Accident at Long Dong(5/12/2012) – Lessons Learned

Over the weekend at Long Dong, there was a climbing accident – an American Climber “Chris” took a leader fall about 5m(15 feet) in “First Cave” and decked.  While climbing a 5.11b sport route, he went past the first bolt, fell and the bolt failed.

He was airlifted to a Taipei hospital and reports are that he had cracked ribs, but was okay.

Read on for details and lessons from this accident

The climb he was on was Route#253  of the First Cave in the new Long Dong Guidebook. This is marked as a bit of a chossy area with loose rock and bad anchors. The route in particular is marked in the guidebook as having “Old Bolts” which are not to be trusted, because of the sea-side conditions corroding metal hardware faster than usual.

The guidebook painstakingly notes bolt conditions/dates of bolting for most if not all sport climbs in the area. Because of seaside conditions and some areas having loose, chossy rock, we strongly suggest climbers going to Long Dong to have a guidebook and verse themselves on bolt conditions before climbing sport routes in the area.

The climbers did have the guidebook, but chose to climb this route anyways using only sport gear.

We want to take this moment to remind everyone climbing that safety is their responsibility.

Climbing is inherently risky, but the risk can be managed through safe techniques, clear heads and precautions. If you take a risk like climbing on a sketchy route, you should take extra precautions.  For example

  • If bolts are bad or unreliable, consider climbing with trad protection, or just don’t climb it. There are plenty of other quality sport climbs at Long Dong.
  • Stick Clip difficult first clips, especially if the landing if nasty.
  • Spot the climber before the first clip.
  • Be wary of outdoor climbs at your limit. Pushing it on an overhang is fine and safe it you know how to bail. Pushing it on a vertical climb with ledges and dangerous fall potential is probably a bad idea.
  • Consider using a crash pad of some sort. Even a half size or mini pad can help considering that the landings at Long Dong are not onto dirt, but onto hard sandstone.

Climb hard & Climb Safe!


UPDATE: thanks for  correction – Hsu Lubin

  1. 2 Responses to “Accident at Long Dong(5/12/2012) – Lessons Learned”

  2. 5/12才是意外發生的正確日期

    By LUBIN HSU on May 17, 2012

  3. The generał rule in LongDong soulu be:
    DO NOTclip to expansion bolts ( bolts with hangers).
    The second one: don’t trust in 100 % to “German bolts”. One of them broken 2 years ago, and for sure there was a different reason from Pepe’s fall – I can only guess it was corrosion on the grain boundary which is impossible to see from outside.

    By WOJTEK on Jun 19, 2012


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