Rock Climbing

Posted on January 27, 2012 by

2


by Leong Sheng Hoay
shenghoay@gmail.com

deep water soloing

Spotted : Topless dude with surf pants and tight shoes. Small pouch hung neatly around his waist (which I later got to know was a ‘chalk bag’) The dude was climbing up a cliff and jamming his fingers into the cracks. Soon he was clinging with his heels on the rocks and almost parallel to the sea below him! And if that wasn’t mad enough, he then jumped into the sea. I wondered what happened to the soaking wet chalk bag. Never mind the chalk, that was just the coolest sport I’ve ever seen – CLIMBING.

Climbing is regarded by many as an extreme sport, both physically and mentally challenging (have you watched 127 Hours?). There’s a wide array of climbs to choose from, i.e. outdoor traditional rock climbing, free solos, ice climbing, mountaineering, bouldering… Each of them require different gears, and each of them emphasises on aspects like agility, endurance, strength, and (believe it or not) graceful gymnastic/yoga like abilities.

traditional climbing

My brush with climbing happened 3 years back when I went to ‘sentuh saje’ – very much a one- time experience. It was really tormenting la, having to brace 15 meter heights and when you’re on the verge of giving up your taster marshal jerks at your harness, giving you that wedgie- like feel. But it was a worthwhile experience. My love affair with climbing was an on-and-off one. It wasn’t until this year till I decided to climb more often than I watch movies. So here’s a bit of an apprentice’s worth of knowledge in Indoor Wall Climbing! I’m an amateur climber and marshal in Camp5 Indoor Climbing Gym, One Utama.

camp5

Camp5 Indoor Climbing Gym (that mysterious glass building beside the Rainforest in OneU)

Q : OK, so I think I’m interested in climbing. What now?

A : Go for it! Hop by Camp5, politely ask the bubbly marshals to give you a tour around the gym. Feel the Zen incorporated into the surrounding. Do you feel the excitement? Do you feel the Alain Robert inside of you just waiting to explode? Well yeah! Go with your instincts! Rent your gear and start climbing!

Q : What kind of special attire do I need to wear?

A : Just wear whatever you want. Really. Climbing is all about comfort, so go ahead and be comfortable. Heck if you like climbing in skinny jeans, go ahead!

Q : What kind of climbs do they offer in Camp5?

A : Camp5 offers Bouldering, Top Rope Climbing, and Lead Climbing . Bouldering is basically climbing concave and convex structures without ropes. Crash mats are provided and the walls are low, so you don’t need to worry too much when falling. Here is where you can literally climb like a lizard on the ceiling. Top Roping has ropes which runs from the climber through an anchor at the top and back down to the belayer. It’s pretty basic and like Bouldering, everyone starts off with it. Lead climbing is a more advanced form of climbing, which requires the climber to clip his ropes to quickdraws placed along the walls as he ascends a route.

lead climb

lead climbing in Camp 5 

Kids climbing

top rope climbing kiddos

Q : And what gears do I need?

A : Climbing gears are typically on the pricier side when compared to Frisbee, badminton and football. If you intend to be a basic seasonal climber, you’ll need a harness, climbing shoes, chalk bag and belay set. Do your research on which brands and location to purchase your gears, and be prepared to hurt a bit when do decide to buy these. Bear in mind that these equipment are very durable and the money you will invest is for the safety of your life. Otherwise, you can rent your gear from the Camp5 rental counter.

Q: But I have a fear of heights!

A : If you have fear of heights, this is the perfect place for you to conquer them! What’s there to be afraid of? You’ll be climbing with ROPES, the worst you can do it let go of the wall ( provided that your belayer doesn’t let go of the rope) and ‘hang around’.

Climbing is not just cool, it’s AWESOME! It is a well-enjoyed sport by people from different life cycles, toddlers climb, hipsters climb, aunties climb, wise men climb. Secondly, not all things that kids play are safe and fool- proof. Climbing certainly can lead to serious accidents if one does not take the safety precautions seriously. In other words, don’t monkey around. Suffice to say, climbing indoors is relatively safe, but do make sure that you know the proper belaying techniques and knots to tie. Climbing outdoors on the other hand, much more thrilling (from the many stories I’ve heard :P)

Which brings us to our next point! Learn up your safety procedures and techniques! Everyone’s responsible for their own lives. So whatever you do, make sure you’re certain about your belaying techniques. Better still, get certified! Learn from somebody who can teach you properly. Here are some videos for you to enjoy!

Links

Camp5 Indoor Climbing Gym http://www.camp5.com/

Madmonkeyz Indoor Bouldering Gym http://www.madmonkeyz.my/

Other climbing spots: Shah Alam Extreme Park, PutraClimb, Batu Caves

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