Where to climb in Long Dong in a HOT summer day?

19942610_10155513173034127_7250881545312660796_o Where to climb in Long Dong in a HOT summer day? The summer heat in Taiwan is unbearable.  Long Dong is located by the seaside, and this makes it a cooler and less rainy place in summer compared to the Taipei City.   Still, it is a very bad idea to climb under the scorching sun: it can be very easy to get serious heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or dehydration. There are some ways to cope with the problem of heat:

-          set up a tarp

-          adjust your climbing schedule (e.g. to arrive at Long Dong around noon or in the afternoon and climb until 18:30 – the daytime in summer is quite long after all!)

-          bring a lot of water or icy drinks <important!!>

-          choose climbing areas wisely

Here are some useful tips on the most suitable climbing areas in summer.

Backdoor, Old Man Wall

Best time to go: after 11 am Condition: cool and cozy In Backdoor area, this very wall gets the earliest shade.  Due to the vegetation on its top, Old Man Wall is usually somewhat wet and even dripping, but it gets much drier in summer.  Therefore summer is the best season to climb this wall.  There are a couple of routes of very good quality there from 5.10~5.12, such as Lava Tube (5.10d), Eagle’s Aerie (5.10b), Straight Up (5.11c), and Napoleon’s Reach (5.12b).

School Gate, Illusion Wall

Best time to go: before 1 pm Condition: cool and cozy This is the first wall from the School Gate entrance.  It is north-facing and shaded for the whole morning.  This wall is a bit steep and requires lots of climbing endurance. There are some super interesting sports routes there, such as Stone Z (5.11a+), First Corner (5.12a) and Final Crux (5.12b).

Music Hall, Main Face

Best time to go: afternoon Condition: cool and cozy, breezy Music Hall is in shade and usually quite breezy and cozy in the whole afternoon.  If you come earlier than 1 pm, Long Lane and Recital Hall (Backdrop 5.9) are good choices for warming up in shade.  The Whale’s Head area, especially the second pitches in this area, gets shade earlier than Main Face.  Enjoy the great sport routes in Yum Yum Sky Wall, or the trad routes like Moby Dick (5.9), Harmless Shield (5.10c), Blade (5.11a), Starbuck (5.10b), Captain Ahab (5.11a+), and other classics!

Backdoor, Basement

Best time to go: afternoon Condition: cozy, a bit breezy In the afternoon the whole area is in shade.  There are many great 5.11 – 5.13 sport routes here, and the approach is easy, which makes it one of the most popular areas in Long Dong.

Long Lane

Best time to go: morning / afternoon Condition: acceptable In the morning and afternoon, Long Lane is mostly in shade.  However, during 11 am to 1 pm, many routes are under direct sunlight (pic below).   Compared to other parts of Long Dong, this area is more humid, less breezy, and thus less comfortable.  This is why many people go to Long Lane in the morning for warming up, and change to Music Hall or other areas in the afternoon.


Places to avoid in the morning

School Gate: Apart from Illusion Wall and some dihedral routes such as Bull King (5.7), there is nowhere to hind yourself from the sun in the morning. Clocktower: Clocktower is a rocky place with virtually no vegetation or soil part. This is why it gets heated up quickly.  In the morning it is like a huge BBQ grill stone.  However, there is an easy deep water soloing route (Crystal Blue Temptation 5.8), a good place for swimming! Golden Valley: The Bikini Cave and a small corner in the Cat House are the only places with shade in the morning.  The temperature in the rest of Golden Valley is terrible.  Better go after 1 pm.  There is a pool at the bottom of Perfect Overhang for cooling down, but the water level varies a lot.  Make sure to check the tide before you go down to the sea.

Other areas

It is cool inside of the First Cave and the Second Cave at anytime.  Routes near Sorry Erica (5.10+) get shade the earliest, at around 11 am, but it can still be very hot and humid even under shade.  The Grand Auditorium has shade in the morning near the base of Arupa (5.10d) and Via de Drago (5.10c).  In the afternoon, most of the Grand Auditorium and First Cave will be in shade and cooling down.  Do not forget to bring your helmet to these areas (esp. the First Cave)!

Photos/Chih-Chieh Yu, Kai-ming Luo



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