Typhoons, earthquakes and floods hitting Taiwan hard this summer but the awesome climbers from Singapore hit Long Dong even harder!
Onsight Climbing Gym and I started working together to get participants for this trip since March and the responds so far is not too bad. The course is usually 4 days, which includes 1st day R&R to get the hangovers from the flights over. Day 2 usually sees a lot of climbing and placing cams, nuts and hexes. From top roping to mock leads and lead climbing, we have routes for all levels of climbers to ensure learning at ease and not get the good climbers too bored at the same time.
Day 3 calls for a anchor session and everyone will usually build a lot of anchors and test them to real situations. Combining what we have learnt from day 1 – day 3 will see a test climb, which is a final exercise to ensure participants remember what they have learnt over the 3 days. At the end of the day, its always good to have a good dinner at the Miao Kow food bazar or at a seafood restaurant in Aodi.
Day 4 is a summon all your energy day, where most of the participants tries to burn their energy climbing as much as possible to gain the most experience they can out of beauty Long Dong. Some goes for sports routes some goes for trad routes and some wants to get some multi pitch in. Usually there is something for everyone within a short walk in a crag in Long Dong. Those who love the serenity of the sea and calm of the village life will opt to stay for a day or 2 more and thats when we do some hardcore stuff.
This trip I haven’t got much chance to do a lot of climbing considering after each course i will be pretty burn out, Im pretty happy with the amount of climbing I did. First was onsighting Oval office at 4 Presidents, a nice 5.11a with 4 roofs each bigger and more exposed than the other. In my humble opinion, only the last roof is the crux but as long as you are willing to run it out the moves are not so hard as there is a sweet finger lock for the right hand after the long reach. That was a good start to the trip!
Next up was Whale’s Head, Captain Ahab, 5.11a. Kay Tuck, Alvina and I climbed whales head on Moby dick on the first weekend of the trip and it was a good nice 10a crack that leads you right about the whale. But as I was climbing i can’t help but to notice this thin crack that runs on the face of the whale and so when i checked it out on the guide book, realized its a nice 11a crack that traverse all the way around the face of the whale to the nose and straight up to the anchor from there.
Looks a little short, but the exposure and aesthetics of the climb drew me to it. Sometimes the scarier and more beautiful things interests me and this time I took Andy and Charity with me. Charity the offical photographer haul her bags of cameras up and Andy was my belay slave. I wasn’t ballsy enough to try the route onsight as the 25m of air below me and the crashing waves somehow raise the heart rate a little. So i set a top rope and check out the gears of the route first and it turn out to be pretty small taking only Black Diamond c3 #1 and C4 #.4
I had to psych myself up as i knew C3 #1 is not small since i have fallen on a #2 nut before. Breathed hard and went for it! The climb was not flawless at all, fumbled with gears, screwed up sequence and messy foot work. However it was all good as I pulled through the climb without falling for the camera! All worth it as Charity did a great job in capturing the pumpy moments of the climb.
Overall the trip was great we did a whole lot of things from sight seeing to parties at local night spots and even some highlining with Elephant Slacklines.
- Elephant Slacklines in Taiwan, Long Dong (qxadventures.com)
I can’t wait to go back to Long Dong and climb next year and hopefully to see more participants for the upcoming trad trips! Next up will be trad climbing in Hong Kong in Nov-Dec 2012!