Austin and Laoiju Stringham have opened a sandstone trad climbing area in northwest Yunnan Province. Accessed through the town of Liming (2,100m), two and a half hours drive west of the major city Lijiang, the sandstone walls lie within Loajunshan National Park in the Three Gorges scenic region. The pair worked tirelessly to gain access for rock climbers, which was eventually granted by the Chinese Government in November 2010.
Since then Austin, Eben Farnworth, Darryl Kralovic, and I have put up 50 new routes, documented in the guidebook Liming Rock. The potential for routes is almost limitless; sandstone cliffs up to 200m high lie throughout 10 major valleys, and the region is best described as offering a variety of crack climbing in the style of Utah’s Indian Creek.
The guidebook documents approaches, potential new route information, and attractions and accommodations in the area. It can be downloaded free at junshanclimber.com. For more information you can also contact me directly.
Because the local government can now see possible financial benefits, it is totally enthusiastic about climbing development. This good news means that the park could become an example to the rest of China, opening government eyes to this type of outdoor recreation.
Mike Dobie, China, email@example.com