My second week in China, I traveled with a group of local climbers to the other side of the Cangshan mountain chain. There we came upon Ximenguan Gorge.

The purpose: Cleaning and setting up new bouldering routes. 

We posted about 12 new climbs over the weekend, pretty low considering the crazy amount of quality boulders in the area. But, hell, we spent a lot of time hiking around the gorge, swimming in waterholes and teaching the local kids to climb.

I brought the camera to take pictures for a guidebook being made for the bouldering are. Here are a few extra for the blog.   

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ORANGE! It started with the harness. Then the bag. The shoes, quickdraws, finally the rope. The green chalk bag throws it off, but it was free.

Yup, just about all ready. In just a few days I’ll be landing in Yunnan, China, the most (if not only) pristine province in the county.

Ill be starting in Kunming where ill meet up with a fraternity brother then some local climbers who’ll show me some spots around the area. Without a doubt,way better climbers, so ill do my best to keep up.

Side note. Hopefully there’ll be some American expats who arent totally “America sucks, man” to celebrate the 4th with.

After that, off to the west towards Tibet to Dali. There I’ll be working for accomodation at a rock climbing outfit. It’ll be 3 weeks of setting routes, belaying others, and generally spending time outdoors climbing. Dali is a good gateway to a few other cities considered off the grid, real China countryside.

Then back to Kunming and back to Taipei.

Hard to believe that whole experience will fit in a 45 liter backpack.

June 12 marks this year’s Chinese Dragon Boat Festival. The main event is the boat race ceremony that honor the deeds of an ancient nobleman, but there are plenty of other things going on. These pics come just from the festival the day after. What I liked about the festival in Taiwan was the heavy influence the Aboriginal cultures had on the celebrations. 

A friend’s brother and his group came into Taipei for the week so we forced them to the north coast for a weekend of rock climbing.

It was a scorcher, reaching nearly 90 F by 7 am on Saturday. But with the ocean to our backs and plenty of Taiwan Beer, who could complain?

You know, Tamsui is a great place at night. Cooled down and bustling with visitors from nearby districts. Here’s Old Street and the bridge at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Hard to believe these are my last weeks living here. 

Yesterday, the National Palace Museum opened its first ever Renoir exhibit. There were maybe 80-100 originals, including paintings by Matisse, Picasso, and other 20th C. painters.   

Here are a few that caught my eye.  

Reading List

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After speaking with a recently graduated friend (afraid of losing his taste for reading, I’m sure), I put together a list of books for him and me to read and subsequently talk about over Skype.

The list is divided into genres and it attempts to cover a broad base of ideas (though I’ll admit it is a very Western perspective list, sorry). I included links to buy the books or, in some cases, actually view them as E-books for free. 

I’m always open to suggestions.

Hopefully you’ll find something you like.

Science/Psychology
1. The Origins of Virtue http://amzn.to/10rr9dl
2. Stuff of Thought http://amzn.to/10oj10x   
3. Moral Animal http://amzn.to/11ekRMW
Living
1. Mastery (did you read already) http://amzn.to/12RdQWH
1. Selections from Montaigne http://bit.ly/c3Pivk <———- this is a good addition to other readings
2. Man’s Search for Meaning http://amzn.to/16XVo3h  
3. The Book of Five Rings http://amzn.to/dugabb
4. The Teachings of Epictetus http://bit.ly/10WOVO0
Fiction
1. The Man Who Laughs http://amzn.to/10WMA5Z
2. The Fountainhead http://amzn.to/Zhpcol
Biography
1. THe Black Count http://amzn.to/YwkonU
2. The Heart and The Fist: The education of a humanitarian, the making of a navy seal. http://amzn.to/YwktrR  
 
 
 
 
AW