2010年1月6日星期三

Access Update

Before leaving Yangshuo on Dec. 24th, climbing was been open at all crags in Yangshuo and we enjoyed fine, cool climbing weather as is usual for this time of year. There are still unresolved access issues at both the Wine Bottle and White Mountain crags and these will require more time to settle. Overall, the access situation is quite good and relationships with villagers at most crags is improving. We encourage you to talk to villagers near the crags and to eat your meals and buy lunch and drinks there whenever possible. Relationships between independent climbers and villagers is one of the most important factor in continued unrestricted access to our crags.

Various rockclimbing /guiding companies have also approached villagers with an offer to rent the land in exchange for exclusive rights to climbing there. Some villagers still believe there is money to be made from the crags and climbers must compete with commercial operators and developers to protect access to climbing. We must also compete with some guiding companies who seem to have given up on making money from guiding and instead see that there is money to be made charging climbers and other guiding companies for access to the crag while offering little or nothing in return.

In addition to avoiding the hassle of administering a fee system, the villagers should realize that climbers are unlikely to pay to climb at White Mountain. On the other hand, climbers must spend money for food, accommodation and transportation while in Yangshuo and the YAI is working with villagers to enable climbers to spend more of their money for necessities directly in the villages. If possible, we want to avoid setting a precedent by directly purchasing access rights but at this time it is unclear what is the best long-term solution.

The situation at White Mountain has not changed over the past months. I will recap the main points here. Two villages dispute the claim to land-use-right ownership to the area at the base of the crag. A development company in Guilin has approached the Yanse Village and offered to develop the area into a tourist destination with the main focus on a large cave behind the village. Recent conversations with village leaders lead us to believe that climbers will have unrestricted access once the bigger ownership issues have been resolved. The YAI has worked with villages including the one that disputes Yanse Village’s claim to land-use-rights at White Mountain. Early January has been given as the time when official legal proceedings will begin that should eventually lead to the resolution of the ownership issues. Climbers, including Jonathan Siegrist and Ah Bon, climbed at White mountain for 3 days in mid-December but no climbers have returned since due mainly to the cold weather.

The situation at Wine Bottle is still unsettled. There are signs at the base of the crag saying the area is closed to climbing, but climbers have used the crag regularly without any interference.

A group of villagers have acquired the rights to the land in front of the crag and they have sent two younger members to negotiate a rental arrangement with the Yangshuo Climbing Association (an organization that only exists on paper). Since ChinaClimb has opened its own guiding crag near Fuli, and other guiding companies have said they will not longer take clients to Wine Bottle, the economic value of the crag has fallen precipitously. They village interlopers were surprised that guiding companies could just walk away from the crag. There are still a few commercial guiding operators who take large groups climbing and refuse to put in the time to open their own crags. They bulk at paying the villagers a fair price for using the crag to make money and have even negotiated behind the scenes for exclusive access to the crag intending on charging other guiding companies to take clients there.

The solution is not so difficult if you realize that if guiding companies would agree to pay the villagers as little as RMB10 for each client they take there, this income would more than meet the villagers’ demands. The villagers have little recourse other than closing the crag to climbing till the companies pay up. The guiding companies who are making the most money using this crag are holding out, maybe even hoping they can get access on better terms or hoping that independent climbers will step in and solve the problem for them. The YAI has worked with both villagers and the commercial operators and, for the most part, cooperation and understanding has been very good. We have personally taken villagers climbing and shown them which routes guiding companies are using to make money. Once both sides fully understand each other and the money involved, it should be easier to reach an acceptable solution.

5 条评论:

Jonathan Siegrist 说...

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear that the situation continues to improve, I'll keep an eye on the site over the next few months.. happy sending! cheers

gregory 说...

tourism is a disease, there is no way around that ...

Yingying Xue 说...

Great post

James 说...

Hi – Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Rock Climbing Community? Our members will love it.
Members include: Other Rock Climbers, Guides, Experts and Clubs
It's easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website… it’s a win win. You can also add Photos, Videos and equipment Classifieds if you like. It’s free and easy.
Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
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Thanks,
James Kaufman, Editor

Yangshuo Omeida 说...

Climbing in Yangshuo is a dream