Jiulong – you ain’t in Hong Kong anymore

A while ago, I saw some photos of a place just north of Guangzhou that looked so like Yangshou, the current mecca of slumming-it climbers in China I couldn’t believe it was almost untouched. Soaring limestone spires rising up out of terraced fields with roaming water buffalo, and sheer, clean faces just screaming to be climbed. This Sunday, with a bunch of climbers from Hong Kong, Shenzhen and the Guangzhou guy who started the current frenzy, we went on an adventure where the drive up was as memorable as the climbing.

There are two ways to get to Jiulong. One is direct, on good mostly roads and gets you into town in around two hours. The other, and if you reach Yingde you know you’ve screwed up, is a six hour haul along a muddy two lane river-bed. Our driver excelled in the sodden conditions despite losing the rear-bumper on a more exuberant pot-hole traverse, and kept us laughing all the way after drenching an already wet and cold family on a motorbike, then stopping to ask them for directions.