Climbers, you know some memories, even recent, can seem unreal as if they could never have really happened in a world as busy and complicated as this. Jet travel creates sudden disconnections.
I find myself reliving the holds, move by move, on the magical red sandstone of Kalbarri Gorge Western Australia.
Simon Carter, Monique Forestier, Lee and Sam Cujes, Coco Carter and I spent a few days there.
Days from another thread of a different story. This story is not about that.
But being in W.A. got me thinking about the indomitable West Aussie climber Logan Barber.
Logan answered my plea to the internet for an accomplice in China for Easter 2013.
We had about a day and a half cross over in China. That's worth a trip. Lee had told me this guy was someone I should go out of my way to meet. I think his words were "He's another me from W.A."
Logan leaves a trail of drill dust behind as he sends his latest new route on the fresh walls of Dragon City crag.He gave it 27 (Aus). Sandbag alert!
I've got a good advantage of reach on Logan, but I couldn't find anything useable within reach through the upper sequence. The guy can lock down hard on rubbish small holds.
I was just grateful to the climbing gods for getting me through the run outs on the lower section when it was my go. Balance and guesswork.
Looking across the valley from dragon City crag, I have to keep reminding myself where I am.
A country that remained so mysterious to so many of us for so long. So vast, so different.
The next morning we head to super crag Lei Pi Shan where Logan has put so much heart and soul into his long project Storm Born. It's his last day in Yangshuo. Like so many Yangshuo routes now, it extends from the ground to the last useable rock.
I jug the 40M to the top for a photoshoot, plans change, Logan and David Kaszlikowski send the nails-hard arete route on the right end of the crag (see below).
I swap out Logan's draws on Storm Born, I still can't remember how I did that, I know I thought I was pretty clever at the time. I put up local legend Abond's shiny new green draws.
Logan resigns himself to the fact that projects don't stay exclusive round here.
They were still there on my last visit.
Acclaimed Polish photographer and world climber David Kaszlikowski.
Logan is back in China as we speak. He'll be lugging that drill through the muddy fields and dusty villages on the good quest.
Logan beneath the towering Lei Pi Shan.
Photo: jjobrien iPhone
Find him on Facebook: Logan Barber
He won't answer, he's in China.
ps. this post lost all it's photo links and I've reconstructed it as good as I can.
If anyone knows why google albums would undo it's own links let me know.