Weekend Warm-Up: Far Away

Jenny Fischer coming to grips with the Limling rock. Photo: Samuel Crossley

“Kat starts grinding into an off-width and then this whole other screaming beastly side just takes over.” — Jenny Fischer

A famed British climber once said “If you’re not climbing new routes, you’re just jackin’.” While many dream of making climbing history in some small way, few get the chance to do so. The Live Your Dream grant, awarded by the American Alpine Club, aims to help everyday climbers push their abilities to the next level.

Americans Jenny Fischer and Kat Whipple bagged one of these grants to kick their burgeoning first-ascent career with a route-hunting trip to Limling, a “best-kept secret” tucked away in Yunnan province, in southwest China.

Far Away takes up the story in Limling, with the dynamic duo who are excellent on camera, scoping nearby cliffs for untouched cracks. Like the British “Wide Boyz” Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker, Fischer and Whipple have a penchant for struggling up heinous looking off-widths.

Their first foray goes awry when Fischer solos up to a small ledge and needs a rope for self-rescue. They return to Limling, their tails between their legs, and hatch a plan to head out to the “Far Away Buttress”, the furthest rock from the village.

They spot a line that matches their thirst for crack heaven. What ensues is a multiple day love-hate relationship, as they battle the stubborn route. There’s laughing, shouting, screaming and despair aplenty from the pair. This 20-minute film will leave you wanting to see more of Fischer, Whipple and esoteric Chinese rock climbs.

About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash Routen is an outdoor and adventure writer from the UK specialising in adventurous travel and expeditions, such as mountaineering, polar travel, and ocean crossings. Ash juggles a day job as a public health scientist with this second career in outdoor writing.

His words have featured in national newspapers, national and international outdoor and adventure magazines, and various websites. Bylines include Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Outside Magazine, Rock and Ice, and Red Bull.

Alongside writing, Ash also spends some time undertaking his own adventures, and completed a 640 km foot crossing of a frozen Lake Baikal in 2018. His next arctic journey is a 700 km trek along the coast of Baffin Island in Canada.

Read more at www.ashrouten.com

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