• TNB: Climbing's Big Mistake
  • TNB: Trad Dads and Dad Bods
  • TNB: Do the Right Thing
  • TNB: Big Wall Soloing Sustenance – Cookies vs. Bugs
  • TNB: When Your Rope Falls Off—and 5 Ways to Prevent the Nightmare
  • TNB: Before I Die - What Would Climbers Think?
  • TNB: Raphael Slawinski - Firsthand Account of Everest Earthquake
  • TNB: Point Break - Sharma, Andrada on the Big Screen
  • TNB: Muscle Shoals - Rock and Soul
  • TNB: Naked Soloist is Saner Than Me
  • TNB: The Hard Climb to Heaven
  • TNB: Summer Camp
  • TNB: Suicide in Our Sights
  • TNB: Ethan Pringle's 10 Tips for Sending Your Project
  • TNB: Hawaii Rocks - Totally Aloha
  • TNB: PointGate - Why Comp Climbing Is Not The Future
  • TNB: My First Epic
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Avoid Braking Bad - The Art of the Soft Catch
  • TNB: #Dawnwall and The Creation of Alex Honnlove
  • TNB: Vision Quest - Benji Fink and Mexico’s Steepest Big Wall
  • TNB: The New Dawn (Wall) of Climbing
  • TNB: The Top 5 Weekend Whippers of 2014 (Plus the Comments)
  • TNB: 10 Tips for Jolene Kay, Professional Climber (and Hot Actress)
  • TNB: The Story Behind the Craziest of Rescues
  • TNB: The Risk of Climbing
  • TNB: How to Get Stronger by Doing Nothing for 5 Minutes a Day
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Improve Your Footwork
  • TNB: In Praise of the Weekend Warrior
  • TNB: Joe Kinder Visits the World's Hardest Cave
  • TNB: Celebrating Insomnia in Chamonix
  • TNB: Run, Rabbit - Hermann Gollner, 71, Cranks Pump-O-Rama (5.13a)
  • TNB: Five Best Photos of 2014
  • TNB: Clip Like A Pro - 5 Tips from Sasha DiGiulian and Sean McColl
  • TNB: Five Things Every Gym Climber Must Know About Climbing Outside
  • TNB: Still Jeff Lowe
  • TNB: Moving Over Stone With Doug Robinson
  • TNB: Wheels Up—The Top 5 Climbing Rigs
  • TNB: Is K2 The New Everest?
  • TNB: Things—Besides Us, That Is—That Fall
  • TNB: When Homemade Gear Works, Sorta
  • TNB: The Outsiders
  • TNB: R.I.P. Homero Gutierrez Villarreal - The Padrino of El Potrero
  • TNB: A Short Talk with Sierra Blair-Coyle
  • TNB: Ian Dory, Ninja, or The Craziest Thing I Ever Seen
  • TNB: The Best Crag Dogs of All Time
  • TNB: 5 Ways to Make People Love Your Routes
  • TNB: Hudon and Jones, and Don't Forget It!
  • TNB: Climbing's Tribal Rites
  • TNB: Sasha DiGiulian and Alex Johnson On How to Be a Modern Pro
  • TNB: Is Dean Potter A Bad Father?
  • TNB: Silly Places We’ve Slept - Tales of Unplanned Bivies
  • TNB: Forgotten Hero - Frank Sacherer 1940-1978
  • TNB: The World-Class Weekend Warrior – Martin Keller Climbs V15
  • TNB: Everest Sherpas No Longer Willing to “Grin and Bear It”
  • TNB: Hardheaded Helmet Lesson Learned
  • TNB: Six Most Awesome Jobs for Climbers
  • TNB: The Coolest Climbing Deal Breaker
  • TNB: Sharma and Glowacz Send World’s Steepest Rock Climb
  • TNB: An Encounter with a Legend - Patrick Edlinger, Plus A Whipper Vid
  • TNB: Six Things Every Climber Should Do Before They Die
  • TNB: Falling from the Top
  • TNB: Weekend Whipper
  • TNB: Band of Crushers
  • TNB: Charlie Porter, We Hardly Knew You
  • TNB: Climbing's Greatest Route Names
  • TNB: Hot Women Die and Have Sex on Everest
  • TNB: The Great Tragedy at Carderock
  • TNB: Thoughts On Death, and Last Words
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Big Story
  • TNB: Next Level? Honnold Pushes the Game on El Sendero Luminoso
  • TNB: Jeff Lowe Invented the Sport
  • TNB: The Most Popular Weekend Whippers of the Year
  • TNB: If Ondra Isn't The Best Climber In The World, Who Is?
  • TNB: Storm Years or Typhoon? The Biggest Issue in Climbing
  • TNB: Jim Bridwell Speaks
  • TNB: Honnold's Biggest Solo
  • TNB: Death on Forbidden Peak - Was the NPS Complicit?
  • TNB: Ice Climbing Goes to Sochi Olympics
  • TNB: When Gear Attacks
  • TNB: 8a.nu: The Best Climber in the World is the One with the Most Points
  • TNB: Shutdown: Illegal Climbers in Yosemite—Ninjas or Criminals?
  • TNB: Who is the Best Climber in the World?
  • TNB: The New Courage in a Rucksack
  • TNB: Unsolved Mystery - The Ten Sleep Shooting
  • TNB: The Pad Problem - Honnold, Kehl on Headpoints and Highballs
  • TNB: Travels with Delaney Miller - National Champ Turns to Rock
  • TNB: Jail Food and Booty
  • TNB: Love on the Road
  • TNB: Is Pakistan Safe for Climbers?
  • TNB: Flash Floods, Climbers and How to Get Out of the Way
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Level
  • TNB: Best in Show - Brand New Gear from the Outdoor Retailer Show
  • TNB: Adam Ondra Ties the Knot
  • TNB: Under Pressure - Trotter and Honnold On How Bets Can Help You Send
  • TNB: The Tragedy of Tito Traversa
  • TNB: DR's Crazy Brain Puzzle. Get It Correct or Else.
  • TNB: What Happened To Climbing Films?
  • TNB: Cry of the Colorado Fussy Snivel
  • TNB: Mystery Solved!
  • TNB: The Mystery of Moses Tower - Help Answer a 25-Year-Old Question
  • TNB: No Such Luck
  • TNB: Erasing Midnight Lightning
  • TNB: Mayhem - Crawling, Balling & Brawling on the Evere$t Soap Opera
  • TNB: Watching the Boston Marathon
  • TNB: Chasing the Devil's Snort
  • TNB: Born-Again Gumby
  • TNB: Super Unknown - Austin Dark Horse Establishes 5.14d in Random Texas Cave
  • TNB: Fearless?
  • TNB: The Big Freaking Deal, Ain't Bouldering
  • TNB: Honnold's Achilles' Heel
  • TNB: He's Either Crazy or a Poet
  • TNB: The Fish Cheat and the Prince of Climbing
  • TNB: A Letter from Santa... I mean Sharma
  • TNB: Traveler's Advisory - El Potrero Chico, Mexico
  • TNB: A Year Ago - Athol
  • TNB: Gun Control
  • TNB: What's the Problem?
  • TNB: Derek Hersey's Magic Carpet
  • TNB: The Apprentices
  • TNB: The Jungle
  • TNB: Klem Loskot is Back Climbing V15 and 5.15
  • TNB: Eliminated
  • TNB: The Hurt Locker
  • TNB: The Perils of Sport Climbing
  • TNB: Baddest Climb of the Year
  • TNB: Crossfit Misfit
  • TNB: Eating People and the Real Seventh Summit
  • TNB: Bring It On, Bitch!
  • TNB: What Would Warren Harding Do?
  • TNB: The Curse Of The Bandit
  • TNB: Reality Pro
  • TNB: Chris Sharma and The Art of Jeep Maintenance
  • TNB: American Dirtbag
  • TNB: How Not To Climb 5.12
  • TNB: Project FAIL
  • TNB: The Backwards Future of Climbing
  • TNB: The Death of Progress
  • TNB: The Da Vinci CO
  • TNB: The Philosopher King
  • TNB: Spam Alert
  • TNB: Bad Genes - The Different Types of Gumbies
  • TNB: Mouth Wide Shut
  • TNB: Outside Reality
  • TNB: The Day I Saved Jésus
  • TNB: My Pad, Your Problem
  • TNB: House Rules
  • TNB: Five Things I Don't Hate About Climbing
  • TNB: Metro-Pointing
  • TNB: Beast in the East
  • TNB: Artificial Intelligence
  • TNB: To Boldly Go Sprad Climbing
  • TNB: Self-Destruction
  • TNB: Soul Sport
  • TNB: Nine Pitches
  • Video Spotlight
    Nick Bullock and Paul Ramsden Make First Ascent of Nyainqentangla South East
    Nick Bullock and Paul Ramsden Make First Ascent of Nyainqentangla South East
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer

    TNB: Beast in the East

    By Mike Call

    China is rising. Everyone says so. Business experts cite imminent Chinese takeover as the result of our stupidity, laziness and poor monetary habits. Fox News utters the country's name in hushed tones and with terror, as if the boogeyman in the closet is no longer afraid to show his face, and we need to call for our mommies.

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I flew to China in April for a movie shoot with Chris Sharma and his girlfriend, Daila Ojeda. I knew China was cheap, though the food was alleged to be challenging for Western intestines. (Chickens' feet anyone?) Yangshuo was cool looking. Cooper Roberts and Brett Lowell from BigUP had done a Dose there, and Todd Skinner, Mike Tupper and Sam Lightner had pioneered the first routes there back in 1991 or so. From all the photos I'd seen, the Moon Hill arch looked ridiculously amazing, the stalactites grow from its underside like fungus and just beg to be humped.

    I had three weeks to make a movie about a star climbing in paradise. When I arrived, Chris, Daila and their friend Corey Dwan had already prepped the White Mountain crag with two new, sick-looking projects for Chris to try. Chris bolted them in a day, and they looked world-class. A short walk across orange groves and peanut fields led to a 45-meter wall of brilliant limestone. Slabby by Spanish standards, the wall overhangs 15 to 25 degrees at most. It's similar to the Blasphemy Wall at the Virgin River Gorge, only steeper.

    On the left, Chris found a line of face holds and dead tufas (as in, they've stopped seeping) that he redpointed in just a few tries. He called the route Spicy Noodle (5.14b), and it is a contender for China's hardest line. The adjacent route American Gangster was originally rated 5.14b by its first ascentionist, Michael Fuselier, who also drilled a grotesque three-finger slot at the crux. Chris climbed this route without the chipped hold on his second try, and thinks that that sequence may make this route a bit more difficult than Spicy Noodle. (The locals have since renamed the route French Gangster.)

    The line that Chris bolted next to Spicy Noodle has two starts: an easier one that traverses in, and a wicked hard direct one. His working names for the two routes are The Route of All Dumplings and Necessary Dumpling, not only because of the similarity to the Blasphemy Wall's twin jewels Necessary Evil (5.14c) and Route of All Evil (5.14a/b), but because Chris reckons that Necessary Dumpling will be a project for a next-generation climber.

    On paper, the trip was great. I shot a lot of great footage, projects were sent, and we all enjoyed the amazing scenery and interesting culture surrounding us. But sometimes, even in an exotic climbing paradise, life can still find a way to kick you in the nuts.

    One day halfway through the trip, two friends from Spain walked to a solitary crag to find a corpse, tortured and hanged, at its base. A tee shirt had been thrown over his head.

    The next day, I came back to my third-floor hotel room, in the nicer part of town, next to a government building and half a block from a police station, to find that my room had been robbed. The stolen items included my second camera, iPod and, most painfully, my laptop. All gone. I felt like vomiting. Corey,immediately understood what to do, promptly bringing me a double Scotch.

    We were all shaken from the sequence of events, the murder and then the robbery. What was happening? Was this normal?

    Bad shit happens, more often than we'd like to think. Climbing is a great excuse to travel to the wildest spots on earth. The climbing successes and failures are easily forgotten, but the sunsets, drunken dinners and epics all contribute to making us who we are, and comprise the memories we keep. Sometimes we are intoxicated by the memories, and sometimes they teach us something else. To use caution. To remember that humans can be horrible to each other. To appreciate the moments but not to let our guard down.

    I'm editing the footage just as soon as I get a new computer. Chris left two major projects in China (one that will most likely be in the 5.15 range, and one of the best any of us has ever seen). His interest in China was to promote the climbing there, to give something back to the local climbers by leaving them with something to shoot for. And despite the rough events, I think he'll go back to try the routes soon.

    Unlike what climbing videos usually show, fantasy trips can involve nightmares, too. Would I go back? Yeah, I would. It's all part of it. And it's worth it.


    Mike Call's website, www.momentumvm.com, will show the film, as will www.sanuk.com after he gets a new computer, of course.

    Reader's Commentary:

    Don't want to use Facebook, but still want to comment? We have you covered:

    Add Your Comments to this article: