I understand a post is way overdue on this blog and I apologise to all readers who have been following my blog. Its just been a crazy block since I got back from Taiwan and getting ready for our big trip to US and after our summit of Mount Watkins which marks the completion of the triple crown or climbing the 3 biggest faces in Yosemite via their main routes, I finally feel I can take a break and write a entry!
Before all these madness, we spend a month in Taiwan with great people and new faces who decided to step forward to learn this amazing skill of trad climbing. The first step to becoming a big wall climber is to have good trad climbing skill and know how to place gear. And I have to say we have 12 more climbers from Singapore have taken that big step!
April – May weather in Taiwan is good, from cooling weather in April it gradually turns warm towards May as the summer approaches. We have many days off good climbing weather except for a 4 day block when it was time for Kelly and I to climb, it started to rain really hard. I guess plum monsoon gotta live up to its name!
Most participants come for a 4 day trip over a weekend and taking 2 days off the week. They would fly into Taoyuan International Airport via a overnight flight via Scoot and arrive at 6am (tiring!) or flight via Tiger or other airlines the night before for me to pick them up at a near by train station like Fulong or Ruifang train station.
The first day would be learning the ropes of placing gears and lead climbing on trad gears. Of course our training is relative to participants abilities level. If you are confident on rocks and have a flair with trad gears, we can move really fast and climb many interesting things in the coast. Having said that, we go progressive and gear you up to leading your first trad route on easy routes 5.5 – 5.6 YDS.
The second day is usually doing some revision, learning how to build anchors and getting off a typical trad route setting up a abseil. These are all important skills to learn when you are leading any kind of routes outdoor. So even if you do not like trad climbing by now (which I do not think so) you still get to learn very important skills in a safe and beautiful environment.
The third day is spent climbing some of the more beautiful single pitch routes in Long Dong or also known as the Long Dong classic trad climbs like,
As usual we have surprise for everyone before they go home and there is a choice to climb a offwidth multi pitch Via Del Drago 5.10 in Grand Auditorium sector or climb to a sea cliff tower in Long Dong on Clock Tower. Whichever option the group chooses they get to experience the true adventure of climbing and getting up to see a beautiful view of the North east coast of Taiwan in a unique way.
This trip, Kelly and I have not been trad climbing a lot as we are just working on strength and power training for our upcoming projects in Yosemite. Did a whole load of climbing in Backdoor trying to send every route in the 5.12 range there. Not quite successful but we will get there!
Taiwan Trad Climbing will be back in October 2014 so check the flight tickets and book your flight early! We are already half booked for the trip so get in touch with us really soon with your timings and we will get a tailored course or itinerary for you soon!