The North Face and Black Diamond present the First Annual 2008 Yangshuo, China Climbing Festival

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Photo by Matt Law / Black Diamond Equipment

Photo by Matt Law / Black Diamond Equipment

Photo by Matt Law / Black Diamond Equipment

Photo by Matt Law / Black Diamond Equipment

More than 350 climbers from 15 countries and more than half the provinces in China came together the First Annual The North Face/Black Diamond Yangshuo Climbing Festival was held from October 31 through November 2 in and around the town of Yangshuo in Southeast China’s Guangxi Province.

Yangshuo’s endless chain of limestone karst towers spread amongst the surrounding rivers and farmland provided a surreal backdrop to the weekend’s events. One of the area’s premier climbing walls, White Mountain, served as festival headquarters with its overhanging 70-meter main wall forming a natural amphitheater for music, clinics, slideshows and the Total Points Competition on Day 1 and an escape from the rain for Day 2’s Hardest Route Competition. Cedar Wright, James Pearson, Sun Bing and Jonathan Thesenga provided Day 1’s evening entertainment with slideshows and product giveaways.

Jonathan Thesegna providing some evening entertainment on day one of the festival. Photo by Matt Law / Black Diamond Equipment

Jonathan Thesegna providing some evening entertainment on day one of the festival. Photo by Matt Law / Black Diamond Equipment

The 70 meter White Mountain wall. Photo by Matt Law / Black Diamond Equipment

The 70 meter White Mountain wall. Photo by Matt Law / Black Diamond Equipment

The male winner of both Day 1’s Total Points Competition and Day 2’s Hardest Route Competition was Yangshuo local Liu “Abond” Yongbang. Abond followed his 17-route performance on Saturday by establishing the high point on Sunday’s onsight attempt of a new White Mountain 5.14a. However, the story of the weekend belonged to Aleksandra Przybysz of Poland who traveled 30 hours by train from Beijing and won Saturday’s female Total Points Competition on five hours sleep and then took Day 2’s Hardest Route Competition before hopping the train back to Beijing.

Photo by Matt Law / Black Diamond Equipment

Photo by Matt Law / Black Diamond Equipment

Photo by Matt Law / Black Diamond Equipment

Photo by Matt Law / Black Diamond Equipment

The Yangshuo Climbing Festival’s dual goals are to serve as an annual gathering for the climbing community throughout Mainland China and Asia and to preserve and promote rock climbing in Yangshuo. To that end, all money raised from entry fees have been donated back to the local community via the Yangshuo Climbing Association (YSCA). Thanks to everyone who showed up, volunteered or helped by sponsoring the event. We hope to see you all again next year.

Point Ranking Competition Results (Saturday, November 1, 2008)

Men

Prizes

Name

Points

Nationality

1

Liu Yongbang

121

China

2

Scott Milton

100

Canada

3

Lans Hansen

86

New Zealand

4

Said Belhaj

73

Sweden

Women

Prizes

Name

Points

Nationality

1

Aleksandra Przybysz

82

Poland

2

Li Fengdi

56

China

3

Xiao Ting

52

China

4

Liu binqing

51

China

Hardest Route Competition Results (Sunday, November 2, 2008)

Men

Prizes

Name

Nationality

1

Liu Yongbang

China

2

James Pearson

UK

3

Xiao Pao

China

4

Miel Pahati

Philippine

Women

Prizes

Name

Nationality

1

Aleksandra Przybysz

Poland

2

Miranda Oaklen

USA

3

Liu binqing

China

4

Kate Rutherford

USA