After getting an exciting sneak preview of the extreme sport of rock climbing last weekend, I have returned to get a real taste of what it feels like, along with my mate, Roy whose back for a 2nd try and had only one thing on his mind ~ to conquer Route 999.
The weather had been more forgiving today *not as hot*, and the climb spot being on the shaded side of the cliff/cave opening is just perfect.
After strapping on our harnesses & getting familiarized with our climbing gears *borrowed courtesy of our seasoned climber friends*, Karen got us started on the Baby’s Wall, supposedly the easiest route on site. Nonetheless, I did break quite some sweat just to top this one ~ this one is easily more difficult than the indoor beginner’s wall I’ve scaled before.
Next up we got to try another route nearby with similar ascend for most of part, except the last quarter of the climb where a large piece of overhang is present. That was where we both kantoi-ed. The name of that route? Aptly named ‘Nama Bodoh’ ~ I guess somebody must have gotten too frustrated with that piece of obstacle in the way. I was told that the first person to paved a route & scale it cleanly will have the honor to name that route.
I wasn’t long before we were given the opportunity to scale the main wall… Route 999, here we come! *that’s supposedly the easiest route on the main wall, but then again, the difficulty of getting to the start of the suspended climb usually proves overwhelming for most beginners*
See the yellow rope to the left of the climber in view? That’s Route999.
The belayer ~ in climbing, belaying is the technique of controlling the rope so that a falling climber does not fall very far; a task typically assigned to a belayer.
The notion about rock climbing sport is that one needs to have superhuman upper body strength; but having put up with a struggle on the cliff, I found that footwork techniques & strength is just as equally important ~ use your hands to grip as anchors and to stabilize your body only, get your footwork right & push with your legs; these make up the fundamentals of rock climbing techniques. Rely on the strength of yours hands too much; you will crash out with fatigue in no time ~ I’ve learned that the hard way…
Nevertheless, I’ve managed to make some encouraging progress on this route *thanks to rope-pull assist, letting me have a breather when I really need it (ended up spending more than half-an-hour attempting this climb), only gave in to extreme fatigue just barely a meter shy of the end point ~ my legs & hands were literally dead; but I really did enjoyed the view from the top; it was maybe like 15 ~ 18 meters off the ground. My mate did a better job & went all the way to the top; kudos, brada!
*unfortunately i did not get any shots of us in action on this particular route, as i was belayering roy on his climb, and vice-versa...*
The director’s seat… a good seat to be barking instructions & guides from, hehe…
Remedy for sore neck resulting from having to tilt your head upwards for extended periods to keep a watch on and guide your climbing mate up above ~ a pair of prism glass!
Had a heck of a good time today, We came, we saw, we conquered! ~ well, almost & with much *rope-pull-assist help* =p
Returned home with contented heart, and lots of souvenirs ~ in the forms of lacerations & bruises all over… in the heat of the climb, sometime you just get so intense or grow so exhausted that you’ll not even realize if you’ve cut yourself or lost a finger… =p
Before wrapping up, thanks again to the veterans ~ Asang, Alex, Mel, Karen, Ling & Glenn (from last week) for accommodating & guiding us newbie for the climb! It’s been truly an exhilarating experience! =D
now should i seriously consider taking up this sport?