North Vancouver, BC - Arc’teryx Athlete, He Chuan, one of the few big wall climbers in China and now one of the only big wall soloists, just completed a solo line of 580 meters in 20 pitches in eight days and nights on the South Peak of Mt. Huashan. This is not only the first solo but also the first ascent of this route, and one of the few big wall routes in the Mounta Huashan area. He Chuan named the route Climb Like You Are Dying (VI, A3-, 5.10).
The new route scales the 2,154-meter South Peak of Mt. Huashan, which is the highest of five peaks that make up the mountain. Mount Huashan is one of China’s “Five Great Mountains,” which are the most renowned peaks in China, holding religious significance as pilgrimage destinations. While initially slatted to take four days, He Chuan finished in eight due to weather set backs and terrain more challenging than predicted.
Arc’teryx offered full support to He Chuan’s solo climb project in Mount Huashan.
“He Chuan is the iconic big wall climber in China. We respect that he’s adventurous, positive and willing to explore in this hard and risky sport,” Arc’teryx China Brand Marketing Manager Verona Wang said. “He deserved the best gear and marketing support. We hope his spirit of climbing will inspire more people to explore the outdoors around them, and to pay more attention to big wall climbing.”
On July 12, after three days preparation at the foot of South Peak, He Chuan started his project. He climbed two to three pitches per day, often times implementing rope soloing methods and cleaning cracks and overgrowth as he progressed. By day five, he had completed 300 meters in 10 pitches, but was delayed by weather and spent a night on his portaledge. On day seven, He Chuan was again hindered while trying to complete the last pitch, once by rain and another by foot traffic on the trail adjacent to his route. He spent the night in a Taoist temple and summited the morning of the eighth day.
“It was a much harder climb that I anticipated. Before the climb, I had no idea about how hard it is, just looking at the picture. But I really want to take a try. So I came. I had planned four days for the ascent, but I made it in 8 days, totally beyond my anticipation,” He Chuan said.
Last year, He Chuan conquered another line on the South Peak of Mount Huashan with his partner Xiaofei Zhu, establishing the second big wall route in the Mount Huashan area. He Chuan named it Never Give Up (600m, 20 pitches, 5.10+ R C2+). His exploits will not end here. He Chuan would like to continue exploring the area. “Surely I will take a rest first, and explore the East Peak to see the potential routes there. And I will try my Potala project once again some time,” He Chuan said.
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