British couple Rhoslyn Frugtniet and Tom Newberry recently returned from a pre-Christmas trip to Yangshuo and Getu Valley in China, coming away with numerous ticks under their belt. Rhoslyn redpointed her first 8b, with Lightning, and Tom made a repeat ascent of the well-known Spicy Noodle 8c+, first climbed by Chris Sharma.
The pair flew out at the end of October and had seven weeks exploring the climbing in South-West China. Rhoslyn told UKC:
"Tom had been there last year and managed to do most of the classics up to 8c but it was my first time, so I was pretty psyched. Before going Tom had his eye on and had been training for Spicy Noodle (8c+) specifically. I just wanted to climb loads of cool routes!"
Starting off in Yangshuo - where they spent three weeks climbing - Tom ticked Spicy Noodle and they then made the journey to Getu, a rural village with a rapidly developing climbing scene.
"The main attraction of Getu is the giant arch which is featured in Petzl Rock Trip video. Tom and I took on a five-pitch route "Nihao Wokepa" up the left hand side of it (6c+, 7c+, 7c, 7b, 8a) - Tom managed to onsight all the pitches. This was such an amazing experience (and a highlight for both of us). I had never really multipitch climbed before; luckily there were these bamboo seats at the end of all the pitches so you got a semi-comfortable rest. The 200m abseil off the other side was also a fun learning experience."
The couple then headed back to Yangshuo for a few more weeks. First on the agenda for Rhoslyn was Lightning, an extension to Single Life (8a) which she had climbed previously:
"I was pretty psyched to try it as the extension consisted of fourteen hard moves on little crimps which was super sustained, before it eases up into 7aish climbing and I love crimps so I wanted to get on it ASAP. On the first session I did all the moves on the extension - so this got me pretty psyched to keep trying it, second/ third session I did a really good link and then I knew it was on!"
Rhoslyn took a rest day and then finally managed the climb, which took six sessions altogether including the two days spent on Single Life 8a. She commented: "I literally couldn't believe it, I was super happy!"
Due to heavy rainfall at the end of the trip, Rhoslyn and Tom bailed from Yangshuo and headed to Hong Kong for four days before flying home:
"Hong Kong was an amazing place to climb. In between the skyscrapers and shops there are some great crags, the rock there is granite, so super tough on your skin! Tom made quick work of a short crimpy 8b - I still have unfinished business with this, getting to the last move a few times, so I am definitely heading back. Beacon Hill, Toulong Island and Central Crags are the better crags to visit for sure."
Highlights from the trip overall for Tom were doing the 2nd ascent of Dragonfly Extension 8b+, Sea of Tranquillity 8b+ and onsighting the mega five-pitch 8a Nihao Wokepa in Getu, and of course completing his main goal Spicy Noodle 8c+ - a route that had caught his eye last year after doing the neighbouring China Climb 8c.
Rhoslyn also managed to bag four 8a's in addition to the 8b, one of which she climbed second go. She also came second in a Red Bull one armed speed climbing competition and won £80: "Who knew there was such a thing?!"
Little Bastard 8a
Gin & Tonic 8a
Ki Di Buzz 8a (2nd go)
Single Life 8a
Slippery Nipple 7c+
Autochtono 7c+ (Getu)
Moon Walker 7c (flash)
Free Max 7c (Flash) (Getu)
Tic Tac Smuggler 7c (2nd go)
Smack Down 7c (2nd go)
White Devil 7c (2nd go)
Thunder 7c (Flash)
Did pretty much every 8a – 8b route in Yangshuo plus:
Spicy Noodle 8c+, Yangshuo
Sea of Tranquility 8b+, Yangshuo
Dragonfly Extension 8b+ (2nd ascent), Yangshuo
Lost in China 8b, Getu
Local Spirits 8b, Hong Kong