Or, ‘Jaiyou!’ in Chinese. Pronounced ‘Jai YO’.
It’s like, “GO ON!”, or “YOU CAN DO IT!”, or “FUCKING KILL IT!”
Well, we’ve been here just under a week now, and we’ve had 2 nights of normal sleep…except last night…because I might have had too much beer after climbing for the entire day in the sun without nearly enough water and not much for dinner. Also, my ass is raw and sore as hell from bicycling to the latest crags on shitty single speed cruiser style bikes down bumpy back roads and trails whilst carrying my heavy pack. Let me explain.
We just climbed 2 more days, and are resting today. Two days ago we went to a crag called Riverside, and yesterday we went to White Mountain. Riverside, though 30 meters close to the Li River, was only 10 meters to the road, thus ‘Roadside’ might have been a more appropriate name. We rented and rode bicycles to get there, and since the guidebook is conveniently out of print, all that we had was a shitty tourist (not climber) map completely in Chinese, and a place name hand written in Chinese. The instructions where when (not if) we got lost, to show the hand written paper to some one. Right. We were told that it was a 15 minute bike ride away, SO an hour and half and some solid profanity later, we arrived. It is a nice cliff, but just above a pretty well traveled dirt road. This combined with the fact that it is not a frequently visited crag, made for routes that were completely covered in a thick layer of dirt from the road. Also, there were bats in many of the pocket handholds. The setting was pristine; as it overlooked the grand Li River, and we had many happy fascinated locals stop to watch us and cheer us on and hang out with us. So, we managed to make the very most of it, even while slipping off big hand and foot holds due to the dirt on them and simultaneously avoiding visions of rabies and the bat infested pockets. Yin yang balance…
Biking to the crag
View from Riverside crag
Ready to bike home
Yesterday, I got an email at 8:15 am from a local that we had met days earlier. He said a bunch of people were going to White Mountain and meeting at 8:30… regardless of the amount of sun. White Mountain is by far the best crag here, but it faces dead south, and there is no relief from the sun, not a fucking tree or big rock or anything. Yin yang, yin yang, yin yang…fuck it, let’s go. Brave the sun to climb at the best crag here. We were packed, out the door, bikes rented, fruit stand visited, and breakfast dumpling cart visited in time to make the rendezvous. BOOM. (Notice how I didn’t mention anything about buying some water or sunscreen) A 30 minute ride later, we were standing in awe in front of the White Mountain wall. Two words, well, three actually; ‘World class’, and ‘HOT’. It is such a tall, proud wall. We did 2 warm ups that were SO good, and it was warm, but there was a little breeze and it was manageable. Then, we opted to try a little harder, and through our added exertion it suddenly seemed like the temperature went solar. By this point, the fair skinned Emily had sunburn and was utterly exhausted from the heat. I, however, pressed on. One more route later, as well as the remainder of our water, and I was in a sad state. I was sweating from pores that I hadn’t ever sweated out of before. One more route and the remaining skin on my fingers later, I was struggling to catch my breath in the hot, heavy air and seeing stars. I just couldn’t help myself, the climbing was so good. I knew that however deep into the energy reserves I went, I’d be able to bike my sorry (SORE-Y) ass out of there on the thought of cold beer and a rest day. And so it was.
Dumpling breakfast cart
THE White Mountian
View from White Mtn
We were back to town, and I was chugging beer before I even washed the chalk off of my hands. SO THIRSTY. Dumpling Dynasty was the spot of choice for dinner, but I was pretty filled up with beer, so I could only put down a few delicious pot stickers before I was thoroughly stuffed. Then, being as it was Friday night, well, more drinking ensued. It was really fun, and we met and hung out with a solid global crew; Chinese, Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians, Americans, and one dreaded dude from Norway. I didn’t really get drunk, but the combination of staying up late, being super dehydrated, and not eating that much rendered me not able to sleep well and with a headache this morn. Anyways, it was FULLY worth it, AND today’s a rest day. BOOYAH!!!
Sunset in Yangshuo
Friday night in Yangshuo