I was excited all Friday over my long-awaited outdoor climbing trip organized by Derek (Rockerfellas). I only had one other outdoor climbing experience at Dairy Farm in Singapore, and it was so different from indoor climbing (the feeling of rock au naturale, having to molest the entire wall to find a good hold, getting all sandy/muddy and not giving a damn about it).
So needless to say, I was in high spirits when I picked up my heavy bags filled with gear and made my way to the Woodlands checkpoint. There were 2 express lanes for Singaporeans (21 and 22), which were hidden by the huge crowd. Going through them took all of 10 minutes, while the other lanes looked like they would take at least half an hour more!
The meeting point was the staircase after passing the Singapore immigration, where our 2 catered buses were waiting for us. The buses left for our hotel at about 7.45pm after all of us met up.
We stopped for a dinner/snack break midway through the trip, then continued on our way and reached Hotel 99 at about 1am. Quickly went to sleep because we had to meet at 7am the next day for breakfast! (Thus began the sleep deprivation)
Breakfast was porridge/chee chong fun at Chinatown, coupled with buying snacks/water/lunch to prep for the climb. At 8.30am, we loaded our sleepy bodies and climbing gear onto the buses and made our way to Damai wall.
The bus dropped us off right next to the wall so it was super convenient. There was also a vending machine and toilet facilities next to the wall.
We took a group shot early on when we were all still clean and fresh.
And what better way to wake us up than having a lucky draw! There were a total of six lucky draw items, including a chalk bag (sponsored by Chalk’em up), a climb backpack, ABD and carabiner set, and a 70m dynamic rope, all sponsored by Outdoorkaki. Lucky lucky me managed to win the ABD+carabiner set, which actually came in really handy during the climb as I needed extra carabiners. *Be sure to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, cap/sunglasses and extra carabiners*
Beginning the climbing activities for real now, TJ from Outdoorkakis ran through an optional refresher on top-out technique for the lead-climbers, while those more confident started climbing and setting up topropes. There were ropes and quickdraws provided, so we did not all have to bring our own gear.
After doing a few warmups, we went on to one of the most interesting climbs! See the ledge the red arrows are pointing at?Two routes (both easy 5C’s) go up to that ledge, which fits about 5 people. One person would lead up first, then set up a redirect and belay the next person from the top. The second person would clip into the anchor with their PAS, untie the rope, and throw it down for the third person to climb up. It is a great view from up there! Though I felt a little insecure sitting so high up.
It’s a pretty nice place to chill too, with the cave offering some shade. It was a good thing since I ended up slacking in there for more than an hour while several others took turns climbing up. Kudos to Derek for hanging out there and belaying so many of us.After the excitement of crawling out from the safety of the cave to be lowered down, it felt good to have my two feet on solid ground again.
The next interesting activity of the day was climbing in the cave (the huge black hole here).
All of us were sitting around for a brave soul to lead up this route so we could toprope it.. and here he is! A very useful BF 🙂
This route makes for great photo ops! Plus it was really fun too, being the hardest route I tried. Fortunately, we were in the cave when it started pouring outside so we could continue climbing and stay dry.
After a long day of climbing, I think it’s safe to say that we were all famished. We went for dinner at 5.30pm, a hearty 10-course meal including seafood, tofu, chicken and vegetables. Hungry me only remembered to take a photo halfway through (coincidentally after I was no longer starving).
Then it was back to the hotel for a much needed shower (and some packing up) before a free and easy night.
No longer marked with stripes of chalk and dirt (though some still stubbornly lingered under my fingernails), we ventured to the night market. Rows and rows of yummy food but I was too full from dinner to consider eating anything.
But I was definitely down for a full body massage (RM65/hr). This place is Derek’s go-to place and the massage was great. Felt so good on the tired muscles, especially on the back. This is what life should be like – Climb, eat, massage. And sleep. I almost fell asleep during the massage.
On the way back, I was feeling like I could eat again so we got some fruits, peanuts, and fried durian which we had never tried before! It was pretty good with the warm durian oozing out (but the batter was a tad thick).
The next morning, we met at the lobby at 8am to check out. On the way to 1Utama shopping center, we got breakfast at a Nasi Lemak place (about RM 10-15 pp).
We checked in at Camp5 (RM36/day pass) at about 10.30am, and it was such an interesting place to climb! I’ve only ever climbed in Singapore indoor gyms, and this place was so huge.
There’s this crazy difficult lead wall..
I tried out this trad wall where I had to stuff half my body into the crack..
Did some bouldering..
Failed badly at slacklining..And called it a day.
Because I wanted to explore 1Utama too!
Ended up buying a whole lot of bread from Lavender Bistro. We bought only a few in the first round, ate some on the spot, then promptly turned around to get more for the next day’s breakfast.
Also visited the arcade next to Camp5. The blurry photo was from our combined effort on the Normal mode of the Dance game because we fail at it individually. Running late so I had to snap a quick shot and rush off to an early 4pm dinner at the Camp5 cafe.
Totally regretted the egg tart, bread roll, 1/2 pretzel and Koi bubble tea I had consumed not 2 hours ago; the portions were pretty large.
The two dinners, and the famous Camp5 cafe cold pressed juice, were included in the price of the trip (SGD 220). After dinner, the buses brought us back to Marsiling. The trips are held once a month from Friday to Sunday night, and I’d probably join again!
All in all, it was a good trip with good company, new experiences, and yummy food~
Do remember to check out my Instagram for more climbing/travel shots!