Thursday, June 29, 2006

Long Dong Climbing

We went climbing in LongDong (龍洞) last Saturday. As usual, the place was beautiful.

Summer really has begun, with sunny hot weather and clear azure skies. There were lots of SCUBA divers out as well. Neil tackled a 5.9+ climb, very challenging for a beginning climber.

A member of our climbing party had a near-death experience. Mike was demonstrating how to take a lead climbing fall when the carabiner in his quickdraw broke, leading to a really big fall. Thankfully, his head smacked into his belayer Adam's shoulder instead of the wall. Lessons learned: (1) always be more conservative. Thankfully Mike had taken a planned, not-to-high fall, and had warned Adam ahead of time; (2) Wear a helmet when climbing outdoors; and (3) keep up with climbing community news. His Metolius carabiner may have come from the batch the company recalled a couple of years ago.

(clockwise from top left: Adam lead climbing an overhang, Tina doing a climb, the broken 'biner, the day's last site, Mike's (thankfully) only injury, Mike)

Aside from that freakish accident, climbing the remainder of the day was fun. My last climb was much smoother than when I attempted the same route a few months ago. Hiking to and from the site was itself quite a workout—at least 30 minutes. There are some portions where you have to hug the wall (it looks more impressive and scary than it actually is). Lots of fun, and eased any guilt of not making it to the gym last week. ;o)

1 comment:

Mellerson said...

I gotta admit, I:

1. Gasped when I saw that biner
2. Felt a flutter when I saw that last pic hugging the wall

Maaaaaan, climbing looks funnn.