The trip was long for many, short for others. Some braved a 45-hour non-stop voyage from all over the world, facing delayed flights, long security lines, cramped airplanes, missed connections and finishing with a mountainous 5-hour bus ride. For others, it was a simple question of hopping in the car and heading to the site of the 2011 Petzl RocTrip in Getu, China.
We're now two days away from the official beginning of the festivities. All the invited athletes have arrived including Chris Sharma (US), Dani Andrada (ES), Mike Fuselier (FR), Steve McClure (GB)… And the RocTrippers are flowing in from all over the world: France, Israel, Turkey, Malaysia, Japan, United States, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, and South Africa…not to mention all the Chinese climbers from all over the country. In total, over 550 people from more than 30 countries are here or on their way.
Among the many climbers that arrived early, here are a few portraits of some of the RocTrippers we met at the base of the cliffs in Getu Valley:
Angela & Ben (USA)
The couple hails from Pennsylvania and are on a 6-month trip through China and have been climbing in Yangshuo. After cancelling a trip to Nepal, Angela was scanning Petzl.com for some GRIGRI2 technical information when she saw the news about the RocTrip. They checked out the video and that was all it took for them book their tickets!
Emi & Sophie (NZ)
Emi has been living China and works for China Climb (the first outdoor guide service in China). Both women are outdoor educators. This year Emi was climbing in Yangshuo and heard about the RocTrip. She immediately signed up to help out, and invited her friend Sophie to join her. Both are helping lodge the visiting climbers. Emi will also be giving Yoga classes in the mornings. Of course, they left the crag at three in the afternoon to watch the France vs New Zealand Rugby World Cup Finals. With the All Blacks on top, they were happy with the results!
Steve (South Africa) & Angie (US)
Steve and Angie are currently on a three-year trip around the world after having saved up for six years. Steve worked in finance and Angie worked in marketing. They were at Jilotepec and El Chonta after the previous RocTrip in Mexico last year when they heard about all the good times from that event. The decision was easy to attend the following event. After six months in South Africa, two months in Mexico and one month in Thailand, they are now starting the two month Chinese leg of their trip with a stop in Getu Valley.
Nick & Kate from (AUS)
After finishing their studies in a mechanical engineering and personal fitness training, they opted for a 10-month trip. They rearranged their Southeast Asian itinerary to be able to attend the event.
In addition to working the rice paddies and taking care of their livestock, the villagers of Getu have been working hard to welcome the estimated 550+ registered climbers, with fresh paint, new guesthouses and new restaurants. The local officials temporarily closed the school to house the visiting climbers.
Even before the opening ceremonies, there's already been a flurry of sends at the various sectors around the valley:
In the great arch of Chuanschuang:
- Mickael Fuselier links "Powder Finger" (8c) and "Polvo Tecnico" (8c).
- Arnaud Petit and Stephanie Bodet both grab the free ascent of their major creation "Lost in Translation" (7b+, 7c+, 8a+, 8a+).
- Mickael Fuselier follows right behind with the first onsight...
At Banyan's Cave:
- Gé Pouvereau onsights "Bip Bip and Coyote" (8b).
- The French girls from the team are also in great shape with the trio Florence Pinet, Melissa Le Nevé, and Nina Caprez sending "Treblinka pour Diego" (8b).
All the news during the Petzl RocTrip China :