“We all were absolutely shocked that this wall existed in nature!” recalls climber Matt Segal, seen here about 300 feet above the ground on the Nihao Wokepa route on the Great Arch in Getu, China.
Segal, along with friends Emily Harrington and Cedar Wright, joined a National Geographic assignment with photographer Carsten Peter to investigate the region’s diverse karst rock formations for “Exploring China’s Caves” in the July edition of the magazine.
“The climbing was very steep and physical—in fact, I think this is the most overhanging wall either Cedar or I has ever climbed.”
The protruding rock on the left side of the photo showcases one of the various rock formations they encountered—stalactites. “The majority of this climb was ‘wrestling’ with those stalactites!” says Segal. “Swinging from one to the next and wrapping your whole body around them is one of the most unique styles of climbing I’ve ever done.”