The Great Arch of Getu

NABSQNO 48R-627350-2841550 China

Great Arch of Getu
Great Arch of Getu in Guizhou Province, China.
Photo by Ray Millar (click on image for larger version).

Getu Valley National Park is a haven for rock climbers and contains not one but two large arches adjacent to each other. The main arch is usually referred to on the internet as the Great Arch of Getu but is also known as Shuiyanba Dong or Chuangshang Cave. Gunter learned of the arch from the NABS GIS website but in 2013 was the first NABS member to visit it.

Great Arch of Getu
Photo © Sam Bié.

A climber's perspective shows the large interior of the arch (photo above courtesy Sam Bie).

Gunter measured the span with a laser rangefinder. Toward the front of the opening he measured 93 meters (305 feet) but he knew that the span is correctly measured at the narrowest point of the tunnel-like opening (which was toward the back of the opening) and for this he measured 70 meters (230 feet). A sign at the arch says that Chuangshang Cave is 70 meters wide, which agrees exactly with Gunter's measurement. The measurement was also confirmed by both Gunter and Ray Millar on another visit in 2015.

In 2013 the only access to the arch required crossing the Getu He (Getu River) by tour boat or raft and then ascending some 1900 steps into the opening (photo below by Verena Jung).

Stairs to Getu Arch

By 2015 access is now provided via a plank walkway and glass elevator through the second arch (cave) that is below and to the right of the main arch. Three photos by Ray Millar are below.

Getu Cave

Getu Cave

Getu Cave

A video of climbing both of these arches can be seen in the NABS website Video Gallery.


Our next stop on the Big 19 Tour is Sipapu Natural Bridge, or ...

The Natural Arch and Bridge Society