Most of Shoushan Climbing Crags may be shut down soon (summer 2018)
Posted by Ya-Te Chen on
August 17, 2018
There are two major natural cragging areas in Kaohsiung : “QianGuang Temple” and “Shoushan,” the latter being several crags inside of Shoushan National Nature Park. This year, both areas are faced with serious problems from the government and the public. This article focuses on the current situation of Shoushan. (For info on QianGuang Temple, please check another article here.)
↑AC Wall, one of the climbing areas of Shoushan that are going to be closed after the amendment passes.
In the 1990s, some limestone walls in Shoushan started to be bolted with sport routes. In recent years, a lot of sport routes were added, among which are some long and high-quality ones. In December 2011, after years of efforts of local environmental protection groups, Shoushan National Nature Park was officially established. This year (2018) in May, the Nature Park drafted an amendment on “Regulations Governing the Activities Prohibited in the Domain of Shoushan National Nature Park,” aiming at tightening the control over outdoor activities that may potentially affect the biome and natural landscapes. Based on some ecological survey, the government has planned to allow climbing “only in Skyline valley, in dry seasons, application and permission required.” Local environmental protection groups, on the other hand, have been advocating totally banning rock climbing in the Park. For them, climbing is viewed as a dangerous to people and damaging to the surrounding plants, animals, and ancient coral reef rock walls.
↑Skyline, the only climbing area that will remain officially climbable.
It is not clear when the amendment will be passed and put into practice. Some climbers are trying to communicate with the government. Hopefully they can make a win-win decision, with climbers respecting environmental protection codes and the government as well as locals understanding that, just like many famous national parks abroad, climbing can co-exist with preservation.
What can climbers do to make things better:
- Preserve the environment when climbing in the Nature Park.
- Sign the petition (the petition page is in Chinese) that the government may reconsider the decision of closing all crags except for Skyline, and discuss over the regulations concerning climbing openly.
↑Another climbing area with high quality routes to be closed.
Note: Sport routes that are near the ROC marines were already chopped because of military confidential concerns. They are not included in this article.
Photos/Chun-chung Ho, Zi-han Lin