|(8) Golden Valley
The Golden Valley is aptly named, as you will realize upon your first view of the amphitheater. The colors of rock contrast in such striking hues as to make this the perfect backdrop to a fine day for any lover of natural beauty. Grassy patches and flat stone benches allow for napping and picnicking when you need a rest from sending. There are also caves and north-facing walls that provide shade through most of the day, while the eastward aspects of the amphitheater soak up the sun. Swimming here is, unfortunately, quite treacherous in any season due to the strong currents and exposed nature of the shoreline.
This is the biggest singly-contained area at Long Dong and can be quite popular as a result. It is broken up into three general sectors: the Dragonboat Wall, the Amphitheater, and the Euro Wall. The routes are most intuitively viewed from Right to Left.
The Dragonboat Wall is the first wall you encounter at the bottom of the Golden Valley Trail. It is north-facing, and thus enters the shade in the late morning and remains shaded for most if not all of the day. Route grades range from 5.5-5.11a here, both trad (Yosemite Crack) and sport (Teamwork) of low- to mid-quality. This wall is often crowded with gym climbers and classes. It was entirely rebolted by Wojtek in 2012.
Betweeen here and the Amphitheater is a short tower with a fun, easy solo to the top, as well as some mediocre trad routes up the jumbled, orange, east-facing wall. Boulder hop between these two and turn the corner...
The Amphitheater. One of the most breathtaking places at Long Dong. If standing with your back to the ocean, the Bikini Cave is on your right, the Legend Wall straight in front of you, and the Black Wall to your left. The cave can provide shade on hot days. On the right side of the cave is the classic hand crack String Bikini. A few hard sport routes crank out the middle and left side. The mostly-clean red-orange-gold wall contains some of Long Dong's most classic sport testpieces, including The Golden Legend, finally freed by Paul Brouard in 2010. Left of this is the ominous black streak down the chimney of Black Magic Woman. The Black Wall is mostly north-facing, and contains many other decent moderate trad routes which ascend the black-changing-to-silver wall, interspersed with some new high-quality sport routes. Eventually you come to a high bench of rock as the cliff turns southward.
At this point you reach what is sometimes called The Gold Wall, or the Euro Wall, or The Catwalk. Once you climb up onto the bench, there will be a prominent roof just above your head. Several amusingly-named moderate trad routes, such as Golden Shower, ascend half of this wall to a horizontal. If you're feeling bold, you could venture to the top of the wall, as bolted anchors (2011) exist for rappel. Step up another short dihedral to an even higher platform to experience the European's legacy: adventures like Snake Alley. These are the only multi-pitch sport routes at Long Dong and they top out to some incredible views.
Beyond this, the platform descends to a slick, shellfish-encrusted catwalk that is often battered by waves and wind. When the ocean is calm, you can access a few excellent trad routes like Catfight and the Cathouse beyond. When the ocean is REALLY calm, you can even descend to the Dragon Pool, climb Perfectly Overhung, or traverse to the Backdoor.
Approach Via the Golden Valley trail from either the Central or South Parking areas, as described on the main page for Long Dong Wall.
Once down the trail and onto the flat shelf of rock, turn right (south) and head over towards a large amphitheatre of rock. THis is the Golden Valley. This area by it's descriptions contains some sub-formations called "Dragon's Egg" to the right, and "Golden Wall" to the left, out on a shelf where the rock juts out toward the ocean.
32 Total Routes
['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',14],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',1]
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Climax 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b Asia
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This route is described as three separate pitches in Matt's book. However, it can easily be done as two. Start up the left side of Tofu Tower on big holds. Continue up the slab to a ledge with a bolted anchor. Clip a bolt and continue up on steepening stone to a horizontal below a blank face. Step left here and pull up and around the roof. Layback along a flake to another roof. Crux it out onto the face to the right with a wide selection of marginal holds. Continue up the slab (notice a...[more] Browse More Classics in International
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view of the dragonboat wall from the bottom of the...
Waves crashing on the Catwalk
Legend Wall - including two 13's on the golden are...