We get dispatches from him every once in a while — he sent an email last week to let us know that he's been picking up freelance writing gigs overseas, using Hanoi, Vietnam, as a home base. Next month he'll be following the Vietnamese national soccer team to a tournament.
He sent along a links to three blog posts he wrote for Outside magazine, about a rock climbing festival he attended in Yangshuo, China. Read them if you want to live vicariously through our friend, the foreign correspondent.
A little background info on Yangshuo: This touristy town in Guangxi Province (which borders Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin) is an overnight bus ride from mega-cities Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. The late American climber Todd Skinner set some of the first Yangshuo routes in the early 1990s. Last year's inaugural fest drew more than 350 climbers from 15 countries...
Yangshuo's urban core of dumpling shops, touristy boutiques and internet cafes is flanked by postcard-perfect karst cliffs. Fifteen-minute bike rides past farms, mud-brick houses and peach orchards land you at the base of more than 300 primo sport routes. Indeed, says Ryan Gellert, managing director for Black Diamond Equipment Asia, Yangshuo has lately become "ground zero" for climbing in China.
To read more of Mike's reporting from Asia, you can follow him on Twitter.