In 2007, a French climber named Olivier Balma paid a visit to a mountainous area in Southern China’s Guizhou Province known as Getu. While there, he discovered a new rock climbing phenomenon: an incredible 700-foot arch of white limestone. This eye-catching feature, known as the Great Arch, is so big that a Chinese fighter jet once flew through it, making it one of the most remarkable rock climbing spots in the world.
Over the next several years, Balma returned many times to the village of Getu, organizing training courses and pioneering new routes. In 2011, Petzl brought its annual RocTrip to the Great Arch of Getu, attracting groups of climbers and photographers whose publicity finally brought Getu to the widespread attention of the climbing community. You can see all the action of RocTrip 2011 in the video above and check out Petzl’s YouTube channel for a whole lot of other awesome rock climbing videos.
The Great Arch of Getu has seen a small but steady trickle of foreign climbers since the RocTrip, and now hosts scores of routes stretching into the upper 5.14 difficulty range.
Have you ever made the trip to Getu Valley to conquer the arch? We want to know: your comments below or on Twitter @DegreeMen.