During the Petzl RocTrip China 2011, a handful of climbers from both the East and the West cleaned and bolted more than 250 routes (both multi and single pitch), but no one put up a route quite like la Voie du Milieu... Daniel Dulac, Team Petzl member, talks about bolting this amazing route in Getu, the only existing line at the moment up the Lower Arch:
La Voie du Milieu (The Middle Route) is named in reference to the Middle Empire (from the Chinese Zhōngguó, another name for China). I established this roughly 250 meter high route from water level all the way to the top of the cliff... You start the route by standing on a small bamboo raft, and then you climb up the entire cave in order to reach the plateau.
The exposure here is mind-blowing, even while sitting in the bamboo belay seats at the P3, P4, and P6 anchors. Climbing at such a dizzying height makes you think twice about each and every maneuver! In spite of years of experience, and after spending more than four days to finally complete the route, I never got used to the exposure… When I got back down I was so exhausted and disoriented that I experienced ground-sickness for about an hour (even without drinking any Baïjoo)!
To start, get dropped off on the right bank of the river, 70 m from the boat dock, and then easily scramble to a small ledge in order to reach a 12mm bolt 2-3 meters above the water.
P1 - 6b - 15m - 6 bolts
P2 - 6c - 35m - 15 bolts
P3 - 8a+ - 50m - 20 bolts
P4 - 8b+ - 25m - 10 bolts
P5 - 8a+ - 30m - 9 bolts
P6 - 8a+ - 50m - 19 bolts
P7 - 7b+ - 25m - 10 bolts
P8 - 6b+ - 25m - 9 bolts
At the top of the route there is a handrail that leads to the plateau. The route has 120 bolts, including the anchors, for 255 m of climbing. I finished bolting the route a bit hastily, and at sunset ended up having to swim back across the river since the boat never came back to get me! We also had to build a small makeshift raft with the help of local climbers since the authorities decided to confiscate their large raft. We all had a good laugh!
Route developers take note: there are plenty of lines left to put up on this absolutely amazing wall.
VIDEO - la Voie du Milieu with Daniel Dulac - Petzl RocTrip China
Watch the video of Daniel bolting la Voie du Milieu, as well as his first ascent of the route with Mathieu Bouyoud.
A film by Bertrand Delapierre.
The long version (20 min) of the Petzl RocTrip China film will come out the first week of May… So stay tuned!
Everything you need to know about this Petzl RocTrip :
- All information regarding Petzl RocTrip China 2011
- Download the Gétù valley guidebook (.pdf - 16Mo)
- The first Petzl RocTrip China video (4min)
- All the news for Petzl RocTrip China 2011