I know everyone wants to dirt on the show last night, but bugger that. I’m going climbing. So, after a huge storm last night when the canyons of skyscrapers echoed with the endless percussion of thunder, I woke up late to a beautiful day in Guangzhou. Cool, not too humid, overcast with a breeze. The perfect day for finding the elusive Luogang bouldering spot.
We had an address – in Chinese even, knew mostly where we were going – though the taxi driver didn’t, and once we spotted hills pimpled with pale granite bluges, we knew we were in the right spot. Buddah was there too, half way up the hill in a large amphitheatre of granite prows and knife-blades. We headed for the top though, underneath the new high-tension power pylons, which replaced some of the older large boulders.
To climbing, and how many times have I said, “I love granite!”? I love the balancy footwork, the small crystals to pull on, the total head-game of climbing on stuff you just have to trust. Working down from the top of the hill, the easiest problems are short slabby faces and diagonal cracks, getting progressively harder, more vertical, longer, and overhanging further down the hill.
After a couple of good 5-6 meter high problems, we headed down to the big crack which in the You Yangs would have two bolts up it and be worn clean with traffic. Here it was damp from rain, greenish from a film of old moss, and completely committing after the slightly overhanging layback at the start. Eman walked up it, showing he’s a crack climber at heart, I got my foot stuck and promptly fell off, showing I’m not.
More super-balancy high-stepping freak-out problems as we continued to walk down, including an awesome and pretty easy left-curving crack just made to hang off, that was so like the You Yangs, and an arete which is one of the unfinished problems here, going in the V5-6 range, which spits on most people before they even get a foot up. That’s where I met this insect, taking a long stroll along the crystals, and discovered the joy of the super-macro function in my camera.
There’s actually a bus which runs from Tianhe out to right at the base of the hill, the number 534, which we flagged down, and which runs past this overpass where Eman is working the hand-jam line in fine style. There’s also a brand new cam stuck in there from an anonymous aid climb epic for anyone who can get it out. If Lougang was in Melbourne it’d be completely mapped, have a guidebook, and probably be bolted. Here it’s empty and in need of a good wire-brushing.