Rock Climbing in Polish Tatra Mountains

Despite relatively low altitude (the highest peak, Gerlach, has 2655 m a.s.l.) Tatra Mountains (in Polish Tatry) have alpine character and offer good climbing in beautiful setting.

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Long Dong(Dragon’s Cave) 龍洞

LD Backdoor

Region: NorthEast

Type of Climbing: Sport, Trad,  possible Bouldering,  a little bit of DWS

Season:  Spring and Fall are consistently good, but Winter can be great, just check the forecast before heading out. Summer is hot but mostly dry– bring a swimsuit and seek the shade.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Description: Long Dong(Dragon’s Lair or Dragon’s Cave)  is  Taiwan’s premier outdoor climbing area - superb sandstone sport and trad climbing on the NorthEast coast of Taiwan.

Accessible easily from Taipei, Hsinchu and northern parts of Taiwan, approaches range from quick and easy to 30 minute hikes over rough terrain and sketchy traverses, but you’re rewarded for your hard work with varied climbing on firm sandstone that provides great friction and gear placements.

The sapphire blue waters, the sea breeze and beautiful rock formations make for a breathtaking backdrop that complements the excellent climbing.

Guidebook 

We highly recommend the Rock Climbing Taiwan 台灣龍洞攀岩  guidebook, extensively covering both Sport and Trad climbing at Long Dong, available at Tingsaniou in Taipei, iClimb in Hsinchu, or online worldwide.

However because the guidebook was printed in 2012, we recommend supplementing the guidebook with Guidebook+, our online route status tracker.

Directions

By Car: LongDong Schoolgate EntranceLongDong Backdoor Entrance

Click on the Entrance you want to approach above and use Google Maps for directions

By Bus from Taipei: Right outside of Main Station Exit M1, buy a ticket from to Long Dong Harbour(龍洞港)The  Bus # will be 1811 . Buses leave daily at 8:20, 9:20 and 10:20 in the morning. Don’t be late. The bus ride takes about 1:10-1:30.

For School Gate entrance, get off at “龍洞港“(Long Dong Harbour) bus stop, walk down the bamboo stairs into the village main road, and walk right into the crag.

For Backdoor entrance, get off at the next stop(Officially “龍洞南口”, but if you ask politely, the bus driver may drop you off right after the tunnel.) and walk back towards the temple. Follow the small temple road through to the parking lot, and then descend the stone steps on your right leading down to the gazebo to go to Backdoor .

Buses run back to Taipei at very roughly 12pm, 3pm and 6pm depending on traffic. To catch the Taipei bus from Backdoor wait at the Long Dong Ocean Park stop.

If you miss the Taipei bus, the 791 bus comes every hour and goes to Keelung Train station where it’s a quick 30 minute bus ride to Taipei.

Weather:

  • Taiwan Central Weather Bureau (Scroll down for LongDong) – This is specific to Long Dong, but it has only one forecast for the whole day.
  • Township weather report- This is for the district that Long Dong is in, but is more detailed and shows weather forecasts throughout the day.

Rebolt status: Because of seaside corrosion, some routes are not safe to climb. The Guidebook does a decent job of explaining which routes are safe or not but since there has been significant rebolting since its publication in 2012, we also recommend supplementing it with Guidebook+, our local route tracker.

Accomodations: As camping is technically not allowed, the most convenient options are staying at the guesthouse in the village(#3 Long Dong street) or at The Bivy Climber’s Hostel.

Guide Service:  QxAdventures and Detour Formosa provides guide service for this area.

More Info 

MountainProject.com - Pretty good resource about Long Dong, with transportation, info about what gear to bring, and basic info about crags.  Lacks depth and coverage of the guidebook but enough for a day trip.

Climbstone.com - Well organized, basic  info on Long Dong, including how to get there, what to bring. The site is run by Matt Robertson,  author of the Rock Climbing Taiwan guidebook.

GuanziLing 關子嶺

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Region:Tainan/Jiayi

Location: Guanziling Entrance

Type of Climbing: Sport

Season: Fall, Winter, Early Spring

Topos and Beta:

Ron’s Taiwan Climbing Page - Has some basic info.

An easily printable English pdf guide to guanziling has been compiled by Dom Benson, based on Wen-Dong’s online guanziling guidebook(which is itself an electronic version of the original Guanziling guidebook by Wang Hung Hsiang)

Climbio’s Guanziling section also has images and video of a few routes. Climbio has some routes which the other guides don’t and vice versa so it’s good to cross check both resources.

 

Rehai 熱海

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Region: Taipei

Location:Approximately here

The google map marker above will lead you to the general vicinity and you should be on 銀光巷(Yinguang lane) Keep on going on the road “銀光巷” past where Google maps claims it ends.

You will encounter a nice looking house and round mirror at a switchback going uphill.

Keep on going up the switchback, which leads to another switchback.On the third switchback you should see a stone trail leading into the forest. Take it, go uphill and you will see the walls!

Type of Climbing: Lead

Description: Close to Big Cannon Cliff, the rock at Rehai feels a bit more coarse. Unlike BCC, Rehai is bolted lead climbing. Climbs are short, and difficulty is mostly in the 5.8-5.10 range.

The crag is in a forested area and goes on quite a while. Even when you’d think the crag ends, if you keep on walking the ridgeline you will likely find another area.

Online Guidebook (Please select “Rehai” on the table of contents in the left column.)

More Beta is available @ MountainProject

Big Cannon Cliff 大炮岩

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Region: Taipei,  Xinbeitou

UPDATE – Big Cannon Cliff is now officially illegal to climb at. Enter at risk of a $15,000 fine.

Location: Big Cannon Cliff, YangMingShan

Type of Climbing:  Top rope, a little bit of bouldering and trad

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Directions: From Beitou Metro station, take the 小25(S25) or 230 in the Yangmingshan(陽明山) direction. Get off at stop “DaHuangZui(大磺嘴).” Walk down the road and you will see after about 5 minutes a yellow sign on your left – this is the access trail. Follow the trail up to the right. Alternatively, you can go by bus to the stop “Dunxu High School of Industry and Commerce” and walk around 700M downhill to the trailhead.

Notes:  Short technical climbing on Yangmingshan, mostly face climbing. With beautiful scenery and hot springs nearby, BCC is a nice, convenient crag right outside Taipei.  It is also among the earliest climbing areas in Taiwan.  Be warned though – the grading here is very hard and most of the climbs here aren’t easy.  Beginners may have a tough time adjusting compared to Long Dong. Approach is short from the main mountain road.

The rock is Volcanic Andesite.  Holds are much smaller than at Long Dong. Climbs here can get quite technical and range from about 5 to 9m high. Difficulty goes from 5.8 up to hard 5.12d. Expect crimps, pockets,  cracks… and more (slopey) crimps. If you have a pad there are some decent boulder problems to tackle.

Hike to the top of the cliff to find glue-ins for top rope anchors on some climbs(see pictures). On other routes you will have to set up your own anchors using trees, bushes, etc.

Gear needed:  Any Rope 30m or more is fineSlings/webbing, lockers to set up top rope anchors. Something to pad the rope over an edge is a good idea too. Trad climbing is  a possibility on a number of routes but can get bold at times. Tricams have been recommended.

If you want to use natural anchors you will need a LOT of static cord or webbing since most of the solid trees are about 5-20 meters away from the cliff.

Topo:

Ron’s Taiwan Climbing Page - a guidebook with Topos. Ron translated and enhanced an old guide originally created by Milk, a veteran of the Taiwan Climbing scene.

Climbio page for BCC.

Thanks to 郭寶 for guiding us here