Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blessed Trinity (Monday, 18/6/07)

Venue: Camp5
Climbers: Bing, King, Sean, Joey

By this time, some of you must have already watched "Fantastic 4: the rise of the silver surfer". Therefore, be prepared for the "Fantastic 4: the rise of the amateur climbers"! On Monday, Joey came back from London to climb with us!

Ok, I admit that most of you would probably be dead after reading the striked-out sentence, but hey, it was striked out for a reason. But anyhow, after my exam on Monday, Joey and I jumped into the car and picked King up, and we went on our way to Corezone as Joey wanted to get some gear and shoes. Corezone is a pretty cool place (and classy too!), and it sells lots of outdoor equipment like rock climbing, camping, kayaking, and mountaineering equipment. As for rock climbing, they sell brands like Camp, Madrock, Sportiva, Edelweiss, and so forth. They are relatively easy to find, it's opposite the Mobil station in SS2, and you turn in from the famous Sri Siam thai restaurant. The map to the place can be found here.

Joey managed to buy herself a blue dynamic Edelweiss lead climbing rope, and some carabiners and ATC's for her friends back in London. Unfortunately she couldn't find a shoe that fit her, so we then headed down to the Camp5 proshop in 1Utama. There, she purchased herself a nice pair of Evolv shoes and a little sling also.

All that equipment didn't come cheap though. All in all, in left poor Joey around RM1000 short. However, being the great sister she is, she got me a RM2 toy carabiner for my chalk bag!

Rope, sling, shoes, carabiners and ATC's.

By then it was already 2pm, so we had a quick bite of some rotiboy mexican bun, and then straight back up again to climb!

Of course it's been almost a month since any of us last climbed, so we weren't exactly in the 'best' physical condition. Nevertheless, since we were the only ones in Camp5 at that time, we took it slow, and even managed to snap a couple of pictures here and there.

From left: Sean the hardcore Prana fan; Sean and King watching Joey attempt a 6a route; Joey attempting the route.

Joey started off with a simple 5c+ warm up route, which she finished in a jiffy. Later we then tried a tough black in colour 6b+ route which non of us could complete. So we each felt a little better cause all of us couldn't complete it.

Left: Joey warming up with a 5c+ route, King attempting the black 6b+ route.

Of course we had our reasons. King had sprained one of his fingers while doing campus training at home:

King showing his sprained finger.

Bing had his super hero duties to perform, thus having little time to train over the past month:

SuperBing saves the day again!

Some of us just had to look pretty:

My sister... the poser.

While some of us were just plain lazy that day:

An alternative use for fallmats.

But coming back to climbing, we soon found ourselves climbing old routes which we didn't finish the last time, and suprisingly we finished it this time!

Clockwise from top left: King climbing a 6b route (finished); Bing climbing the same route; Bing showing a thumbs up after completing the route; Sean attempting the same route.

Unfortunately on Monday, the trad wall section was closed due to maintenance done earlier in the week. Apparently the trad wall was damaged due to wear and tear, and thus Camp5 has so efficiently repaired the wall, however the new coat of paint over the patched up areas would stain your hands if you touched it (water base paint), so they were still in the process of cleaning it on Monday. It should be done by Friday's climb though!

At 6pm, I had to leave, and Joey went shopping (girls....), so King and Sean continued bouldering for a while longer, and attempted some new overhang routes. They left soon after. All in all, it was not a very exciting climb, but it sure was good to climb after such a long time. Stay tuned for Friday's climb as Joey would be giving us some tips on lead climbing!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Friday's Climb (18/05/07)

Venue: Camp5
Climbers: Bing, King, Sean
Guest: Hooi Tzing

Okay, this post is definately long overdue (almost 4 weeks!), but hey, at least it's finally up! Anyway, onwards to this climbing session! We have another newcomer with us today, presenting... Hooi Tzing! Well apparently, this isn't her first time climbing in Camp5, as the last time she and 3 of her friends got here, they were all new in climbing. So they ended up having to pay for the belaying service in order to climb (no, it's not cheap if you had to ask =P).

Hooi Tzing (unintentional pose)

Well, in this run, Hooi Tzing managed to climb most of the 5A routes and some of the 5B routes we have chosen for her. Doesn't seem too hard for her until we forced her to try the harder ones, haha!

(From L) Hooi Tzing managed to reach the top of the earlier routes; She was struggling a little with one of the harder routes.

As for us, we did have some "little" incidents where we messed up our climbs, such as using the wrong ropes to climb some routes, unintentionally of course! So halfway through the climb, one of us spotted that supossedly obvious mistake, so the climber had to come down, untie ourself, and set up the actual rope to use. The thing is, we not only made the mistake once, but twice on the same day! (the first time was King climbing, Bing belaying and the second time was the other way around) That made us wonder what was wrong with us that day..

Might need to refresh the page to view this animated picture
A little animation which would probably give you people a better idea of what happened. Enjoy =P

(From L) Sean doing the trad wall, he's definately getting better at it; Bing showing Hooi Tzing how to tackle the route.

Camp 5 was really buzzing with loads of people that night. There was a corporate function going on, and we observed Camp5 organize lots of cool team building activities and games for the participants. However, this made it slightly crowded in certain sections, so we just moved elsewhere to climb when the group swarmed over to the castle wall. So, if you're looking for something different for your company employees, why not try one of Camp5's fun workshops and activities?

From left: Zerged; One of the team building activities.

We also had little Brendan (Kim's brother), who a real cheeky kid (just like his sister), and can be quite talkative at times. However, he was definitely fun to have around as we kept asking him embarrassing things about his sister so we could use it against her. Wonder what Kim did to him after he went home....

Cheeky little Brendan with Sean.

For dinner, we had it in "Choy Kee", it's a "tai chow" in Damansara Jaya. Some of us had the "yin-yoong" noodles (no idea what this is in english), others were having the "ngau yoke hor" (cantonese fried beef kuay teow noodles). What's special in this place is the "Tai Pak Choi" (Big white vegetable) dish, where it's cabbage fried together with dried shrimp, garlic, fried onions, with a little salt and pepper. It's a great dish to be had anytime, whether for dinner or even just a simple dish by itself with a drink would be good for a "yamcha" session.

We had dinner together with another friend, Timothy, who was kind enough to fetch Hooi Tzing to 1Utama, and then back home to Sunway again. He even treated us to another round of "Tai Pak Choi"!. He's a cool dude who's involved in the creative arts scene, and is really talented, however, he doesn't rock climb (hopefully that changes soon!).

Well anyway, the food at this place isn't bad at all, it's affordable (around rm5 to rm6 per dish), the portion is a little more than enough to fill us up, and of course it's really tasty. Oh and there are quite a number of KDU students there also, which gives the place a slightly more 'youthful' ambience.

(Clockwise from top left) "Yin Yoong" Noodles; "Ngau Yoke Hor"; Big White Cabbage; Timothy, Bing always happy about food, Hooi Tzing.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Slow updates

We at Vertical Rising would like to apologize for the lack of updates to the site over the past few weeks. It's been rather hectic for all of us here in the web team as Joey is having her finals (law), and King and I are still running our assignment marathon. To make matters worse, Monash University's exam period starts next week, so it's going to be difficult to keep the blog updated for the time being. But anyhow, we do hope all you readers would be patient and continue to visit us frequently! Best of luck to those who are having their examinations!

Monday, May 7, 2007

A quickie of the climbing type!

Venue: Camp5
Climbers: Bing, King, Sean
Featured friends: Japanese dude, Kent

We apologize for the late posting and lack of updates, but Monash University loves to kill their students with this 'thing' called 'assignments'. Initially this 'thing' appears completely harmless, but it is for this very reason that it is able to pounce on its victims at the very last minute, when their prey seem completely relaxed.

But anyhow, we still managed to climb last Friday! However I had to leave early to head over to Qba for some Quban beats! King however continued climbing with Sean.

Nonetheless, it was great! (while i was there of course). At first we canceled our climb because i couldn't make it, as I had plans after. But temptation gave in, and before i knew it i was in camp5 with King!

Sometimes temptations give such abundant pleasure!

Since we didn't have much time as i had to leave at 7:15pm, King and I decided to just do some crazy bouldering today. We warmed up with some basic traversing. It was not long before we were playing 'add-on' with our new Japanese friend. Unfortunately we forgot his name, and we were so busy playing that we forgot to take pictures. But hey, here's a self drawn picture that most accurately illustrates us:

illustration may differ slightly from reality

Anyway, our Japanese friend had to leave early, so King and I went to climb in the bouldering cave. The bouldering cave at camp5 have some awesome routes and trails that you must try out. We hardly boulder in the cave, so we actually made lotsa cool trails. We experimented with some of the overhangs and did some foot positioning training.

Part of the bouldering cave

King and I trying out some of the overhang routes

Of course it wasn't long before Sir Sean appeared. He seemed to have a particular grin on his face that day. It wasn't hard to figure out why - He had just gotten his rock climbing gear from Singapore! Apparently you can get gear there at a cheaper rate. However, Sean's from Johor (just above Singapore), so he just ran across the border to get em.

Sean's harness and shoes. All the gear can be viewed in detail when the 'profile' section is completed.

Sometimes, if you're lucky, you'd be able to catch a nice shot of the sky from camp5.

Beautiful sky. But hey, whatever makes you happy. It's all relative.

Coming back to climbing, we soon met up with Kent. He's another regular at camp5 and is one heck of a climber. He tries his best to come to camp5 at least twice a week to boulder and climb, and he's really experienced. He taught us a few new techniques which is easy to do if you were the rubber man. He also introduced us to a cool route which would help us practice this technique. Basically, you're required to heel hook your hand holds before grabbing the next one.

clockwise from top left: Kent; King showing the starting position; Red route - supposed to bring left foot up to where the left hand is, then left hand reaches for overhang dark red; Kent finishing the trail.

Kent later went on to show us the 'UB40' trail (or at least that what i think i heard), which is the longest bouldering trail there. Unfortunately the last part of the trail was taken down, but there's still a good 3/4 left. It starts from behind the pillar above, at leads all the way to the campus training boards.

Kent almost reaching the end of the route.

That was pretty much our Friday climb last week at camp5 yet again! There's always something new to try and something new to experience each time we go there. Next we'd feature a little something from camp5's campus training section in the bouldering cave.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Climbing in England (2) - 03/05/2007

Climbers: Joey
Venue: The Castle, England
Featured friends: Hannah, Yun, Ming

Nothing strikes you more than the realisation that you are going to pay for your excesses the next day. No, I haven't been out drinking myself silly. It has, however, been 3 weeks since my last climb (due to a shoulder injury) and we didn't exactly take it easy tonight!

Tonight, we were at our usual haunt - The Castle, North London. A converted castle which used to be a water pumping station, the castle has a range of bouldering, top roping and lead climbing routes. Overhangs, 30' walls, traversing walls, exercise/ development area, the Castle is mid-sized but perfectly equipped.

Hannah and Yun checking the length of the rope for kinks
Yun pointing out the route
After warming up with some traversing and 5c top roping, we were off on our way to test out Hannah and Yun's newly-bought, first length of rope.

We decided to take it easy and start ourselves on a 5+ route. Before long, we were ambitiously trying out 6a routes (pretty unnerving when you haven't got a top rope holding you up!). We were, of course, all squabbling over whose turn it was to climb/belay (lead climbing still being a relative novelty to us!) - this might be a sign that we should invest in another length of rope before this one is in tatters from tug-of-war rather than actual climbing!

(Top) Me on a 5c climb - no comments on the size of my toosh please!; (Bottom) Look at the state of our shoes! Donations, anyone?

Anyhow, due to the sheer number of people at the Castle tonight (or maybe just laziness) we only climbed for 3 hours instead of our usual 4 on a Thursday night. Gawd knows what state I'm going to be in tomorrow, let alone on Saturday morning (our other regular climbing day)!

J xx