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TR- Getu, Guizhou, China- Petzl Rocktrip Oct 2011

8:55:03 AM
TR - Getu, Petzl Rocktrip, October 2011

Firstly, get this out of the way - photos & galleries see the below links...

Day Zero (0)

Got the evening, overnight bus. Typical bunk bed, China sleeper bus arrangement. If you've never done it - you should. Listening to loud noises on the headphones - chickens crowing in the middle of the night. I cling nervously to my backpack & slumber as the shapes & colours of KungFu bathe me from the onboard tube.

Day One (1)

Bus gets to stop 1 at around 8am. Chickens were stowed in the under bus compartment - no wonder I could hear crowing @2am. Twist my ankle. next bus.
And then, final bus leg, have 1/2 hour before dept. Go eat some Chinese fast food. Rice, beans, meaty bits... chili. Grease-ball-horror-kitchen kicks another goal.
Arrive in Getu in the afternoon, about 4 hours of daylight left. Head to the closest crag to the village: Lazy Dragon cave.
Haz a few climbs bolted by Dani Andrada - maybe next time, the local guys I met on the bus might want to warm up first. Belay them up a 5a
(I'm not going to covert these Sport grades because 1) its a new area & they're all wrong 2) I don't have a clue what they mean...)
Try get up a 6c+, aid through the two hard sections. /It'll go next time/. Next time, can't get through the no holds face balance thing /It'll go next time/. aid to the next hard bit, figure out the business: /head out right to the side pull, grab the slopey thing in the left, pause, pounce for the big right bucket. Bucket? More like a tip truck: once you get level with the hold you can stick your leg in it, clip & have a no-hands rest. lower off, try lead it again, spend 15 minutes @ the lower section, trying to get through the balancey pushy stuff... stuff it/, /It'll go next time/...
pack up, go 'home' i.e. the local primary school where all the local kiddies have been kicked out to make way for the Big Noses & their climbing Circus. Eat canteen food...
Late that night meet some other foriegners - organise a multipitch on the 'morrow

Day Two (2)

Early start, 6:30am. Misty. Cold. Bunk bed is super creaky. Poor Seppo still trying to get over jet-lag asleep on the lower bunk.
Walk out is about 30mins, finding base of the crag, another 30mins. on rock 9am. Oh, 3 person party - this should be interesting.
All face climbing on sharp grey, whiteish, occasionally yellowish limestone. All sport, did I mention that it was a Petzl festival?
Pitch 1: The other 2 go up first (seperately), I belay, simultaneously eat baked beans, cut thumb open with melon knife, won't stop bleeding. use climbing tape to re-form thumb.
Pitch 2, me, 6a something, "these can't be 6a moves..." traverse a bit, grab a tree root, step in a pile of dirt. Seconds climb with more finesse. 3rd actually soes the proper line.
Pitch 3&4 Izzy runs the two together, not without having to climb down & then back up in order to reduce the insane rope drag.
Pitch 5: Brenton looking 'tuit'. makes tidy work of it, pitch is surprisely overhung in sections, pretty good value for 6a+.
Pitch 6: I. 5c. brittle holds, non-vertical, slightly spaced bolts with a backpack... good fun.
Belay them all up - enjoy the view for a minute. descend as the light fades, Brenton has no belay/abseil device so we build one out of biners... take one last photo of him as evidence for the coroner. Don't need the photo in the end.
Walk back in the dark. 9am-5pm (8hrs) on rock...

Day Three (3)

The big arch. This is the Getu flagship. 6 pitch countiuously overhanging 8c+'s . Concave "rice bowl" slopers. Undercling hell/heaven depending on your personal taste. so big it's got it's own clouds inside it.
Warm up on a balancy face climb (5c?). Head over to a 6c thingy. jump on lead. get shut down, multiple times at the 3rd bolt. switch leads. my belayer flashes it. urg. Try again. Nope. the little pockets & suss feet are putting me off. use some completely different beta over to the right & drag myself through. The rest of the climbing was easy, juggy, safe, lots of no-hands positions. The guy from Font, flashes the low crux & then proceeds to take a rest on every bolt above it.
Not much climbing done - but have a few new Hong Kong friends.

Day Four (4)

Olivers Crag. The most visible crag by far. 10 metres from the main road. Villagers are there for the spectacle - cheering every fall, but rudely quiet when someone reaches the anchors.
This is my day. 6a-fail. No worries, I got the beta, next time. 6a-fail. & hmmm, shake it off, try something else, come back to it. 6b-fail. 6c-fail. 6a again-fail, 7a-fail. by now I'm a mess, after about the 4th bolt my hands refuse to leave the rock... I decide to go do 5c, just to get something under my belt & get the ball rolling for some afternoon sendage... summary: 4th bolt, take a long dive & twist my right ankle. hobble down to the cold river fro lack of ice, feel sorry for myself. get a motorbike lift home. can still hobble around. that's wrap.
that night, eat some BBQ with Hong Kong friends - strap a beer to the injury. limped home with some help (a police transport).

Day Five (5)

Wake up. Ankle is swollen & worse than ever - can't even walk. Bunk buddy introduces me to ibuprofen. Sleep until 1pm. can now walk. make coffee. sit by the creek outside the school, feel sorry for myself & write poetry. hobble around - get going for the the evening meal & party. Arrive to see a crowd of seething local villagers, the throng speckled with the typical goretex climbing hobos. Party highlights included seeing underage pro's off their faces' on drugs, senior age pro's booty dancing with their beau's & flashing midriff. chatting to drunk pro's, they're really good listeners: bff! Mulleted local artist banging out some KTV, Chris S & friends doing a bongo recital & then the Drum & Bass set that signaled the local's exodus (nothing clears a room full a villagers faster than Dave Graham on the decks). The guiding crew from an unnamed China locale, clad in tights, shirtless, spilling beer on the turntables.
As midnight turned the dance party settled down to only: the ravers, the chatters, slightly nude needy women & the slightly nude men who enable them. Oh & a police man for each & everyone.
Again, had some Chinese BBQ somewhere in there, limped home with some help.

Day Six (6)

Home time. Got a lift with a local friend. 7hours in the car. drove through some villages that got swept away in a flood last year. Serves them right for building their houses in a riverbed (seriously)

climbing - 5 1/2 days
Onsight - 3 routes (2nd's - 4)
redpoints - 0
flails - 7
injuries - 1
lost items - helmet & an exped sleeping mat

Yikes - looking at it like that, what a crap week!
Seriously though, folks - Getu is amazing - if you're planning a trip to China & you're up for the adventure, go check it out - you won't be disappointed.
for a how to get there etc->

10:02:09 AM
Good read! Hope your ankle is all better!
10:27:13 AM
Cool TR. What photo program are you using for the panos?

12:04:44 PM
Cool trip report.
Looks like an interesting place to travel.

3:16:55 PM
I use hugin for the panorama's
Gimp for the haenous collages

3:35:10 PM
I enjoyed reading how others do it(!), and seeing interesting photos.

Interesting comment about locals cheering falls but not top-outs.

Karst topography is radical for climbers as well as photographers!.

Thanks for posting the TR.
4:26:55 PM
On 16/11/2011 china_sam wrote:
>I use hugin for the panorama's
>Gimp for the haenous collages

Cheers....will have to check them out.

7:03:33 AM
Looks like you made the best of a week that just wasn't ment to be.
Cool TR

3:34:25 AM
Ankle only just feeling better - don't know what I did to it...

Joe Kinder's Blog has some great shots from the festival, if you're interested
9:00:03 AM
I've tried 4-5 panorama stitching packages, hugin does the best job.
6:24:02 PM
On 23/11/2011 gfdonc wrote:
>I've tried 4-5 panorama stitching packages, hugin does the best job.
Whilst for me I find good panos are much more about my shooting technique than the software, I just downloaded Hugin and was really impressed. I deliberately picked a difficult series of pics and hugin did just as good a job with details and a better job with colours than Photoshop CS4, that's awesome for an open source piece of kit. Two thumbs up.

PS I've also tried 4-5 different software packages for panos.

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