White Mountain and Wine Bottle access discussions with local villagers who control the land in front of the crags are moving forward.We are pressing for clear, long-term resolutions and cannot hurry the process.
Inter-village conflicts near the White Mountain crag are coming to a head over access. At this time it is difficult to predict when issues can be resolved. We have begun working with one village to manage our toilet and to open a small store near the crag. This is to be followed by food and lodging services. As mentioned earlier, the formal land-use-rights to the land at the base of the crag is unclear. In fact, villagers do not have a legal claim to crags adjacent to their land as all such lands belong to the government and the land-use-rights have not been allocated to anyone. Villagers have been allocated lands for agricultural activities and crags are outside of this scope.
YingZi, the second nearby village,have moved strongly to prevent climbers from using the crag: they spend the day in front of the crag, harvest is over, and they have, once again,removed bolts from the bottom of most routes. Climbers who do show up are being politely turned away. The first village has begun talking to the government to press for resolution. In fact, this was their plan all along: to force a lawsuit or confrontation and compel the government to step in and make a determination about access rights. We are in the middle of this process. It is possible that White Mountain will be closed to climbing for the remainder of they year, possible longer.
Wine Bottle looks much better. After one of the climbing shops negotiated with villagers who claim they have acquired land-use-rights at the base of the crag from the villager, the local association of guiding shops, the YSCA, empowered the same shop to negotiate on behalf of the association for access by all members. I attended these meetings and all guiding shops were supportive of these efforts and pledge financial support to resolve the access issues; they are pressing for a 5-year contract.Once the guiding shop issues have been resolved, the YAI plans to sign a contract for access for all independent climbers and in return we will invest in improvements at the base of the crag including toilets and benches.