Tommy Caldwell & Crew Explore The “Tuolumne Of China”

Tommy Caldwell & Crew Explore The “Tuolumne Of China”

Tommy Caldwell recently rallied a psyched crew that included Hayden Kennedy, Mark Jenkins and Jer Collins to the far reaches of China’s Xinjiang province to explore the climbing potential in the newly opened Keketuohai National Geological Park.  The potential for climbing in the park was first chronicled in this 2009 report by Dennis Gray on the American Alpine Club’s website:

In autumn I was finally successful and discovered a wealth of granite towers and walls that have yet to be visited by rockclimbers. I was told that there are 108 granite peaks here, and I estimate rock faces to reach a height of ca 300m, though I only saw part of the area. These walls are situated along the gorge of the Iyrtish River, and some reach the valley floor. Of all the valleys I have seen during world travels, Keketuohai compares closest to Yosemite, and locals assured me that no one has ever climbed there.
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Despite being met by miles of red tape, Caldwell and his team were able to do some of the first climbing ever to be done in the park.
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 Along the way, Caldwell called in to one of the trip’s sponsors, Patagonia, to provide a couple of pretty interesting audio updates on the climbing potential, the bureaucratic hurdles and the unique local culture of the area.

Tommy Caldwell dispatch 1

Tommy Caldwell dispatch 2

Check out Hayden Kennedy’s blog for more as well including several pictures of a route they were able to do on a formation called the Divine Bell.

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One Response to Tommy Caldwell & Crew Explore The “Tuolumne Of China”

  1. Dylan September 16, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    The Divine Bell is a really sick formation. I wonder how long it will be before some Chinese climbing hotshot starts putting rad stuff up in that area. Surely with that many people they should be able to produce some scary good climbers.

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