#LDlifehacks: The Weather

Let’s put it that way – unless you’re at LD over the summer, the weather could be sometimes, how do we put it, iffy? And it doesn’t help that the weather forecast is not extremely accurate and at its best, quoting from a local friend, “just for reference”. However, there are still some useful cues from the local weather forecast’s website, giving us a better idea of the weather.

IMG_4855

Type B fun 😀

1. Check the weather forecast for Longdong Park South Entrance on the Central Weather Bureau’s official website (https://www.cwb.gov.tw/V7e/forecast/entertainment/other/A014.htm#)

No the weather forecast for Taipei, Keelung, Ruifang or even Gongliao (the district where LD is) are not good enough. In fact, after staying along the coast for a while, we learn that the weather in Taipei and LD are many times coincidentally, opposites. There are many occasions when hopeful friends from Taipei turn up at LD having to turn back because it’s raining, or days when it is “send conditions”, and there’s almost no one around (not that we’re complaining!). We noticed this during our times staying in different home-stays along the coast, and this is exactly the reason why we decided to stay close to LD – because the best way to tell, is to look out of the window! The beauty of being close to LD is, when you spend less time commuting, you earn more time climbing 😉

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 11.45.51

Weather forecast for Longdong South Entrance (https://www.cwb.gov.tw/V7e/forecast/entertainment/other/A014.htm#)

2. Check the radar display for current rain intensity

The weather forecast provides information on wind direction and it helps heaps to know if the wind is bringing more rain clouds or blowing them away.

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 11.12.51

Noooooooooooooo…

3. Check the road surveillance cameras for live updates

It seems like access to the camera footage is restricted to the Chinese version on the CWB website so here are the links below! We suggest looking at these two cameras closest to Longdong:

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 11.22.55

Step 1: Click on 瑞芳區 (Ruifang District)

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 11.16.19

Step 2: Select 台2 北濱海公路/南雅路到南雅路/鼻頭路 (third last from the bottom)

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 11.23.27

Step 1: Select 貢寮區 (Gongliao District)

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 11.18.44

Step 2: Select 台2 88K+150 到 91K+000 (fifth from the top)

One camera to the north and the other to the south of LD, so this should give you a good idea of how the actual weather is. Just to get an affirmation before making the commitment to head out here 😉

Some reminders:

1. Do take note of the Plum Rain Rainy Season and of course, the typhoon season, which typically take place in May and August/September respectively. Having said that the global climate is changing and these events do span over a month before or after.

2. It’s a good idea to plan for an extended trip in Taiwan if you would like to climb at LD! This gives you flexibility to shift your itinerary and turn up for climbing when the weather has cleared up.

Regardless the weather, there’re crags which stay relatively dry on rainy days. Or if you’re looking for an active wet weather program, the region has much to offer too. We’ll share this in a separate post 😉

Rock on!

Advertisements

Being Alien Residents at Long Dong

It all began with a book that Matt sent to Qx in 2007, a guidebook of Long Dong that he had written. It took us three years when we finally decided to make our way there in December 2010.

With the help of Huzi (鬍子) who we had met at a climbing event in Singapore, we hopped onto his van in Taipei and made our way to Long Dong. As we got onto the Coastal Highway, the view of the winding coastline and crashing waves in the vast and open Pacific Ocean welcomed us. The drive along the Coastal Highway remains as one of our favorite parts of the entire experience going to, and now, living around Long Dong. It gives us an ironic sense of peace and thrill.

CIMG5144

Taking our first ride on the Coastal Highway

Since then, we found ourselves returning to this place year after year, staying in different villages and small towns around LD. Enchanted by the simple and local lifestyle of living in a fishing village, supported by some basic amenities, and a close enough proximity to LD, we finally decided to set up our second home, The Bivy in Bitoujiao in May 2015.

IMG_4952

The house as we found it

Where is Bitoujiao (鼻頭角)?

IMG_7876

Bitou Cape as seen from Long Dong

Bitoujiao (or Bitou Cape, Bitou referring to the tip of the nose literally) is a quiet and quaint little fishing village, inhabited by less than 80 people, about 2km away from LD. Bitou Cape, alongside Fugui Cape and Sandiago Cape, the northernmost and easternmost points of the island respectively, are the three main capes that provide a beautiful spectacle of the coastline in Northern Taiwan. In Bitoujiao, residents are generally either 50 years and above or young children, and the village thrives on fishing, recreation and tourism for a living. Our neighbours are really warm and kind people, making us feel welcome and well-integrated in the community. It certainly helps that we speak Mandarin, understand a wee bit of Taiwanese and perhaps don’t stand out too much on the outlook. Living here all this while makes us realize we are so fortunate to get to enjoy nature, quietness, clean air, good spring water, small catches of fresh seafood and seaweed and other local produce.

As for every climbing destination we head to, we believe in staying put at a place long enough to truly enjoy its climbing and the lifestyle of just being there. Living in Bitoujiao for four years now, we have picked up some tips and tricks about living and getting around, and many other things LD and its proximities offer. With this, we are happy to announce that we’re publishing what we have learnt through a series of #LDlifehacks on our FB page and website every month. We hope this will serve as useful information for all climbers and visitors to know and enjoy Long Dong better.

Look out for updates and safe climbs peeps!

Live an Adventure,
Qx, Kelly & Chong Chong (The Bivy Dog)

Qx and Kelly are rock climbers and AMGA certified instructors.
Chong Chong is The Bivy’s crag dog, ie greeter/security guard/trainee porter.
We love rock climbing.