Rock Climbing in White River (Baihe)

Nannan has been talking about rock climbing for a few weeks now, and I was always curious about it.  On my way back to China I got her invitation for another climbing session.  It happened that I will be free that day so I decided to check it out.

We met on the morning right after the rain. After half an hour fighting with random people trying to cut our queues, and another two hour on a commuter bus, we got into the town of Miyun (Dense Clouds in Chinese).  Maybe it was living in Beijing smog, maybe it was the fresh air after the rain, the scenery from this town surrounded by mountains immediately mesmerized us.  Clearly, Miyun is a typical vacation town for the busy Beijingers, mansions and resorts along the street telling us residents here aren’t all necessary your simple Chinese farmers.

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Silhouette of Great Wall lining along the mountain surrounding the city of Miyun.

“And how do you build the Great Wall?” Someone asked.

“Well, the Emperor of China wants build a wall.  So he decreed all the beers to be sold on the top of these mountains.  Buyers need to bring bricks to exchange for beers.  So this is how they got those bricks up there.”  Scotty answered.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic logo hanging on the mountain top in front of us.

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We stopped by the crystal blue dam reservoir.

The dam.

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From our spot we could see the camping ground next to the lake.

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Climbers today:  Toby, Doro, Nannan Jenny, Scotty.

We rented a car from the city to this rocky side of the village.  Our car landed in a little construction zone filled with sheep smells.  Landing directly in the mud mixed with sheep dumps.  We started our way toward the walls.

Mud, mud, and more mud, but the sheep smells vanished after we made our way through the farms.

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The towering rocks around are made to be climbed.

A couple more steeps and we are there

Ah, looks like we’ve found a couple friends started their day ahead of us.

Getting ready.

Fast draws.

“How do you put these bolts on the walls?” My curiosity could no longer hold.

“Usually someone climbed up to the top from somewhere else first then nail those in on their way climb down along the wall.” Tony, who was acting as an assistant, explained. “But you could also nail them in as you climb up along the crevices.”

Tony explaining the basics.

We found these huge colorful millipedes also running on the walls.

Coach Zinan putting up the rope first.

Lining up the rope with the fast draws.

Coach explaining how to climb along the cracks.

Tony, the assistant of the day, went up the next



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My turn….


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Smooth landing.

Doro’s second route looked easy but she got stuck in a place that doesn’t look so hard.  She eventually made it up there.  I, however, did not pass through that part on this route.

Scotty decided to leave his shoes among the rocks

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Another group of climbers, including some university students, arrived.

These people started with much harder routes.

Coach got bored with watching from the ground.

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Found a dying millipede moving slowly…

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Us with climbing gears.


Scotty decided to start this route with tree next to the wall.

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The climbers.

Safety first!  Pull harder so us novices don’t have to work too hard up there, a bit cheating isn’t it?

Now, that’s how a normal safety should look like, just cruising, unless you feel a jerk (that means the guy hanging on the other end fell off).

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Teaching rope typing

Nannan in action.

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Make a face with the coach.

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After coming back to Beijing, we found a restaurant to celebrate a bit

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Hot pot in China is one of my favorites.