An 870-Stair Approach: This Limestone Climbing Is Insane

Follow along as Jonathan Siegrist climbs some of the most difficult routes in China.

Within China’s southern Guizhou province is a vastly diverse world of rock. Specifically, Guizhou’s Getu Arch — an amalgam of limestone arches covered in pockets, spires, and steep overhangs with mindbending roof moves. And Siegrist attempts to climb it all.

The approach is over 870 ancient stone steps. There’s nowhere to go except up. Siegrist and his climbing partner Greg Kerzhner lace up. The route the duo climbs on the Great Arch (5.13a/9a) is near vertical at first, and then it gets weird.

There’s edging, sideways kneebars, and some pretty impressive on-wall acrobatics. Plus, it’s probably one of the coolest cave sport climbs you’ll see in a while. Says Siegrist in the film, “It’s one of the most unique landscapes in the world … these crazy dots on the landscape in every direction that just go on forever.”

“China” was filmed and directed by Tara Kerzhner and produced by Arc’teryx.

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Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.

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