China - Ice Paradise - Climbing Magazine

China - Ice Paradise


I am happy, but when I see my style on the video I see how tensed I have been climbing (Forgetting to rest on the legs) and how much unnecessary ice I have tear down (beating the ice feeling unsafe of the leading axe) I still feel I have a lot to improve. I have many days ahead and next day I will meet with better climbers than myself. Sky is 36; he has come here to climb every spring festival the last five seasons. We have met one time earlier climbing a 100 meter ice wall near Beijing around Christmas time.

I can only describe it as a unique exhilarating and exciting blood rushing experience. I love the days where I am able to leave the cell phone and laptop at the office and enjoy the rugged wild. The air is fresh, the sky is blue, and the sun is reflecting off the solid ice.

Someone has taken one of my ice screws and a locking carabiner — it bugs me. I ask around, but I don't ask the right person. Some days later the equipment shows again as it had been put into someone else’s bag.

After having stayed in China for the last 7 years, I am almost fluent in Chinese, but I still cannot remember all the names of all the ice walls the driver is telling me about as we pass by. He speaks local dialect, and makes it even harder to understand, as it is quite different from the standard mandarin Chinese. I stay with the locals; we pay $2 US for lodging and $2 US for food per day. The driver takes $1 US per person for driving and picking up. Expensive? Not! The whole stay all included with the flight from Beijing - Chengdu in rush season costs only $400 US for 6 days.

On the way back to civilization my boss is calling me from abroad telling me to have his report finished by the end of the week. I ensure him that it is in the very best hands, although my fingers are still a little stiff after holding on to the axe's for many days! I am writing this on the plane back to Beijing, as my thoughts keep drifting back to climbers’ paradise…

JT Baller, a Norwegian Citizen, has lived in Beijing China since 1998. A sportsman since childhood he now specializes in Chinese Economy and language. Working as CEO for an International Investment Company he can afford to take time off work to go climbing (rather than playing golf). Every year his goal is to climb at least one mountain above 5000 meters. The ultimate goal is to climb K2 in 2010. This year JT would like to invite a maximum of eight other people to come for a technical climb of Bogeda 5445m in the first 2 weeks of August, 2007. Until now less than 40 people have been to the top of this peak. Price estimated at $2000 U.S.D. starting and finishing in Beijing. For more information please contact JT Baller: