Rock

     Rock routes in the grades I’m climbing do not entail the same intensity of commitment, logistical overhead, time, equipment, or holistic expedition management skills as mountaineering goals. Nonetheless it is highly rewarding to redpoint routes near my limit.

     Here is a journal of rock routes I have sent which feel personally meaningful.

August, 2022 – 武探花 / Kongfu No. 3, 5.12d

September, 2022 – Sumo Wrestler, 5.12c
August, 2022 – 观景台 / Observation Deck, 5.12c
August, 2022 – 小酒馆 / Tavern, 5.12c
February, 2022 – Orangina, 5.12c
January, 2022 – 太岁传奇 / Jupiter Legend, 5.12c

October, 2022 – Route Makers, Heart Breakers, 5.12b
September, 2022 – 六六大顺 / Sixty Six, 5.12b
August, 2022 – 鸡尾冰摇 / Cocktail Shake, 5.12b
August, 2022 – Office Work, 5.12b
July, 2022 – 发发要命 / One Shot, One Kill, 5.12b
July, 2022 – 熊猫眼 / Panda Eye, 5.12b
July, 2022 – 三只小蜜蜂 / 3 Little Bees, 5.12b
July, 2022 – Collective Effort, 5.12b
February, 2022 – Big Trouble Little China, 5.12b
February, 2022 – Marshmellow Glove, 5.12b
February, 2022 – 守门犬 / Guard Dog, 5.12b
January, 2022 – 开幕式 / Opening Ceremony, 5.12b
November, 2021 – Lovelock, 5.12b
October, 2021 – My Pain For Your Pleasure, 5.12b
October, 2021 – Jonny No Try, 5.12b

August, 2022 – 伶仃 / Ling Ding, 5.12a
August, 2022 – 易燃易爆炸 / Flammable and Explosive, 5.12a
August, 2022 – E6, 5.12a
July, 2022 – 天窗 / Skylight, 5.12a
July, 2022 – E8, 5.12a
February, 2022 – 牛杂 / Cow Guts, 5.12a
February, 2022 – 绞肉机 / Meat Mincer, 5.12a
January, 2022 – ONE MORE, 5.12a
December, 2021 – New Decade, 5.12a
December, 2021 – Ball and Chain, 5.12a
November, 2021 – Happistachio / 开心果, 5.12a
November, 2021 – Dragon Air P1, 5.12a
August, 2021 – 西天取经 / Pilgrimage to the West, 5.12a
May, 2021 – Blue Glacier / 蓝冰川, 520m/5.12a/A0

August, 2022 – 暗度陈仓 / Cover of Darkness, 5.11d
October, 2021 – ESCORPION / 蝎子, 5.11d
August, 2021 – 初来驾到 / Newcomer, 5.11d
July, 2021 – Waiting for Sophy / 等待苏菲, 5.11d
June, 2021 – 鲜衣怒马 / Luxurious Living, 5.11d/12a
May, 2021 – Scrubadub, 5.11d
November, 2020 – Airwalker, 5.11d

September, 2022 – Kung Fu Hustle, 5.11c
August, 2022 – 新护目镜 / New Safety Glasses, 5.11c
August, 2022 – 刺梨 / Prickly Pear, 5.11c
August, 2022 – 开多一枪 / Take Another Shot, 5.11c
July, 2022 – Bubugaosheng Route 31, 5.11c
February, 2022 – 牛C / Cow C, 5.11c
February, 2022 – Yellow Brick Road, 5.11c
January, 2022 – 香炉 / Incense Burner, 5.11c
January, 2022 – 金不换 / Gold Doesn’t Change, 5.11c
December, 2021 – Abinormal, 5.11c
October, 2021 – 左右为难 / Predicament, 5.11c
August, 2021 – 黑龙 / Black Dragon, 5.11c
July, 2021 – E4, 5.11c
April, 2021 – Lock Jaw, 5.11c
March, 2021 – 避雨亭 / Rain Shelter, 5.11c
August, 2020 – Shigu Courtyard / 石鼓的院子, 5.11c
April, 2019 – 无所谓 / It Doesn’t Matter, 5.11c

July, 2022 – 亮翅 / Bright Wings, 5.11b
July, 2022 – 我在云端等你 / I’ll Wait For You in the Clouds, 5.11b
July, 2022 – Wang Diao Ya Route 18, 5.11b
July, 2022 – Bubugaosheng Route 32, 5.11b
July, 2022 – Bubugaosheng Route 26, 5.11b
July, 2022 – Ma Ti Gu Route 11, 5.11b
January, 2022 – 被锁的龙 / The Lock Dragon, 5.11b
January, 2022 – 開口笑 / Opening Laughs, 5.11b
November, 2021 – Bumps and Hollows / 坑坑洼洼, 5.11b
November, 2021 – Nope, 5.11b
August, 2021 – NB Bang, 5.11b
August, 2021 – 红点酒 / Redpoint Drinks, 5.11b
July, 2021 – 凉都烙锅 / Liangdu Baking Pan, 5.11b
July, 2021 – 雨过天晴 / Sunny After Rain, 5.11b
July, 2021 – Summer School / 七月的学校, 5.11b
July, 2021 – 去一边 / Go To The Side, 5.11b
June, 2021 – 扶朕起来 / Assist Emperor’s Ascent, 5.11b
May, 2021 – Hallowmas, 5.11b
May, 2021 – Jonny’s Hard 12, 5.11b
May, 2021 – Round About, 5.11b
April, 2021 – Better Eat Your Wheaties, 5.11b
April, 2021 – 老友鬼鬼 / Old Friend Guigui, 5.11b
December, 2020 – 穿过你的黑发的我的手该放哪儿 / Where Do I Put My Hand After Combing Your Black Hair, 5.11b
December, 2020 – Lion’s Prow, 5.11b
November, 2019 – Dammit!, 5.11b
November, 2019 – Five Ten Plus, 5.11b/c
June, 2019 – Crispi Feet, 5.11b
May, 2019 – Chinese Ladders, 5.11b
April, 2019 – 掏鸟窝 / Fishing Out The Bird’s Nest, 5.11b

August, 2022 – The Home of Drunker, 5.11a
August, 2022 – 菠萝炒饭 / Pineapple Fried Rice, 5.11a
July, 2022 – 小火车 / Little Train, 5.11a
July, 2022 – 迁移 / Migration, 5.11a
July, 2022 – 有风 / There is Wind, 5.11a
July, 2022 – Cracker, 5.11a
July, 2022 – 靠谱不靠谱 Reliable or Not, 5.11a
July, 2022 – 岩雀 Rock Sparrow, 5.11a
July, 2022 – Bubugaosheng Route 25, 5.11a
July, 2022 – Ma Ti Gu Route 10, 5.11a
February, 2022 – Road Rage, 5.11a
February, 2022 – 牛A / Cow A, 5.11a
February, 2022 – Unknown 1, 5.11a
January, 2022 – 刀鋒 Blade, 5.11a
January, 2022 – 铁扇公主 / Iron Fan Princess, 5.11a/b
January, 2022 – 水脊 / Water Ridge, 5.11a
December, 2021 – Eggstatic P1, 5.11a
December, 2021 – Infernal Affairs, 5.11a
December, 2021 – 生龙活虎 / Move Like a Dragon, 5.11a
December, 2021 – Sturgeon, 5.11a
November, 2021 – Cat’s Paw / 火中取栗, 5.11a
October, 2021 – Dislocated, 5.11a
October, 2021 – Slicin, 5.11a
September, 2021 – An Otter’s Pocket, 5.11a
August, 2021 – 刺龟 / Spiny Tortoise, 5.11a
August, 2021 – Wear a Helmet, 5.11a
July, 2021 – 白虎 / White Tiger, 5.11a
July, 2021 – Don’t Grab The Tree!, 5.11a
July, 2021 – 掐死你的温柔 / Strangle Your Tenderness, 5.11a
July, 2021 – 环环相扣 / Interlocking, 5.11a
July, 2021 – Windswept, 5.11a
July, 2021 – Ten Bee, 5.11a
June, 2021 – 老玩童 / Old Playboy, 5.11a
June, 2021 – 朕还能爬 / Emperor Can Still Climb, 5.11a
March, 2021 – 宿醉 / Hangover, 5.11a
December, 2020 – 蘑菇头 / Mushroom Head, 5.11a
December, 2020 – 血草莓 / Blood Strawberry, 5.11a
December, 2020 – 小心竹钉 / Beware Bamboo Roots, 5.11a
December, 2020 – 一个核桃 / Walnut, 5.11a
October, 2020 – Hanging in the Balance, 5.11a
October, 2020 – Lawnmower Man, 5.11a
October, 2020 – Traveling Alan, 5.11a
August, 2020 – Rainbows and Unicorns, 5.11a
November, 2019 – 纯爷们 / Real Man, 5.11a
March, 2019 – Little Sheep, 5.11a
March, 2019 – Red Beans and Rice, 5.11a

October, 2022 – Route Makers, Heart Breakers, 5.12b
The high, thin crux sequence presents quite an interesting puzzle to solve, with an unusually wide selection of sharp crimps to choose from. Midlands, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

September, 2022 – Sumo Wrestler, 5.12c
Fantastic friction throughout a particularly technical crux sequence. The crimps and pinches are sharply textured, and each serious attempt cost me a layer of skin. My right index finger split and bled during the redpoint; if the moves hadn’t gone I wouldn’t have gotten another try. Crazy Corner, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

September, 2022 – Kung Fu Hustle, 5.11c
Pumpy laybacks below the bamboo canopy, sleek balance slab above the treetops and to the anchor. The rock’s character is identical to that of the upper ledge; crispy and slippery. Mika’s Ledge, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

September, 2022 – 六六大顺 / Sixty Six, 5.12b
There is ground fall potential at bolt two, and while clipping bolt three. On my first attempt I took an unfortunate fall on the finger pocket, slightly injuring my left middle finger. This route devours finger endurance, but the redpoint crux is in managing slippery feet! Stiff, in my opinion. JiaGu Mountain, Zaozhuang.

August, 2022 – 武探花 / Kongfu No. 3, 5.12d
Hand-to-hand combat from bolt one to bolt four. Footwork delicate to the point that I needed stiff shoes to pull any moves – and I still lost an edge, but managed to hold on, during my send. I found two viable options for the second crux; execute a ‘three finger death punch’, or ‘be like water’. Short, but not just a single crux route! Xishan / Western Hills, Kunming.

August, 2022 – The Home of Drunker, 5.11a
A long and sustained line on exceptionally high quality rock. Onsighted whilst hanging draws. Xishan / Western Hills, Kunming.

August, 2022 – 伶仃 / Ling Ding, 5.12a
Short, bouldery route with a burly, physical crux. The tufa are wonderfully solid, top quality even after some rainfall. Xishan / Western Hills, Kunming.

August, 2022 – 新护目镜 / New Safety Glasses, 5.11c
Curveball of a route, very unexpected surprises, essentially impossible to fully prepare from a ground up sight reading. Proud to onsight this one while placing my draws; really had to battle, brainstorm in movement, and hold composure. Came close to falling, saved it, committed, made it. Brilliant! Xishan / Western Hills, Kunming.

August, 2022 – 鸡尾冰摇 / Cocktail Shake, 5.12b
Glossy feet and tight crimps, but only for a couple of moves. The section after the crux is quite cool, and climbs elegantly. Xishan / Western Hills, Kunming.

August, 2022 – 易燃易爆炸 / Flammable and Explosive, 5.12a
The home of an infamous black python who inexplicably lives at the anchor, in a hole 25m off of the ground. A confluence of finger strength, focus, slab trickery and general tenacity got me past the genuinely challenging slab cruxes, most notably a tensely brutal two finger pocket pull onto high, slippery feet. The upper route presented one anxious crux for me, traversing onto a bad foot smear. This ascent is my hardest onsight to date, conducted in good style whilst hanging my draws. The python wasn’t home. Wang Diao Ya, Liupanshui.

August, 2022 – 刺梨 / Prickly Pear, 5.11c
Finger pockets lining a thin crack present significant difficulties through the bottom half of the route, but the crux that really tested me involved escaping a dihedral. I desperately traversed right at bolt ten, and subsequently below the anchor I mistakenly placed draws on two bolts from the route on that side, the correct bolts within reach but out of sight to the left. Off route, or a bad eleventh bolt placement? On reflection, I feel fair claiming an onsight! Wang Diao Ya, Liupanshui.

August, 2022 – 暗度陈仓 / Cover of Darkness, 5.11d
High quality, pumpy overhang on great tufa holds. Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

August, 2022 – Office Work, 5.12b
There is one sharp, shiny, two and a half finger quartzite crimp which really sets the tone for this route. My beta made for two cruxes, both thin and traversing. Dushan, Liupanshui.

August, 2022 – 开多一枪 / Take Another Shot, 5.11c
I was caught off guard by the character of the crux section, given that this looks like a ‘tufa route’ from the ground. I managed to navigate through wet holds and solve the sequence for an onsight on someone else’s draws. Wang Diao Ya, Liupanshui.

August, 2022 – 观景台 / Observation Deck, 5.12c
All about the final two bolts and the anchor. Thin hands, thinner feet, an intense crimp sequence. Big rests make the lower route a breeze. On one redpoint attempt I took a big whip, falling with the rope in my hand whilst attempting to clip the chains. Wang Diao Ya, Liupanshui.

August, 2022 – E6, 5.12a
Short, sharp, 40 degree overhang pump fest. No endurance required, only power, power, power. Preclip the second draw or risk a ground fall. Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

August, 2022 – 菠萝炒饭 / Pineapple Fried Rice, 5.11a
Sustained climbing on aesthetically pleasing white and grey tufa. Unfortunately I touched the route a year ago, so no flash! Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

August, 2022 – 小酒馆 / Tavern, 5.12c
Thin limestone slab with two footwork cruxes concludes underneath the main event, a burly ceiling flip on marginal hands. Pulling over the roof presents the major crux, as it should be. Wang Diao Ya, Liupanshui.

July, 2022 – 天窗 / Skylight, 5.12a
Dusty and quite slabby, with two high tension, core intensive crux sections. A good brushing significantly improved hold quality. Wang Diao Ya, Liupanshui.

July, 2022 – 发发要命 / One Shot, One Kill, 5.12b
One burn to sort out my beta, and a second to execute it. Although the crux and harder lower section climbed elegantly, I thrashed with pump through the easy finish. Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

July, 2022 – 小火车 / Little Train, 5.11a
Oddly bolted and very soft introductory ceiling route. Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

July, 2022 – 熊猫眼 / Panda Eye, 5.12b
Lovely, spiky red rock riddled with pockets. While the risk of a ledge impact is heady, it can be completely mitigated by extending the second draw above the ledge. Redpointed on my second burn, felt very smooth. XiShan / Western Hills, Kunming.

July, 2022 – 亮翅 / Bright Wings, 5.11b
Pumpier than it looks from the ground, with a definite crux section. I onsighted, hanging my draws. XiShan / Western Hills, Kunming.

July, 2022 – 迁移 / Migration, 5.11a
Pockets galore on this short, pumpy route. I onsighted, hanging my draws. XiShan / Western Hills, Kunming.

July, 2022 – 我在云端等你 / I’ll Wait For You in the Clouds, 5.11b
A fairly complex, finger intensive boulder problem defines this route. Much help from friends’ beta supported what felt like a strenuous flash. The Gash, Kunming.

July, 2022 – 有风 / There is Wind, 5.11a
Top tier face climbing on pocketed orange limestone. I managed to get through the crux for an onsight. The Gash, Kunming.

July, 2022 – Cracker, 5.11a
Heady, difficult to read layback and finger crack. I was able to stay composed and onsight while hanging my draws. The Gash, Kunming.

July, 2022 – 三只小蜜蜂 / 3 Little Bees, 5.12b
‘Three little bees’ is an apt name for this thin, stiff sequence across tiny, stinging crimps. Snatching the ‘beehive’ tufa marks an exit to the difficulty! Very technical and finger intensive. XiShan / Western Hills, Kunming.

July, 2022 – 靠谱不靠谱 / Reliable or Not, 5.11a
Long and highly varied – slab, face, tufa, orange limestone and black limestone. Happy to flash. XiShan / Western Hills, Kunming.

July, 2022 – 岩雀 / Rock Sparrow, 5.11a
Onsight. Somewhat sustained on good holds, quite soft. XiShan / Western Hills, Kunming.

July, 2022 – Wang Diao Ya Route 18, 5.11b
Slippery hands and feet. Had trouble reading the crux on the first attempt, sent smoothly second try. Wang Diao Ya, Liupanshui.

July, 2022 – E8, 5.12a
A scenic, overhung route on the ‘septum’ of the cow nose. Features great holds, many rests, and wonderful flow throughout. I cleanly led the route twice, unsatisfied with my clumsily weighted anchor clip on the first burn. Felt at least a solid grade softer than the 5.12b attributed to it. Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

July, 2022 – Bubugaosheng Route 31, 5.11c
Moderate face climbing into a reachy and beta-intensive crux sequence, finishing via a straightforward crack. Bubugaosheng, Liupanshui.

July, 2022 – Bubugaosheng Route 32, 5.11b
Smooth crack climbing sandwiches a technical crux section on a thinly featured face. I fought through, and managed an onsight. Bubugaosheng, Liupanshui.

July, 2022 – Bubugaosheng Route 26, 5.11b
Consistent finger and hand crack with a pronounced finger pocket crux. Bubugaosheng, Liupanshui.

July, 2022 – Bubugaosheng Route 25, 5.11a
Excellent sequence across crimps, ending with a layback crack. I onsighted while hanging my draws. Bubugaosheng, Liupanshui.

July, 2022 – Collective Effort, 5.12b
Consistently overhanging face, richly featured with assorted tufa, big flake holds, and just enough crimps to keep things spicy. A difficult start and a technical crux lead into a long endurance climb interspersed with decent resting positions. I could not have sent without the encouragement and route beta of my friends. Catharsis washed over me as I clipped the chains. Dushan, Liupanshui.

July, 2022 – Horse Hoof Valley Route 11, 5.11b
Precise face climbing with a tricky crux on this unnamed route. Horse Hoof Valley / Ma Ti Gu, Liupanshui.

July, 2022 – Horse Hoof Valley Route 10, 5.11a
Soft for the grade, and sadly unnamed. Horse Hoof Valley / Ma Ti Gu, Liupanshui.

February, 2022 – Marshmellow Glove, 5.12b
Overhung, crimpy V4/V5 problem to the high first bolt, followed by 8m of 5.10-. I sent the bottom as an unroped boulder, then clipped in off of the jug before topping out. Using bouldering pads made solving the problem quite fun. Crazy Corner, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

February, 2022 – Big Trouble Little China, 5.12b
A burly start eases off into plenty of rest before the violently dynamic finish. This route is all about committing to the final four metres. Mika’s Ledge, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

February, 2022 – 牛C / Cow C, 5.11c
Middle branch of the ‘cow trilogy’. Shares a good rest with the 12a, followed by a physical ceiling pull and a short boulder problem on crimps. Big Temple Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

February, 2022 – Road Rage, 5.11a
Quite stiff; harder to me than the other 5.11a routes at Big Temple Crag. I flashed while hanging my draws. Big Temple Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

February, 2022 – 牛A / Cow A, 5.11a
Left branch of the ‘cow trilogy’. I flashed the upper route on my first try, but had previously climbed the first five bolts whilst working the 12a beside it. Big Temple Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

February, 2022 – 牛杂 / Cow Guts, 5.12a
The absolute classic 5.12 route of Big Temple Crag. Long and sustained, loads of exposure, and very comfortable on the skin. Took me a bit of work to send on account of my inability to find the good rest. Big Temple Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

February, 2022 – 绞肉机 / Meat Mincer, 5.12a
Traversing ceiling pull featuring several rests and one sharp handhold. White Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

February, 2022 – Orangina, 5.12c
A highly aesthetic line directly up the middle of the cliff face, ascending picturesque white-grey mottled rock. Strenuous on fingers, body tension, and smeared footwork. I really had to reach; definitely harder for shorter climbers. The final bolt felt a bit sketchy to clip. White Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

February, 2022 – Unknown 1, 5.11a
Short, burly ceiling pull. White Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

February, 2022 – Yellow Brick Road, 5.11c
The line of ascent meanders left and right several times, with surprises waiting around each corner. The upper bolts are a bit rusty, but are generously placed. I fought hard and managed to pull through with an onsight whilst hanging my quickdraws. White Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

February, 2022 – 守门犬 / Guard Dog, 5.12b
Rich action makes for a great show on this short ceiling route. Gaunyin Peak, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

January, 2022 – 被锁的龙 / The Lock Dragon, 5.11b
I must have found completely new beta; this route is not remotely close to being a 5.12a as on the topo. One moderately difficult move followed by very high quality and consistent parallel tufa laybacking. Stellar route, incredibly soft. Gaunyin Peak, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

January, 2022 – 香炉 / Incense Burner, 5.11c
Pumpy, sharp and painful for hands. Needs a high heel hook in the right place and foreknowledge of where to place hands on the jagged jugs. FoZai Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

January, 2022 – 太岁传奇 / Jupiter Legend, 5.12c
Long, somewhat slabby face route with a complex upper crux section. Heady penultimate clip on slippery smeared feet. I skipped the last draw on my send, as this made clipping the anchor feel more reasonable. Gaunyin Peak, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

January, 2022 – 刀鋒 Blade, 5.11a
Varied and quite long, with several excellent rests. I barely pulled off an onsight while hanging my draws, deeply fatigued on my fifth consecutive day of climbing. Gaunyin Peak, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

January, 2022 – 開口笑 / Opening Laughs, 5.11b
Powerful and technical right from the ground. I had to fight and adapt along the way, but managed to onsight while hanging my draws. Gaunyin Peak, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

January, 2022 – 金不换 / Gold Doesn’t Change, 5.11c
A superb route; awesome tufa wrestling sandwiched between good face climbing. Big Temple Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

January, 2022 – 铁扇公主 / Iron Fan Princess, 5.11a/b
Very pumpy! Big Temple Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

January, 2022 – 开幕式 / Opening Ceremony, 5.12b
Sparse, bad crimps with interesting grips right off of the ground, followed by lovely orange limestone face climbing. Two cruxes; I benefited enormously from a local climber handing over beta for the first one. Big Temple Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

January, 2022 – 水脊 / Water Ridge, 5.11a
Surprisingly pumpy for a short route. Tufa pinching, overhang, and big jugs. Big Temple Crag, Yingxi, Qingyuan.

January, 2022 – ONE MORE, 5.12a
Finger crack into a burly traverse, relentlessly followed by rather thin hands on dusty black limestone slab. The top out is nicely exposed, altogether making for an enjoyably varied, finger-heavy route. Miao Nan Yu, ZaoZhuang.

December, 2021 – Eggstatic P1, 5.11a
Sharp crimps the whole way up. Superbly consistent line; the few larger holds disrupt neither the route’s flow nor aesthetic. The penultimate draw was particularly tricky to hang and clip mid-sequence. I onsighted while hanging my draws. The Egg, Yangshuo.

December, 2021 – New Decade, 5.12a
Pinches, crimps, and tenuous footwork throughout. Strenuous yet delicate sequences, quite demanding of finger strength. The Egg, Yangshuo.

December, 2021 – Infernal Affairs, 5.11a
Runout tufa into a sustained, nicely varied face. Much easier when not climbing in 5C air temperature. Wine Bottle, Yangshuo.

December, 2021 – Ball and Chain, 5.12a
The eponymous chain hangs above a crimpy lower face, immediately followed by cool, bouldery tufa wrangling. Worked out beta and sent in breezy 7C air temperature! Treasure Cave, Yangshuo.

December, 2021 – Abinormal, 5.11c
Wonderful, burly tufa wrestling! I went to the right across the ledge below the final bolt, then up and over the black bulge. White Mountain, Yangshuo.

December, 2021 – 生龙活虎 / Move Like a Dragon, 5.11a
Very nice movement on good holds and clever footwork. Onsighted while hanging my draws. Bamboo Cave, Yangshuo.

December, 2021 – Sturgeon, 5.11a
Unusual crux, rewarding to pull through. Managed to onsight, hanging my draws. Bamboo Cave, Yangshuo.

November, 2021 – Happistachio / 开心果, 5.12a
Aesthetically this is one of the nicest routes I’ve climbed; pretty white conglomerate, robust movements, and a direct, natural line up the middle of the cliff. Pumpy, sustained, overhung laybacking! Baiyanxia (Taizhou).

November, 2021 – Bumps and Hollows / 坑坑洼洼, 5.11b
Finger pockets and open hands demand endurance, fancy footwork, and flowing movement. Baiyanxia (Taizhou).

November, 2021 – Cat’s Paw / 火中取栗, 5.11a
Great introduction to the rock at Baiyanxia – somewhat hard to read, hidden handholds, chalk marks camouflaged with the white rock. Baiyanxia (Taizhou).

November, 2021 – Nope, 5.11b
Technical movement on wonderfully high-friction rock, finishing with a slab top-out and great exposure. Highlands, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

November, 2021 – Dragon Air P1, 5.12a
Pump face climbing into a very cool, physically powerful sequence at the roof. Tops out on slippery slab with a few delicate clips. Briefly went right after the roof crux, could still reach my draws. Generously bolted. The Prow, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

November, 2021 – Lovelock, 5.12b
Sequential, sharp, technical. The crux demands power, balance, and finger strength in equal measure. Glorious Lower 40 friction and incredible crimps; a work of art on the wall. Lower 40, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

October, 2021 – My Pain For Your Pleasure, 5.12b
A beautifully varied route with three clear-cut sections, each composed of differently textured and distinctly featured rock. At the bottom, sharp crimps on blocky outcrops lead to a ceiling pull. The middle ascends sloping hands, presenting what I found to be the crux move. The upper third of the route is sketchy slab dripping with mottled lichens, making for a difficult read. The bolting on the middle and upper sections is run-out when compared to other routes at Lion’s Head. The Prow, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

October, 2021 – ESCORPION / 蝎子, 5.11d
Crisp crimps to the high first bolt, a technical balance crux forcing horrible hand matches, and cool final moves with some exposure. Miao Nan Yu, Zaozhuang.

October, 2021 – 左右为难 / Predicament, 5.11c
Thin limestone slab route featuring slopers, compressions, and delicate footwork. Miao Nan Yu, Zaozhuang.

October, 2021 – Jonny No Try, 5.12b
Great friction, sharp crimps, terrible feet. Topped out with a bit of desperation, wholly pumped from the crux sequence. Lower 40, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

October, 2021 – Dislocated, 5.11a
After a physical start this route soon shifts into a slab climb – with exposure! Highlands, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

October, 2021 – Slicin, 5.11a
Features a burly crux near the bottom, and a technical crux just below the anchor. Potential for enormous whips if clipping midway through the first crux sequence. Stiff. Midlands, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

September, 2021 – An Otter’s Pocket, 5.11a
Failed to onsight, finished feeling frustrated. Sent on the second try; a different strategy made a huge difference. Nice little slab route. People’s Wall, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

August, 2021 – NB Bang, 5.11b
Pumpy overhung tufa climbing featuring a distinct crux section. Great hands throughout make for cool, powerful movement. I almost peeled off while clipping the anchor pumped! Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

August, 2021 – 刺龟 / Spiny Tortoise, 5.11a
Punishingly steep overhang up sharp, juggy holds, with a solid hands-free rest before the powerful crux move. Pumpy despite the rest, felt challenging for the grade! A superbly fun route. Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

August, 2021 – 初来驾到 / Newcomer, 5.11d
Balance slab on black limestone scattered with dark quartz-like crystals leads into a good rest, followed by some face climbing, and finishing with a technical sequence across thin crystal footholds and crimps. The final two bolts to the anchor presented my crux. Started and sent fatigued on my fifth consecutive day of climbing; unsure whether to call it an 11c or 11d, but definitely not a 12a as per the topo. Regardless, a superb route! Bubugaosheng, Liupanshui.

August, 2021 – Wear a Helmet, 5.11a
Ascends cool finger pockets generously interspersed with good jugs. Dushan, Liupanshui.

August, 2021 – 黑龙 / Black Dragon, 5.11c
I spent over an hour cleaning loads of loose rock off of this freshly bolted route before getting onto it. A pumpy, powerful start leads into a short technical crux, after which the climbing finishes on easy balance slab. Cool black rock. Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

August, 2021 – 红点酒 / Redpoint Drinks, 5.11b
All about the final moves, and the many rests which can be found along the way. Incredible that natural rock formations create an ending this good; it’s like something from a well-set gym route. Dushan, Liupanshui.

August, 2021 – 西天取经 / Pilgrimage to the West, 5.12a
Wonderfully varied handholds include an assortment of two-finger pockets, side pulls, slopers, and a single knife blade crimp. Clipping from a stacked two-finger hook might have been the crux for me. Fantastic route. Dushan, Liupanshui.

July, 2021 – 凉都烙锅 / Liangdu Baking Pan, 5.11b
An awkward, pumpy start and a technical, balance-intensive finish sandwich a hands-free rest. Would definitely be a grade harder without the rest. DuShan, Liupanshui.

July, 2021 – 雨过天晴 / Sunny After Rain, 5.11b
Balance slab on small crimps and minuscule footholds. Two tricky cruxes, both of which were quite engaging to solve and somewhat tenuous to execute for the send! Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

July, 2021 – 白虎 / White Tiger, 5.11a
An aesthetically pleasing route with cool parallel tufas and a juggy finish. Sustained and exposed, begins on a small ledge 20m above the ground. Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

July, 2021 – E4, 5.11c
An interesting boulder problem on sharp, reachy crimps and terrible feet. I used a clipstick to put my gear up, worked the moves on toprope, and sent on my first lead after several hours of rest. The route is harder than 5.11c for shorter climbers. Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

July, 2021 – Don’t Grab The Tree!, 5.11a
A beautiful face climb with two crux sections and several good rests. Unique dark-coloured crystals smatter the wall, many of which make for thin footholds and crimps. Don’t grab the tree root! Bubugaosheng, Liupanshui.

July, 2021 – 掐死你的温柔 / Strangle Your Tenderness, 5.11a
The balance crux felt tough for the grade, but was mitigated somewhat by a decent rest. After a hard fight I sent onsight while hanging my draws. Great route. Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

July, 2021 – 环环相扣 / Interlocking, 5.11a
Surprisingly pumpy for a short route. A bouldery crux midway gives the route its grade. Cow Nose Cave / Niubi Dong, Liupanshui.

July, 2021 – Waiting for Sophy / 等待苏菲, 5.11d
An exceptionally interesting route with two difficult cruxes, slippery feet, and a heartbreaking endurance finish. Hangdogging the moves with beta advice from a friend wore me out; I took a huge whip near the top on my first lead attempt, losing my sequence and composure through sheer exhaustion. I went back the next afternoon and managed to send in spite of 36C air temperature and humidity. Leipi Shan, Yangshuo.

July, 2021 – Windswept, 5.11a
Aptly named; a nice breeze made this route more manageable in the humid summer heat. I managed to onsight whilst hanging my draws. The first 4 bolts are shared with a 5.9, but overall it felt fair for the grade, as I struggled somewhat on the slopers. Several good rests. Treasure Cave, Yangshuo.

July, 2021 – Summer School / 七月的学校, 5.11b
Perfect conditions for sending this route: 36C air temperature in the middle of July! Balance climbing with several superb hand and foot jams. A true classic, even though it is horrifically polished. Twin Gates, Yangshuo.

July, 2021 – Ten Bee, 5.11a
The slight overhang makes for an interesting, pumpy climb up dusty slopers interspersed with positive crimps. Brother Cave, Yangshuo.

July, 2021 – 去一边 / Go To The Side, 5.11b
A nice face climb with a distinct crux section. I managed to send on the first try, whilst hanging my draws, albeit with a prior look from the adjacent climbs. I have never before made such significant (and painful) use of a one-finger mono pocket. JiaGu Mountain, Zaozhuang.

June, 2021 – 鲜衣怒马 / Luxurious Living, 5.11d/12a
A real classic with two balancy crux sections, nicely varied holds, several full rests, and an endurance finish. I retreated two bolts off of the anchor in punishing full sun on my flash attempt, then rehearsed the movements at the end of the day as temperatures cooled off. I sent on my first try the next morning. The route has already been downgraded once, from 12b to 12a, but still feels soft to me. Climbing with friends brought loads of stoke, and provided some help with beta. JiaGu Mountain, Zaozhuang.

June, 2021 – 老玩童 / Old Playboy, 5.11a
This route was hard for me to read fresh, devoid of any chalk marks. After failing to onsight and then working out the hard-to-see holds, I cleaned off the gear and redpointed in good style. A nice mix of crimps, hidden jugs, underclings, and pockets. JiaGu Mountain, Zaozhuang.

June, 2021 – 扶朕起来 / Assist Emperor’s Ascent, 5.11b
Sending this sustained endurance route took me many more tries than it felt like it should have, perhaps due to hot and humid weather, perhaps due to mental focus. A bit heady from a broken hold and big fall on the first try, and due to the safe yet slightly sparse bolt placements. Several interesting sequences, and a full hands-free rest in a naturally cool cave. JiaGu Mountain, Zaozhuang.

June, 2021 – 朕还能爬 / Emperor Can Still Climb, 5.11a
An easy and fun start into a thin, interesting crux. Slightly sparse bolting made the route feel a little bit heady. I failed to onsight at the balancey crux move, and sent on the second try. JiaGu Mountain, Zaozhuang.

May, 2021 – Blue Glacier / 蓝冰川, 520m/5.12a/A0
Blue Glacier is China’s longest sport route, covering 520m over 19 pitches of golden granite slab. We climbed the route over two days, with an overnight bivvy on the ledge above pitch 4. We aided on all pitches where we failed to onsight. Eggplant Mountain, Dayu (Xi’An).

May, 2021 – Hallowmas, 5.11b
A high quality route up steep slab and into a ceiling, finished off with a pumpy, overhanging face. My send was intensified by uncomfortably hot and humid weather. Big Wall, ShiGouDong (ShaoXing).

May, 2021 – Jonny’s Hard 12, 5.11b
This route is a sustained, crimpy face climb which tops out onto low angle slab. I took a good fall while lunging for a high hand on my onsight attempt, and subsequently sent the route on my second try. Lower 40, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

May, 2021 – Round About, 5.11b
An interesting five bolt traverse leading into a short face. The route’s crux is in the traverse, and feels quite hard for the grade. Lower 40, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

May, 2021 – Scrubadub, 5.11d
A short friction slab featuring a delicate crux sequence on thin crimps, bad feet, and a sloping pinch. I wore off a lot of skin the day prior to getting on Scrubadub, and subsequently split four of my fingertips bloody whilst working the crux. After cleaning and taping up I was able to send, albeit with a lot of blood left on the sharp handholds! Lower 40, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

April, 2021 – Lock Jaw, 5.11c
Sustained crimps the entire way, with not a single jug to be found. The high feet, superb friction, tiny handholds, and a technical crux sequence make for a true classic of a route. Failed the onsight and then top roped once on day one, sent the route on my first try the next morning. Lower 40, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

April, 2021 – Better Eat Your Wheaties, 5.11b
The first 4 meters of this route are its crux, and entail an awkward runout characterized by a sharp, two-finger pocket. Solving the sequence took me several tries, and was heady due to the ground fall potential. Lower 40, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

April, 2021 – 老友鬼鬼 / Old Friend Guigui, 5.11b
The route is graded for a short, but painfully thin, sequence of awkward crimps conveniently sandwiched between hands-free rests. Miao Nan Yu, Zaozhuang.

March, 2021 – 避雨亭 / Rain Shelter, 5.11c
A burly limestone route ascending an awkward crack system sparsely salted with poor footholds. Working on the route with friends was a fun exercise in optimizing the sequence of movement. I used two hangdog climbs to sort out beta, and then redpointed on my first lead attempt. Miao Nan Yu, Zaozhuang.

March, 2021 – 宿醉 / Hangover, 5.11a
A steep limestone face climb with a thin technical crux. The route is a measure of balance, efficient movement, and finger strength on account of its relentless crimping. Miao Nan Yu, Zaozhuang.

December, 2020 – 蘑菇头 / Mushroom Head, 5.11a
A short 15m route ascending dusty tufa formations. I first-try flashed with verbal beta for the final moves. Finishing this route marked my fifth successful YDS 5.11- redpoint over five days at Shigu, one per day. Ritan, Shigu.

December, 2020 – 穿过你的黑发的我的手该放哪儿 / Where Do I Put My Hand After Combing Your Black Hair, 5.11b
High quality rock with a confusing finish. The last few meters alongside the final bolt can be climbed to the left into a tufa, or to the right up a face – both variations involve a significant reach to clip the bolt and anchor. Redpointed on my second try. Rainbow Wall, Shigu.

December, 2020 – 血草莓 / Blood Strawberry, 5.11a
A fine 20m route requiring several traverses back and forth across a steep face. Managed to onsight with a somewhat desperate finish. Ritan, Shigu.

December, 2020 – 小心竹钉 / Beware Bamboo Roots, 5.11a
Sharp crimping and balance intensive footwork create technical cruxes throughout the lower half. The ‘elephant trunk’ tufa along the upper route makes for a change of pace and varied climbing. Rainbow Wall, Shigu.

December, 2020 – 一个核桃 / Walnut, 5.11a
A pumpy face climb on pockets and rails presents the main difficulties before an interesting finish through pronounced tufa formations. Sending on the first try was a promising start to my second Shigu trip. Diamond Wall, Shigu.

December, 2020 – Lion’s Prow, 5.11b
A long, aesthetically direct 13-bolt route. The first crux involves flipping a small ceiling and clipping bolt 1. After the ceiling the line is relatively straightforward to bolt 7 but intensely sustained and pumpy thereafter, which makes for a testpiece of endurance. The Prow, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

November, 2020 – Airwalker, 5.11d
The finest sport route I have climbed to date. Airwalker begins 20m off of the ground, well above the canopy of the bamboo forest below. Overhanging and pumpy the entire way, the gloriously exposed technical cruxes more than live up to the route’s name. The belay anchor is accessed either via a sketchy slab traverse, or from transition off of adjacent routes. I sent on my fifth try. Mika’s Ledge, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

October, 2020 – Hanging in the Balance, 5.11a
Superb route on crimpy Limestone. Technical cruxes and some reachy movements. The last pitch of this Yangshuo trip, I spent about an hour and a half in the early morning projecting it on my own. The Egg Northeast Face, Yangshuo.

October, 2020 – Lawnmower Man, 5.11a
Fun ceiling climb through a dense tangle of tufa. Treasure Cave, Yangshuo.

October, 2020 – Traveling Alan, 5.11a
34m of high quality Yangshuo Limestone. Starts up a crimpy face with a distinct crux, finishes through a pumpy, overhanging ceiling with a few tricky clips. Redpointed on my own beta in two leads. Swiss Chocolate, Yangshuo.

August, 2020 – Shigu Courtyard / 石鼓的院子, 5.11c
Absolute classic. The best route I have climbed at Shigu. Four hangdogs, four leads over three days for the redpoint. The tufa-riddled roof climbing is wonderfully powerful, and the crux is the ceiling pull – as it should be. The Cave, Shigu.

August, 2020 – Rainbows and Unicorns, 5.11a
A fun, varied Limestone route with steep face climbing, a single technical move, and a small ceiling. Two burns to send. Rainbow Wall, Shigu.

November, 2019 – Five Ten Plus, 5.11b/c
A long route with two distinct cruxes. I blew a flash on this route by whipping while clipping the anchor, but sent it on the second try. Having beta handed over on a silver platter made this climb more fun, and much faster, than working it alone! Come Along Crag, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

November, 2019 – Dammit!, 5.11b
A short, technical slab route. Solving the sequence puzzle with friends was a delight. Lower 40 Right Side, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

November, 2019 – 纯爷们 / Real Man, 5.11a
High quality granite slab. Balance and technique through the middle. Main Cliff, ShiGouDong (ShaoXing).

June, 2019 – Crispi Feet, 5.11b
A long route on superb rock. The first crux is right off of the ground, and the second crux is up near the top, right in the middle of a sustained system of crimps. This route was impactful for me, as it was one of the first pitches that I systematically projected. Midlands, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

May, 2019 – Chinese Ladders, 5.11b
A Lion’s Head test piece at its grade. Short but intensely crimpy, with a definite crux move in the middle. Finding beta which worked for me was like solving a kinesthetic puzzle. Crazy Corner, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

April, 2019 – 无所谓 / It Doesn’t Matter, 5.11c
Requiring fine balance and focus, this short route is technical, crimpy, and sequential. Couldn’t have sent it had I not been working it with a much stronger partner, who gave me all the beta. Purple Mountain, Nanjing.

April, 2019 – 掏鸟窝 / Fishing Out The Bird’s Nest, 5.11b
The classic route at Nanjing’s Purple Mountain crag. A big heel hook and powerful movement sequence to pull the ceiling. This route immediately caught my eye on my first visit to Purple Mountain, even though I was a beginner at the time. Sending it for the first time almost two years later was enormously satisfying. Purple Mountain, Nanjing.

March, 2019 – Little Sheep, 5.11a
A short, burly, pumpy route with several good rests and interesting movements. Paid my dues by whipping while trying to clip the anchor rings before finally getting the send. Crazy Corner, Lion’s Head (Lin An).

March, 2019 – Red Beans and Rice, 5.11a
A delightful route, perhaps my favorite at the Lion’s Head crag. Delicate slab on thin hands at the start, powerful movement up a slightly overhung chimney for the rest of the route. My first 11a redpoint, entirely on beta which I figured out by myself. Mika’s Ledge, Lion’s Head (Lin An).