I have not sent this route; however, I have spent a disproportionate amount of time falling off this route...
China Beach is the ultimate sport climb and is the standard against which all other sport climbs should be judged. It climbs up the center of one of the steepest walls in Rumney and it offers no rests after the first bolt. It contains hard moves, but not so hard that it could be considered a "boulderer's route," like so many other hard routes at Rumney. It requires a top level of both power and endurance for the send. It's also solid in its grade, having held it's rating for around ten years now, unlike Livin' Astro on its right, which has heard some down-grading mumbles. No one is in line to downgrade the Beach, that's for sure.
China Beach begins with a few moves to get established before the hanging corner. This corner overhangs at about 45 degrees and forces the climber into desperate, insecure layback moves, similar to moves you might find on a trad route. You are more likely to fall due to a foot skating than from strength failure. Yet, it's still taxing. This sections ends at a horizontal about two-thirds of the way up. Dan Nguyen initially redpointed this section at about 13b or c.
The horizontal doesn't offer much in the way of rest, and the next section is the crux which consists of long moves to crimps and difficult foot moves. To call this crux V8 is to discount the previous climbing up the corner. Off the dog, it feels V8ish, but on redpoint it feels unratable. Pumpy, big moves follow up the headwall and culminate in a strenuous iron-cross move left to a pretty big hold. Matching the hold is the redpoint crux, and many a valiant attempt has ended here.
China Beach has captivated climbers for many years and it is common to see people climbing on it just for the fun of it. Big falls are expected. A redpoint to the break is a worthy objective as well. Any time spent climbing on the Beach is time spent communing with a perfect, pure, hard, inspiring medium.
8 Bolts. Fixed draws. No kneepad required.
Feeling around for the best rest stance. I thought...
The beautiful line.
Jay Knower reaching the break from the ground. Pro...
Jay Knower resting up a little before the unending...
Took me a minute to figure out how to manage the c...
|By Rajiv Ayyangar|
From: Portland, ME
Oct 8, 2012
The FA-ist, Mr. Graham himself. Has a few sections omitted from the Dosage II Rumney segment. (China Beach starts at 2:00):