Hey friends! After 3 great years exploring Washington D.C. outdoors escapes, two weeks ago we moved to Shanghai, China. We plan now to share our weekend trips on this immense and promising country with you. Enjoy and go outdoors!
Last weekend we went to Linan (临安), 3.5 hours away from Shanghai, to enjoy the labor's day holiday to climb (攀岩) and enjoy nature. We climbed several routes and did two amazing hikes, passing through waterfalls, bamboo forests and swimming holes.
How to get there
The climbing crag and hiking areas are located close to a hamlet called Long Shang Cun (龙上村). The best way to get to the hamlet is getting a van with a driver. From Shanghai a van for 14 people costs around RMB 2,500 (including drive's hotel). Another option is to get a high-speed train to Hangzhou, then a bus to Linan, and then a taxi to Long Shang Cun. Our you can just drive there if you have a valid Chinese driver's license.
The hamlet has two main hostels. We stayed at the one in front of the police station, in the hamlet's main square. The couple that manages the hostel is very nice and welcoming. The stay costs around RMB 80/person/day including breakfast and amazing dinner. The rooms have hot shower. Phone number +86 138-6802-4301 (they don't speak a word of English).
Apart from sport climbing (including multi-pitch routes), there are also great hikes to waterfalls, swimming holes, bamboo forests, tea fields and nearby hamlets. The best time to visit is during Spring and Fall sunny days.
The crag is the most famous one around Shanghai. With around 70 sport climbing routes ranging from 5.7 to 5.14-, here you can find almost any type of climbing you like: granit rock, slab, sloppy, crack, cheminey, crimpy, multi pitches... During weekend and national holiday the crag gets crowded, but usually is fine to climb.
Access: There is a steep 1-mile trail from the hamlet to the climbing crags through the beautiful bamboo woods. It takes around 30 minutes.
Crag map: Download it here
Gear: Unless you want to climb the multi-pitch, a 60m rope and 13 quickdraws should be fine.
Day 1 - Climbing
We spent the first day climbing at the Lowe 40's section as the others were already crowded by the time we got there.
During the night we went gazing the stars with friends and joined a group for a fire close to the river.
Day 2 - Hiking and Climbing
On Sunday, in order to avoid the crowds at the crag in the morning, we first went for a hike. There are many trails in the nearby mountains but no maps. We were lucky enough to meet Johnny at the hostel - an English guy that speaks perfect Chinese and has the region as his second home and knows the trails.
The 3-mile hike follows the stream up trough the bamboo forest. So good to be in this greenish atmosphere, specially when the wind blows and the bamboo forest swings in a dance spectacle. On the way up if you get off trail and get closer to the stream you'll find many swimming holes. We didn't resist jumping in.
The hike finally arrives to the top where it leaves the woods and takes a dirt road for approximately 1.5 miles until it returns to a trail that goes back to the hamlet . By 2pm we were already back in the hostel, took a nap and went back to the crag to finish the day climbing.
Climbing in Crazy Corners Sector
Getting to the crag late allowed us to climbing easy routes at the disputed Crazy Corners sector. Located in the top of the mountains, the sector has several easy routes with around 30m. High enough to get amazing views from the top . From the top of the routes, we could spot our friends just finishing the multi-pitch climbing while the eagle flew over its nest.
During the night we enjoyed having dinner with friends and spent a couple of hours talking with other climbers, while drinking tea, enjoying the calm night of a small town watching the moon and the stars.
Day 3 - Waterfall, Hike and Goodbye
On Monday we woke up a bit sore. It was our last day and the sky was cloudy. We joined our friends for a hike to the waterfalls. This hike is strenuous and some parts dangerous, but totally worth it*.
The trail climbs up a stream that flows in between the lion head peak and the one besides it. There is no clear trail, the path is to climbing up the stream till the top.
We couldn't resist refreshing on the water fall. The humid and green atmosphere make this hike pleasant. The hike eventually arrives to a point where it connects with a bamboo collector's trail in the top that will bring you down. On your way down you will see the climbing crags.
*We do not recommend this trail without a guide and developed climbing skills.*
Back to the crag, we climbed a couple of routes and when back to the hostel to have our last lunch with friends and head back to Shanghai.
What we did last weekend? We had fun in nature!