|Bugger! Was toying with the idea of flitting over to Yangers and getting Mr Honnold to second me on some 5.6 epic (if he's up to the challenge, of course... : p ) Would have been nice to catch up with a fellow Chocker over here in China, though! : )
I'm playing guitar for 4 months in a band over here in Chengdu, first International band ever in this fine city, apparently!! Doing 6 nights a week in the Shangri-La Hotel, so it leaves very little time for serious exploration of the surrounds, and after 2 months, I'm only just starting to make inroads into getting in touch with the local expat climbing community. Not for lack of trying, mind you!!! : / I'm trying to find the sort of climbers that know where the nice day-cragging type stuff is, amongst the plethora of more serious and committing climbing options that abound in Sichuan province!
When I was riding my bike down a camping goods type street about 5 weeks ago, I spotted some dudes walking out of a store, toting proper packs and gear, and with the obvious look of climbers. I went and said G'day to them and told them to come and see the band playing at the Shangri-La when they were finished. They were a Russian group heading off to do a big line on Mt. Four Girls (Sigunuiangshan) 6250m, didn't really expect to see them again to be honest! But last night on our big Halloween party and with me dressed up as a dubious version of Dracula, they decided to turn up at the hotel-complete with photos, battle scars, and stories of 20 days straight spent on portaledges on the route they climbed. Pretty cool to catch up with them again though, they were really nice cats! One dude apparently took a 40m+ whipper when they were aiding up a section...!
Haven't even attempted the dried fruit caper again!! My tastebuds are still a little scarred as well... It's hard enough to find fruit in tubs that isn't surrounded by jelly, and I've all but given up on the pot noodle searching process - everything I've bought so far has been infused with the infamous and deadly Sichuan peppercorn. Ironically, I'd love just a simple 'Oriental' Beef cup noodle and a muesli bar from Woolies!!
Have a safe trip back home anyway, enjoy your time in Malaysia! (It's "truly Asia", apparently... : / )