The 2009 Yangshuo Climbing Festival went well and largely according to plan. Friday night was a gathering in the sports stadium where the new bouldering wall was open to all climbers. Saturday started the treasure hunt: prize tags were hidden at the top of 70 routes at 8 different crags; there were also a number of clinics at the Wine Bottle Crag including those by Black Diamond athletes.
The afternoon saw more open climbing before the evening activities in the sports stadium including a dinner and slide presentation by Alex Honnold on speed climbing – he mostly talked about his recent free solo adventures. A local rock band provided the music and there were many gear give-aways. Entreprises, the climbing hold company, donated all of the holds and a finger board they had brought to the festival to the Yangshuo Access Initiative (YAI) and we auctioned for a good price. It went so well we will consider having more auctions at next year’s festival.
After the auction the bouldering competition got underway and lasted till well past 10pm. It was exciting and holding it in the stadium allowed us all to be together in a comfortable environment. Using the stadium proved a great decision as we woke up Sunday morning to rain and cold; many climbers chose not to go to the crags and waited for the final rounds of the bouldering competition held that afternoon, only Chinese climbers were in the mem's final round. The route setting was much better on the second day.
What was missing from was the outdoor group activities we had last year climbing competitions. I hope we can combine the two aspects next year focusing on the outdoor climbing that makes Yangshuo one of the top destinations for climbing in Asia and being together in the stadium in the evenings.