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Yangshuo’s Moon Hill reopens after two-year sport climbing ban

Moon Hill, a hill with a natural arch through it a few kilometers outside Yangshuo in southern China, and one of the world’s most popular sport climbing peaks, has reopened to sport climbers after a ban in early 2017.

According to a report in rockandice.com, climbing there had been almost-completely restricted two years ago when porous rock almost hit security guards on a viewing deck.

However, new operators at Moon Hill, which is leased by a private company, met with the Yangshuo Climbers Association, and have reopened the local landmark with strict new conditions.

Conditions specified include: a third party company contracted by the management company conducting annual safety inspections; visiting climbers purchasing “crag insurance”, essentially an entrance fee that will offset the costs of these inspections.

Sport climbing is receiving increased international exposure and interest given it will debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The climbing programme at the event will feature three disciplines: speed climbing, bouldering and lead climbing.

The Yangshuo county in China’s Guangxi province is popular with sport-climbing enthusiasts around the world, with over 900 climbing routes. Following the International Olympic Committee’s 2016 announcement that climbing will be a medal-winning event at Tokyo 2020, the largest sport climbing event in China was held at Yangshuo’s Wine Bottle Cliff in August that year.

The Chinese government has plans to develop that potential, pledging to develop around 1,000 towns with special sports and culture characteristics by 2020. Mashan County in Guangxi was the first to receive state support to develop rock climbing to boost local tourism and reduce poverty.