Last updated: December 13th, 2018
Granite boulders and cliffs along the sea make Qingdao, China an excellent rock climbing destination. A couple mountains in the city ensure convenient day cragging and the Laoshan scenic area to the east offers multi-pitch and a greater selection of sport climbing. That’s not to mention boulders all over the area, from mountain tops to seaside spots. Qingdao a.k.a. Tsingtao holds a total of 300+ boulder problems, 200+ sport climbing routes, and 30+ traditional routes as of this writing.
Qingdao Rock Climbing Overview:
The rock climbing around Qingdao includes Laoshan National Forest Park, a couple concentrated areas in Qingdao city, and many smaller spots scattered around the city.
Laoshan National Forest Park 崂山国家森林公园
Laoshan National Forest Park has at least a couple larger areas including Mt. Erlong 二龙山 and the biggest crag Mt. Huangshan 黄山崮. Other areas include Mt. Pingding 平顶崮, Qingtianzhu 擎天柱, and Mitian Cave 觅天洞. Note that the national park is a bit farther from the city and has an admission fee. If you plan on climbing there a lot it may make sense to purchase a year pass.
Mt. Fushan 浮山
Mt. Fushan serves the day cragger looking for a nice hike, great views, and solid routes. Sectors on Mt. Fushan include, 201，Guaishou 怪兽 (Monster)，Poxie 破鞋 (Worn Out Shoe)，and Dapigu 大屁股 (Fat Ass). Those are my unofficial English translations in parenthesis, so I’ll stick with the Chinese names below.
Directions to Rock Climbing on Mt. Fushan
There are plenty of roads and paths that stretch across the mountain, but I’ll stick with the easiest approach in my explanation of how to get there.
As the video shows, start at Lu xin chang chun hua yuan 鲁信长春花园 bus stop located on Yin Chuan E rd 银川东路. Walk east from the bus stop then head up the wide cobblestone path. The precise location of the start of the path up the mountain is 36.097987, 120.436710 (36°05’52.8″N 120°26’12.2″E). This path continues all the way up the mountain, and whenever you’re unsure about a turn, take the steeper route up.
After you pass through the two, short consecutive tunnels, go up a smaller dirt and stone path on the right up to the ridge. Once at the top you’ll see a stone hut on your right. Follow the path that passes the hut’s left to go to Sector 201. It’s the face on your right.
To go to Guaishou go left when you get to top of the ridge. Take a smaller path that passes the mountain on the left. You can see these directions in the video, starting at 2:37.
To Dapigu, stay on the path that runs parallel to the face on the left, rather than going down to Guaishou. You can see said path on the left at 3:19 in the video.
Mt. Jinling 金岭山
The area with the most bouldering in Qingdao is Mt. Jinling. Small dirt paths off of built up stone paths lead to the most of the boulder problems. Sometimes a little bushwhacking is necessary.
Directions to Bouldering on Mt. Jinling:
Start at the road that heads up the hill off of Yin Chuan E rd 银川东路 at 36.109461, 120.470954 (36°06’34.1″N 120°28’15.4″E). Using the map as a guide, take the stone steps off the main road then head right into the bushes where the arrow is. There’s no trail here just find the path of least resistance to get to where I introduce Mt. Jinling at 6:18 in the video.
Smaller Bouldering Spots in Qingdao
Some of these spots may be hard to find. It’s best to go with locals that know the spots.
- Mt. Julin 榉林山
- Fengchao 蜂巢
- On the shore near Qingdao Polar Ocean Park 极地海洋世界.
- Off the seaside path that goes out to Taipingjiao point near Qingdao Third Sea Bathing Place 第三海水浴场太平角.
- “Qingdao Third Sea Bathing Place” is the funny sounding yet official translation of a popular beach.
People climb in Qingdao year round. That said, the winter is best left for bouldering unless you don’t mind numb hands with a rope. The sweet spot for rock climbing in Qingdao is October.
Unfortunately there’s no official guidebook for Qingdao rock climbing. Thus the best way to get an understanding of the area is to meet up and climb with the locals. I did make this topo of Guaishou, one of the crags on mt. Fushan below. Shoot me an email for more topos.
The benefit of so much rock climbing around the city is that you can stay pretty much anywhere. I would stay somewhere walking distance of Mt. Fushan or Mt. Jinling. The closest thing to a climbing hostel is the Sunflower Youth Hostel 青岛向日葵青年旅舍. It used to be owned by Rocker, one of Qingdao’s main developers, and is now run by a non-climber. It’s walking distance from Mt Jinling and they have crash pads available for rent. For that alone it’s worth checking out.
Blog Posts about Qingdao Rock Climbing
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