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Long Dong

  • Grade context: US
  • Photos: 13
  • Ascents: 725
  • Aka: Dragon Cave
  • Aka: 龍洞

Seasonality

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Summary

Sandstone trad and sport in a stunning seaside location.

Description

The premier climbing destination in Taiwan. Unique, bullet hard sandstone overlooking reefs, ponds, and the Pacific ocean. Cracks, faces, roofs, and even a few highball/solos over the water. Easy public transportation access from Taipei and Keelung.

Access issues

Being a seaside location, bolts have a reduced longevity. There is an active local climbing community load-testing and removing old bolts deemed unsafe. However, this is an ongoing process done by volunteers and does not guarantee all remaining bolts are safe. To assist climbers, there is a spreadsheet that is updated with testing information and on the dates they were conducted for each Long-Dong route, bolt-type/date information, as well as a 'traffic light' recommendation system as to the confidence in the bolts. While this is an extremely valuable resource, it is not a guarantee and climbers must ultimately take responsibility for their own safety. The latest version can be found here (but only in Chinese): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QHFNQSPgKgQrTNnYn246wfotOYqOkzHjLltZ26keBgg/htmlview

An older English version (last updated around 2017) can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19rb_88J5vvWG2mue7sNgaQHeiiy4aYgJ3AR4Bftyilw/edit#gid=776608571

Approach

Buses run from the Taipei West Bus Station Terminal A (to Luodong or Yilan), Ruifang (886, 856) and Keelung main stations. Get off at Hemei Elementary School (和美國小) stop on Highway 2 for quick access to the Schoolgate crag or stay on through the tunnel and disembark at the Xilingyan Temple (西靈巖寺) just after the tunnel ends. Easy scrambling across boulders will get you to most areas, although there are a few unroped class 4 traversing required to reach a few areas.

Where to stay

Camping is technically illegal, but tolerated if you keep a low key. Camp on the rocks or in the grassy areas along the hiking trail above the cliffline.

https://thebivylongdong.com/

https://longdongclimbingho.wixsite.com/longdongcrackhouse

Ethic

None to speak of. Some locals stick to a clean ethic, while others go nuts with the power drills. Expect tightly bolted routes (often every 5 feet!), even along lines with plentiful protection.

History

History timeline chart

Mostly undeveloped until the late 80's and early 1990's, although the area has long been popular with fishermen and bird nest collectors. The first wave of developments were done by locals, French, and Koreans. Later development has primarily been done by Taiwanese, although a number of notable FAs have fallen to visitors including Alex Honnold.

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