Wednesday, May 11, 2011

China Post #16 Dalian Climbing

Being Wednesday evening Linda and I again arranged for an Ayi for Dylan and headed into Dalian to climb with the local group. The wall is located in the basement fitness center of the Sweetland Hotel just off of Olympic Square. Now basement might not be quite the right word since the Chinese build entire multi level shopping centers below busy intersections. There are badminton and basketball courts along with weights and a billiards area. The climbing wall is off to the side of the badminton court with a net separating it from the basketball courts. The main section of the wall is pretty much vertical with a couple of slight bulges that run the length of the wall in the third and fifth panels. The panels are about 3 foot square so the wall is pretty tall.
Then off to the right is this steeper but narrow wall. It is really too bad that there is the vertical panel in the middle coming off of a horizontal roof just below. The blue feature that runs out the middle is actually quite nice and eliminates those horizontal and vertical angles.
The local climbers are for the most part relatively new to the sport but are psyched to try stuff and improve. They always seem to be having a good time and never seem to really get frustrated because they have not expectations.

The worst thing about meeting the group to climb on Wednesday nights is that they meet from 6-8pm and the train closes at 8pm so we have to take a taxi home instead of the train, which is more expensive. On top of that the taxi drivers in Dalian never seem to want to run off the meter and always quote a price that is 1.5 to 2 time the cost of what the meter would read. I don't know if this is because we are american and they feel that they can do it to us or if they do this to everyone. Interestingly, in Beijing we never once had a taxi driver try to make extra by over charging us. Maybe it has something to do with having had the Olympics there and trying to bring things up to a standard that westerners would expect, though this means that you tip in Beijing while you don't tip in Dalian. Anyway, here is a shot looking down the street from where we are staying when we got back.
Dylan has started going to a new school that just opened this week. Since they don't have cots of food organized yet it is only for half days but will be switching to full days soon. The best part right now is that they are trying to do a "soft" opening this month and there are only 3 kids so there is lots of one on one attention. Hopefully Dylan will learn some Mandarin.


  1. Hi there,
    I was googling Dalian, climbing wall and stumbled upon your site. I am going to be in Dalian for a month, and was hoping to find information about the possibility to climb there. Very happy to have found your site. Wondering how far away this place is from 66 Renmin Road or Sanba Square?

    Cheers, Kwan

  2. Kwan,
    If you search for Olympic Square, Dalian, China on Google Maps, it will give you the location. The Sweetland Hotel and Executive building is across the street from one of the corners of the square. It looks to be a couple km from Sanba Square, though we were in DDA so I don't know downtown Dalian very well, or really at all. There will be several bus routes that stop around the square as well, just a matter of figuring out which one to take and realizing that the buses may stop running before you leave (in DDA around 8 or 9pm) so needing to take a taxi home.

  3. Hi Lee,

    Thanks for the reply! It looks like the wall is rather small and you know if there are other wall avaiable in Dalian actually??

  4. As far as I know this is the only one. Yes it is small but if it is the only game in town. Actually there is a wall in front of the An Sheng shopping mall in the DDA, 2 TR's that are probably 40 feet or so, but it is probably a pay per burn thing. There is a group that meets at the Sweetland on Wednesday evenings (about 6pm, many show up late) and on Saturdays they usually go for a hike, but sometimes they go climbing.

  5. Hey, I know this was a few years ago, but do you still have the contact info for the group that climbs at Sweetland Hotel? I'm in Dalian for four months and would like to climb.