Sunday, October 02, 2005

Outdoor Rock Climbing

At this moment, I am typing using 2 fingers and both my hands are in pain when using force. Yep! That's the result of outdoor rock climbing for beginner. Both my hands are totally forceless when opening the door, holding the chopstick and zipping up my pants. I can't even grasp a firm grip. I am sure muscle pain will kick in by tomorrow, and I am already having a headache (strenuous exercise plus lack of sleep). This is the result, but there is much more fun before the side effect kicks in.

Wira Damai at Batu Caves

Close Up View of the Lime Stone Hill

Charlie's Angel Imitation

Today Michelle organise a rock climbing trip with Ah Long from Mountain Goal Malaysia at Batu Caves. We are supposed to gather at the BP petrol station and head for breakfast. I woke at 7.30 A.M (Mei Ru didn't gave me a morning call); left the house at 7.45 A.M and reach Batu Caves at 8.30 A.M (I was late). The Journey from Bukit Jalil to Batu Caves using Middle Ring Road took longer than I expected, though it is highway all the way with smooth traffic (Batu Caves is really far far away from Puchong). Today we have me, Tang, Mei Ru, Chee Hong, Michelle, Chim and Kenny. Lim joined us only for the breakfast session. Ah Long the guide leads us through some small road across a small kampung to the back of the Batu Caves' lime stone hill. The climbing spot looks nice, with straight lime stone wall of more than 15 storeys high perhaps, and with shady tress below it. The guides (there are 2 of them, but I forgot the other one's name) start to show us the basics, such as figure 8 knot, safety harness and nothing about climbing techniques. Kenny and I are the first to go, where I took the longer route. At first, everything seems quite doable, until my arm ran out of strength. Perhaps I depend too much on my arm rather than my feet, and I don't have extra strong arm to carry the weight of 70 KG. I was perhaps 1.5 metres away from the destination, but I just ran out of strength to make the last swing up (you need to put on a firm foothold, use your arm to pull yourself up a bit and apply further upward force with your feet right after that). Perhaps I am not very creative in finding ways to climb up either. I came down with both hand feeling totally stength-less, and many minor bruises.

Preparing to Go Up

Already Up

And Up Again

Up Again?

And Down with Tired Arms

Chim seems to be able to make it up pretty easy, probably due to his strong arm (he is muscle man, go to gym 3 times a week for body building, and not to mentioned his constant protein intake). Chee Hong makes it to the top as well. Michelle is a bit cautious and makes it as well. Tang and Mei Ru seem to be able to climb with much ease. I gave it a 2nd try with the shorter route, but couldn't make it either due to the weaken arm (I used up too much strength on the 1st climb). Somehow, I manage to make it on the 3rd try, probably after various tips from the guide and some "help" perhaps. I also wonder how did that happened, but, VICTORY! I think most of us have quite a lot of fun, with Tang, Mei Ru and Chim making the most climbs and enjoyed themselves very much. Chim seems wanted to have some serious follow up with rock climbing. At the end, we learned belaying as well. We took many photos and videos as well, will post it up as soon as I get my hands on them.

Muscle Man Chim

Monkey Tang

Fantastic Mei Ru

Rock climbing is fun, but the strength of the arm plays an important role for the climb. Of course, techniques and balance is important as well, but arm strength is the main obstacle for me. Probably need to put more effort to train up the arm before I can fully enjoy the next climb, but there is so much to do with so little time. We went for lunch together after that, while Chim went back for movie (The Myth) with wife/girlfriend. I have some difficultly handling the car on the way home with stength-less hand, but it is a safe journey home. I have problem pulling the gas knob when I stop for petrol and almost gave up on it. Reach home and have a bath, finding my bruises on the arm (Tang had blue black on her knees) and fall asleep right after that.

1 comment:

christine said...

hahaha, this is so funny to know that your hands are forceless. You article reminded to to think about my experienced of rock climbing too. The 1st course for me to participate a course in rock climbing is the Summer of 1998. The experience was very cool, this is a leavel 1 course. Too bad that the coach could not arrange the last session of the course for us ( there were some reasons that the last session needed to be postponed, but after the summer, I did not have time to attend the last session), thus, I couldn't
get the certificate.