CMDI – A CRADLE FOR CHINESE MOUNTAINEERING KINGS

INERASABLE MARK

Kang Hua, Gu Gu, Li Zongli, Di Li, Luo Biao, Gan Xiaochuan, Li Lan...... As the top figures in the field of Chinese Alpine mountaineering, they have been or are still active in the Chinese mountaineering circles, and they have the same mark behind them - CMDI.
Baihe in Beijing, Yangshuo in Guangxi, Getu in Guizhou......These routes of rock field where countless rock climbing enthusiasts made their efforts have witnessed the progress of China’ s climbing industry over the decade, and they have the same developer – CMDI.

CMDI (China Mountaineering Development Institute) was founded in 2006 by joint efforts of China Mountaineering Association and OZARK to select suitable talents who are keen for mountaineering throughout the country, and to provide professional Alpine mountaineering training for them, in the purpose of fostering professional mountaineering guides.

THE PIONEER CAMP FOR CHINESE ALPINE MOUNTAINEERING

The “A” type mountaineering, namely, Alpine mountaineering, was originated from the Alps in Europe, where peaks are not more than 5000 meters high, so that climbers can finish a climb quickly in a rather short period. Compared with high-altitude mountains in Sichuan and Tibet in China, peaks in the Alps are more accessible and require

less energy for a complete climb. Therefore, different from pursuit of high-altitude experience in the common sense, Alpine climbers focus more on specific technical operations, such as rock climbing, highly difficult ice climbing and Alpine skiing.

Actually, most Alpine mountaineering takes place at low altitudes. Without limitations of altitude on stamina, mountaineers can choose different routes, styles and difficulties of climbing, and their technical operations are usually far more exquisite than those of high-altitude climbers.

Alpine climbers

MOUNTAINEERING CONCEPTS
OF PROFESSIONALISM, OBJECTIVITY AND SAFETY

The foundation of CMDI by OZARK and China Mountaineering Association is aimed at advocating and promoting the mountaineering concepts of professionalism, objectivity and safety and at providing a platform for climbers to receive professional and systematic mountaineering knowledge. So far, OZARK has been providing funds and equipments which have ensured the training of CMDI, and guaranteeing trainees’ comfortability, safety and normal training no matter how extreme the weather is.

Students of CMDI attending the training camp in France

Students of CMDI receiving climbing training in Europe

The first batch of trainees came from Qinghai, Xinjiang, Tibet, Sichuan, Guizhou and other provinces where China’s western peaks are located. CMDI specially employed Olivier Balma from France as the main coach, who is an international mountaineering guide with many years of experience in mountaineering, guiding, and teaching. Till now, CMDI has organized five periods of training involving 32 trainees, who, after graduation, have made great achievements in their mountaineering undertakings, and many of whom have become backbone in the field of mountaineering.

Baihe route, Yangshuo route, the organization and winning of the first National Mountaineering and Skiing Contest, reaching the peaks of Yaomei and Potala on Siguniang mountain ……Before 2010, CMDI had made the achievements that many Chinese climbers had been yearning for. Why it has such magic power?

COACH KANG HUA TALKING ABOUT CMDI

The first batch of trainees came from Qinghai, Xinjiang, Tibet, Sichuan, Guizhou and other provinces where China’s western peaks are located. CMDI specially employed Olivier Balma from France as the main coach, who is an international mountaineering guide with many years of experience in mountaineering, guiding, and teaching. Till now, CMDI has organized five periods of training involving 32 trainees, who, after graduation, have made great achievements in their mountaineering undertakings, and many of whom have become backbone in the field of mountaineering.

At first, it was Serge Koenig and the OZARK brand founder Hans Shallenberger talking about the project to set up CMDI. Koenig’s students, Olivier and Kang Hua, became CMDI's first batch of coaches.

“At that time, the training base was in the National Mountaineering Base in Huairou district in Beijing. For most of the time, Olivier and I swept all the teaching content. Many students had no experience of mountaineering before, and everything started from scratch. For example, Li Zongli, who was skilled in wrestling, did not quite understand mountaineering. “

Students in CMDI are trained entirely in accordance with the standard system of the international mountaineering guides. Under this system, a mountain guide must have three basic skills: field rock climbing, Alpine mountaineering, and apline skiing. The early training was based on the rocks. Students’ first mountain climbing was on Yuzhu Peak, whose southern face features a typical Tracking Peak, which requires few mountanieering techniques; then, it was on the peaks of Bogda and Nianbaoyuze; in 2007, the first alpine skiing training was carried out at Gangshika, and in winter we brought students to Shuangqiao Alley in Sichuan to do various ice climbing trainings.As far as the present situation of Chinese mountaineering industry is concerned, the target put forward by CMDI features great foresight. Mountaineering started rather late in China, so that it lacks maturity and customers’ awareness. From 2006 to 2008, thanks to the sponsorship of OZARK, the first batch of students had two years of full-time study and completely absorbed into the professional mountain guide training. Among them a group of students such as Li Zongli and Di Li have been working within the mountaineering industry and system till now. After the first two batches of trainees, CMDI training has gradually shifted to an assemble one, so that more and more non-professional mountaineering enthusiasts could get involved in it.

Kang Hua, a coach of CMDI

GAO QING AND GU GU TALKING ABOUT CMDI

In terms of CMDI, Gao Qing and Gu Gu respectively recalled as follows:

Gao Qing, a trainee of CMDI



Gao Qing: “During 2006 and 2007, I was doing ice climbing at Taoyuanxiangu when I met Kang Hua and Olivier, who were training for the first batch of students of CMDI. At that time, we went ice climbing together, and I learned something from their teaching. From then on, I came to know the CMDI training course, and I have been paying attention to them since then. After that, during every climbing season, either going rock climbing in Yangshuo or going ice climbing at Shuangqiao Valley, I would always meet Olivier and his CMDI training class.

Olivier thinks we're all climbing people, just in different directions. At the end of 2008, I worked as a rock climbing guide in Chinese Rock Climbing in Yangshuo. Once I chatted with Olivier. He asked me what thoughts I have for future. I told him that I wanted to take climbing as my career. When I met with Olivier again, I had already moved to work in Beijing. Olivier put forward the idea that I should join CMDI as a coach, so I joined CMDI’s team.

After joining CMDI’s coach team, since I have not received a systematic training, Olivier let me take the final examination for CMDI’s fourth batch of students. Since I had got certain foundation in climbing, my exam result was quite good. From then on, I have been on the right track step by step.“

Gu Gu receiving training in CMDI



Gu Gu: “I met Olivier when I was going rock climbing in Yangshuo in 2006, before that I had been climbing for seven or eight years. I once heard that a training course fostering mountain guides was to be established in China and I wanted to join it, but didn’t know how. In 2006, when we were going rock climbing together, Olivier asked me what my dream was, and I told him that my dream was to become a mountain guide. When I asked him how to realize my dream, he recommended CMDI to me. Since the first period of CMDI course was mainly targeted at training those on-the-job climbers at provincial mountaineering associations in areas rich in peak resources, I missed the first period of training. In 2009, I finally engaged in the second period of CMDI training as a trainee and became a student of Olivier’s.

From then on, I began to receive systematic mountain guide training. As Gao Qing said, the purpose of setting up CMDI was to cultivate more Chinese climbers to become outstanding mountaineering guide. Therefore, we need to cultivate more talents and let them teach more people, thus enlarging our coach team. Since, at that time, I had received systematic CMDI training and passed the final examination, Olivier asked me whether I was willing to do the full-time job of CMDI training, and, of course, I accepted it happily, because that’s my dream.”

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