February 15, 2022
BEIJING – This winter, the Yunmeng Gorge Scenic Area in Beijing’s Miyun district has become a hot spot for the capital’s ice climbing enthusiasts.
One Saturday last month, more than 100 climbers were practicing on the area’s ice formations. Yu Kaiyi, an ice climbing promoter who was responsible for designing the artificially enhanced formations in Yunmeng, said they were mostly members of ice climbing clubs at Tsinghua University, Beijing Normal University and the Beijing Institute of Technology.
According to Yu, ice climbing is still a niche pastime in China, which is why he is trying to popularize the sport.
As an international ice climbing referee, he was involved in organizing the Chinese rounds of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation’s Ice Climbing World Cup over four consecutive years from 2017 to 2020. He was also the contractor for the 2017 Ice Climbing World Cup in Changchun, Jilin province, in 2017 and developed the Changchun Mount Lianhua Ice Climbing Arena, which hosted the 2020 Ice Climbing World Cup’s China rounds.
Although many people think of ice climbing as an extreme sport, Yu said that any healthy person can learn once they gradually overcome their fear.