Friday, April 11, 2014

Save Getu from Destruction

China’s magical Getu National Park, situated in the southwestern province of Guizhou, is a 70-square-kilometer geological wonder and an ecological sanctuary. It has a majestic cave, enormous karst caverns, complex underground river systems and rare species of swallow, fish, hemp, and bamboo.  

Photo: Petzl

The site of Petzl RockTrip 2011, an annual rock climbing festival,  Getu inspired the world’s top climbers including Dani Andrada, Daniel Dulac, Olivier Balma, Sasha DiGiulian, Chris Sharma,  and Lynn Hill.

Photo: Petzl

For the last two years, developers backed by government officials have relentlessly destroyed the lower cavern system, cemented stairs into the ancient walls once scaled only by the gliding swallows and legendary locals using stick ladders, constructed a suspension bridge and a glass elevator.

Photo: Save Getu

To construct the expanded parking lots and gates, so throngs of visitors can conveniently drive into the peaceful valley, developers and officials forcibly appropriated hundreds of acres of farm and forest land from the locals, many of the ethnic Miao descent. Local people’s protests  were suppressed by police deployed by the local officials. Four most vocal leaders were jailed for 10 days.

Now the damages to the lower portions of the caves done, developers have moved for the “holiest of the holiest,” the Chuanshang, or Through Upper Cave, under the Great Arch! Workers are already clearing the delicate vegetation to make site for a hotel and restaurant!

The following two photos were taken on April 10, 2014. Within a few days, more irreparable damages will be done! This destruction must be stopped immediately!

Photo: Save Getu

Please help make the world aware of what is happening to this sacred site, forward this  to your friends, your local Chinese consulates, UNESCO, WWF, to anyone who loves and cares for all that are natural, beautiful and just.

Residents of Getu village including:
Wang Fengzhong, Luo Chaoting, Luo Yi, Liang Chaoting, Wang Hui, Luo Dengming, Wang Xiaowu, Huang Yaomei, Wang Chengbao, Wang Zhaoguo, Liang Zhengsong, Wang Tianzhi
April 10, 2014

A Chinese version of this petition appears on:

For questions: Twitter: @savegetu

For links to the park:
Getu as featured in the 2011 Petzl RockTrip:


  1. An english version of this petition is avaiable?

  2. China thinks only in mass tourism. Not in the preservation of nature. This has to stop.

  3. This is heartbreaking. The whole world was amazed by those images from October 2011, dreaming with going there some time. So bad the greed of few people will prevent anyone from this. :(

  4. As a Spanish climber i want to help you with it. Do you think you'll be able to start a petition in pages like or Avaaz. (I'll do it by myself, but I have no idea of which are the Chinese authorities to which I must direct it) or at least an English version of the petition. If you can create it, you'll receive my support and I'll push an effort to give diffusion to it

  5. This is sad. We can probably thank the American media for publicizing and turning it in to a tourist area. Like climbing magazine and rock n ice n companies who made money off publicizing it to begin with.. Parana Patagonia etc.

    1. These companies should step up some of their millions in profit and pay to protect it now.

  6. I was on the development trip with Petzl, it’s a shame, but a common story here in China. I think the best we could hope for in this case is that they lose there UNESCO & WWF status’s and that there is some international press about them losing it. This may help protect other places...
    Can I suggest that you move this to a site which is not blocked in China. blogspot has been blocked here for many years now and if you want to get Chinese voices here and allow them to see this, for it to get on waixing, waibo and QQ then it needs to be posted to an independent site.
    I have passed a link onto two friends of mine who are cave explorers and have links with UNESCO. Maybe they can help inform the write people… But it will not stop China doing what it wants, they would never allow the voice of a foreigner to change things, that would make them look week.

  7. Because of your blog I went to Getu. Thank you very much for writing this blog.

    I have also a blog, usually only for my fam and friends that's why it's mostly written in german.

    I published some new pictures from the construction zone in the great arch and from the buddha cave. I don't know how difficult it is for you to go there and make some new pictures, so you can use my pics for your blog too (if you want).