Alpine Club of Canada

Gazette Summer 2018

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Summits of the Southern Alps Join the ACC for a guided mountaineering trip to New Zealand's South Island • Price: $5,495 + tax • Dates: Jan 5th – 14th (10 days) • Start/end location: Queenstown • Locations: Queenstown, Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers • Included: meals, professional guiding, accommodation, transportation (including helicopter!), ropes and group gear 8 The Alpine Club of Canada Gazette Summer 2018 Chinese climbers experience firsts in Canada by lynn martel Lots of people ask Amy Liu what the ice, rock and alpine climbing in China are like. An Alpine Club of Canada mem‑ ber who moved to Canmore from Shanghai three years ago, Liu decided to answer those questions by inviting five Chinese climbers to the Rockies. With help from ACC National Office staff, members of the Rocky Mountain and Calgary sections and Shanghai based finance company China Summit Capital which provided airfare, Liu organized events in Canmore and Calgary. e evenings featured three Chinese moun‑ tain films followed by presentations by the Chinese climbers and filmmakers. "Because of my Chinese background, people always ask me questions about China," Liu said. "I realized there was not much info about China's climbing opportunities. is event is the first of its kind both for the ACC and the Chinese climbing community." e films screened included Altay Wild Snow, a visually stunning story about the birthplace of skiing in the remote northwestern region of China which shares borders with Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia, a finalist at the Milan International FICTS FEST in 2017; Searching for Christmas Tree, an ice climbing adventure starring a mys‑ terious, exquisite frozen waterfall, which delves into the cultural transformation of China's current generation, a final‑ ist at the 2017 Banff and Kendall, UK mountain film festivals; and Pilgrimage, winner of the 2015 Gold Rhino award for Best Outdoor Film in China, which documents the traditional Buddhist pilgrimage around Mount Kailash. Following the showings, the Chinese climbers and filmmakers spoke to the audience and bravely answered ques‑ tions ‑ in English. Here are snippets of those conversations. Big wall climber He Chuan is China's only big wall soloist. For more than a decade he's pushed the limits of ice climbing and alpinism on some of China's most difficult 5,000‑metre mountains. He's won numerous climbing awards and his achievements and spirit are encouraging a growing younger gen‑ eration to explore climbing's challenges. An optical and electronic teacher at Beijing Institute of Technology, he lives in Beijing. His third visit to Canada, he's climbed ice in the Rockies and rock in Squamish. He also "had a look" at BC's Helmcken Falls. "e Rockies are the best ice for climbing and amazing views," Chuan said. "Canada has friendly people who love being outside. So many quality ice climbs with a very long winter. Icefalls located in Rockies are in a pure, wild, quiet and beautiful place." His favourite Canadian climbs have been the Weeping Wall and Weeping Pillar, climbed in one day. "A whole day of quality ice climbing and high commitment." In China, his favourites are the Christmas Tree (ice), Celestial Peak (alp‑ ine) and Huashan mountain (big wall). A big challenge of climbing in China is a lack of rescue system. "Climbers have to self‑rescue if some bad things happen," he said. "Normally climbers need permission to access the places for rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering. It is a big challenge to obtain the permission." Canadians, he suggested, should go mountaineering in western China's Sichuan, Yunnan, Xinjiang and Tibet; sport climbing in Yangshuo; and ice climbing in Taihang mountains. Chuan is working on a guidebook to China's ice climbs. A geophysicist by trade, Lie Feng is one of China's preeminent extreme sport filmmakers. Climbing for 16 years, his hardest sport climb redpoint is China Climb (5.14a) in Yangshuo. He also loves trad, big wall and ice climbing. Zhou Peng and Li Shuang show happy smiles after his ascent of Musashi. photo: amy liu | Zhou Peng et Li Shuang heureux, après Musashi. photo: amy liu

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