James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini continues their perpetual quest for virgin rock around the world. This time they've just come back from the Philippines where they have found a new DWS area.
"A New Climbing Destination in the Philippines : El Nido DWS
Everything began with a simple Google search for "Sea Cliffs, Asia". I stumbled onto several beautiful photos around the island of Palawan, and after many emails and a lot of research, I was sure that nobody had been deep water soloing there before.
The amount of rock around El Nido is impressive. There are more islands than you can count, and each one is surrounded by cliffs that fall directly into a turquoise sea. A lot of the rock is black and sharp and no good for climbing; sculpted into daggers over millions of years by the sea and the rain.
However the more you tour around the islands, the more you discover perfect walls for DWS – Steep and solid rock, covered in pockets and tufas, and most importantly, directly above deep crystal clear water.
Joining James and myself would be Miel Pahati, one of the most accomplished and motivated Filipino Climbers, Francisco Taranto Jr, a multitalented photographer with some of the best rope skills around, and Pablo Scorza, the creator of Biomechanica Funcional Escalada and our therapist with the magic hands. Traveling around by a mix of Sea Kayak and "Banka" boat, in just under 3 weeks we opened dozens of new lines, but choosing only the very best, only the most beautiful.
We DWSed, and we trad climbed too, usually where the water was too shallow.
James even opened a fun E8 route, a very steep short wall, that would have been awesome on DWS, except that the water was just about too shallow: 1 meter, we didn't want to test it :)
So, we built a hanging belay, and James went for it! And made it on his first red point try, after having abseiled to find the protections. In general, having the trad gear with us in this DWS trip allowed us to look at more lines: No hight limitations, no shallow water limitation... But you have to accept that you may wet your harness...
We only scratched the surface and there are hundreds of routes still to climb, so what are you waiting for... go and check it out for yourself.
For more information, check out Once upon a climb
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