Nat Geo Takes Us to the ‘Empire of Rock’ – Climbing in Remote China

ngm july cover 2014
Credit: National Geographic

National Geographic has always pushed the boundaries of exploration and adventure, and in the July issue of the iconic magazine (cover on the right) that bears the organization’s name, it continues that trend. That issue contains an article entitled “Empire of Rock,” which takes readers to a remote corner of China, where a team of cavers are using high-tech, laser imaging to map a vast cave system, and then explore the hidden depths of those places that have almost assuredly not been seen by man before.

The leader of the expedition is a Brit by the name of Andy Eaves, who descends into the caves with a laptop and an expensive laser scanner, with the hopes of mapping some of the largest caverns in the entire world. His gadgets allowed the team to see things as they have never seen them before, painting an accurate picture of the subterranean landscape that exist in that part of the world.

While the spelunkers were busy beneath the surface, a trio of climbers were exploring the karst landscapes above as well. Cedar Wright, Matt Segal, and Emily Harrington discovered dramatic rock spires, collapsed caves, and towering walls that are unlike anything else on the planet. The video below gives us a glimpse of what this part of the world has to offer rock climbers, with some truly awe inspiring footage from this beautiful, and wild place.

Kraig Becker