0b848164498e96b45f4d4.pdf
Accommodations, lodging, food, logistics, how to get-to-Getu, and overall pro-tips in the comments by James Xu below. For most Westerners this is an excellent adventure to immerse yourself in a wild landscape and Miao culture, but please be prepared and do your research since you are going to be deep in rural China. The people of Getu are stoked to have you and are some of the nicest and generous people I've met.
--The most essential problem is, how to go to Getu from Guiyang?--
To go to Getu from Guiyang is the crux! Both Guiyang’s Jinyang Keche Station and North Railway Station have direct coach services to the nearest Ziyun City. It costs about RMB65. After arriving Ziyun City, you can rent a car to travel to Getu. Here is the timetable:
Guiyang一Ziyun: 9am, 10:30am, 12:30pm, 3pm, 5:40pm
Ziyun一Guiyang: 8am, 9:30am, 11am, 2pm, 5:30pm
However, taking shuttle bus is relatively troublesome. Local folks would probably do sharing or carpooling to Getu, which costs RMB150 per each. It heads off once it gets enough passengers. You can also call the drivers to make advance bookings. Their contacts are as follows:
Sharing / Carpooling
Getu Climbing Association (Láng zhōng) can help you arrange rides.
PLEASE use WeChat to communicate, it is easy and allows you to share your location which is key for someone to pick you up!
Great Arch Access
To access the arch, you must buy a climber's ticket at the large visitor's center. We got these tickets that allowed us access for the entire time we were there, however that may change depending on the season. It helps to know some of the guys at the Gezhen Climbing Hostel. Head down the road and you'll see the river, and continue downstream to the building where the ferry boats are. After meeting up with a ferryman, cross the river and follow the path leading to switchbacking stairs. Enjoy the 1500 stairs you have to climb (we counted!).
Pro-tip, go to the bathroom before you get inside the Great Arch, the toilets up there have no running water. There is a concrete cistern of water inside the arch that you can help flush the toilet with a bucket of water if you do use them though.
PLEASE be at the bottom of the stairs by 5 PM or you WILL be stranded on the other side of the river.
The back entrance that used to have a passage through the lower arch is now closed. There were contractors scouting the area to rebuild the path since it was damaged by rockfall, so hopefully it will be open in the future since it eliminates the need for the ferry. The glass elevator is now in a million pieces...
Classic Climbing Routes at Getu Valley
Days w Precip