Jonathan Siegrist, American Gangster In Yangshuo

Jonathan Siegrist, American Gangster In Yangshuo

After tearing through the Red River Gorge this fall, Jonathan Siegrist embarked on a trip to southeast Asia.  He spent a few weeks in Thailand and Hong Kong before finding his way to the Chinese limestone sport climbing mecca of Yangshuo.  Despite not climbing much in the month gone by, he was able to produce familiar results in the short time he’s been in Yangshuo.

Siegrist quickly dispatched of routes like Lightning (5.14a), Thunder (5.14a), China Climb (5.14b) and the somewhat infamous American French Gangster (5.14c).  The latter route is well-known for having a drilled pocket on it that Chris Sharma didn’t use on his ascent which has led locals to rename the route French Gangster instead of American Gangster.  Here is what Siegrist had to say about the route:

I had my sights set on another White Mountain test-piece called ‘American Gangster’ 14b. This gigantic (45meters, 23 quickdraws) route features a beautiful gold wall containing great, accurate movement on small crimps and pockets through a lower angle section of cliff. It also features the one and only manufactured hold in all of Yangshuo, a right hand three finger pocket smack-dead in the middle of the business. I had heard that when Chris repeated the route earlier this year he found an alternative sequence that skipped the pocket altogether which the locals have dubbed ‘French Gangster’- I was stoked to hold it down for America and completely avoid the man-made hold. After a bit of messing around I found that there is indeed a sequence just a few feet to the left that never touches the pocket (not even for a foot) and even adds some difficult and super cool moves to the already long crux sequence. I was stoked.. and after one hanging on my second attempt I took a long rest and fired the ‘French Gangster’ third try.

Be sure to check out the rest of Siegrist’s latest blog entry for a well written account of his trip to Yanshuo thus far.

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8 Responses to Jonathan Siegrist, American Gangster In Yangshuo

  1. Mark December 23, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

    He kind of looks like Spider-Man in that picture. Appropriate? Me thinks so.

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    • Mark December 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

      Also. Glad to see that he did French Gangster instead.

      What are peoples thoughts about filling in the chipped hold flush to the rock so that only the second variation (natural) can be used? Would doing more to the rock hurt more even though harm has been done, or would it be a good way to show that such chipping won’t be tolerated?

      Opinions?

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      • Paul December 24, 2009 at 1:47 am #

        I think filling chipped pockets is a great way to restore the original line. I mean, there are 23 shiny stainless bolts on the line already, so filling it isn’t going to bother anyone aesthetically.

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  2. Mic December 24, 2009 at 6:48 am #

    Mikel Fusieler, who is supposed to have chipped the hold, says he just used the drill to remove some sharp spikes out of a pocket. Not an uncommon practice when cleaning.
    But I dont want to start an 8a.nu armchair flame contest, so Ill shut up now.

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  3. anais December 26, 2009 at 2:01 am #

    Mike fuselier and axel balley are the only one to equip (fill out…don t know how to say that) this route…Thanks maybe could be the first word…and i m wondering: who knows how the hold was at first out of them and big up?…mono depends of your finger size…
    everything looks like OK with locals climbers on the video…
    and about “french gangster” from chris….well…chris has never remove any hold? you’re kidding! not against chris you know, looks like unfair…

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  4. Phunk December 28, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

    That Jonathan guy is getting pretty good at rock climbing.

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  5. jim December 6, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Congrats on the sends. Glad to see someone with a sense of style, I think filling the hold back in is the right thing to do, just ask Dave Graham

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