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Singing Rock, Penta

I have owned several helmets in my short 10 years of climbing career and I remember when I started off climbing in the gym or the outdoors, I would tease people who used helmet while climbing in a sports climbing area. With the young and ignorant mind thinking that its uncool, reduced performance and there is not going to be rock fall mentality, I was lid less for the first few years of my climbing career.

Spotted without a helmet in South Africa in 2009 climbing a unknown route with my friends from Bloemfountain

Spotted without a helmet in South Africa in 2009 climbing a unknown route with my friends from Bloemfountain

However, ever since I started trad climbing and teaching trad skills in various countries, I have had rocks and various equipments coming down at me when I’m at belay duties or as a climber. I have since decided that helmet is mandatory in many if not all climbing situation. After all, a climbing helmet like my new Singing Rock, Penta, weighs like 205gm and thats hardly any weight for the muscle bugling, badass swearing, bra tearing macho rock climbers.

Spotted with the Tracer helmet on Supercrack, Dairy Farm, Singapore.

Spotted with the Tracer helmet on Supercrack, Dairy Farm, Singapore.

Well, the Penta is a evolution of the old Singing Rock helmets Terra II, which the latter a has a higher profile, plastic quick adjustments at the back and of course not so much colour choice (which could be the number one deciding factor when buying a helmet for many).

Terra II

Terra II

 

The interior, note the plastics and the amount of cushion.

The interior, note the plastics and the amount of cushion.

I did not hop on the Terra II for sometime because I did not really like the fit as it created hot spots on my forehead. So I was pretty much stuck on my Black Diamond Tracer helmet, which was with me for the last 5 years. The Tracer is almost good except for the fit and that is the most important thing for me.  The Tracer has hot spots at the top of the head for me and it slides forward and backward even when I have my chin straps and rear dial to the max and almost choking myself. Since I got the Tracer for free and is not willing to fork out money for other helmets, I lived and got used to the helmet.

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Campers’ Corner called me this week and told me the Penta arrived at their store and I was really excited to wear it and feel how the helmet stands up. When you first picked up the helmet, you can feel the lightweight foam without excessive plastic parts on it and it has a great CG with weight evenly distributed around the helmet. The adjustable straps at the back of the helmet eliminated the traditional plastic dials which I thought was a great idea. The plastic dials either breaks or it becomes sticky rubber/plastic mix after being in our tropical climate for sometime. These adjustable straps on the Penta, feels soft and skinny almost ‘g string’ kinda feel. It is also not hard to adjust the straps when you have your helmet on.

The straps the profile and the interior. All clean and minimum plastics

The straps the profile and the interior. All clean and minimum plastics

The Penta also spots 11 vents to make sure the head breathes well under our hot and humid weather in this tropical island. The headlamp retainers are also flush to shell of the helmet so it doesn’t snags with items in the bag pack or tree branches while maintaining its full function of retaining the headlamps to the helmet.

no rolling!

no rolling!

Generally when climbing with it, I feel the Penta doesn’t roll around my head like the old Tracer does and it has a pretty low profile, which will be great for climbing roofs like Psycho Killer, Cathouse, Long Dong.

4 attractive colours to choose from and 1 size of 51cm – 60cm girth. This is my choice for the next season in Yosemite! IMG_5176

Limited stock now in Campers’ Corner for SGD$140 only.

Kick start into 2015!

2014 was an awesome year. I want to thank everyone who have made it such a great year! Especially those who have came for our courses and guided trips in China, Thailand, Taiwan and US. It was great to share climbing knowledge and instructions with you. Moving into 2015 we have many new developments coming up!

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First a quick sneak peak into our 2015 climb calendar.

March – May —-> Taiwan Rock Trip

Taiwan 2015 spring

June – August —> Yosemite Rock Trip

Yosemite 2015 poster

September – Nov —> Taiwan Autumn Rock Trip

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Dec — SNCS Sports Level 1, 2 and 3 in Krabi (tentative)

The holes are what?!

The holes are what?!

Taiwan Trips updates

We have a new ride in Taiwan meaning we can take more people in each course per trip! Our new 小白 takes up to 6 passenger making our meal runs much more pleasant! Accommodation – we are no longer using the Long Dong homestay for the comfort of our participant’s comfort. Instead we have a new climber’s hostel operated by Qxadventures for climbers right next to the village of Long Dong, which is 2km from school gate. The hostel will be undergoing renovation works and projected to be ready in mid March. Stay tune for more updates!

小白!

小白! The airport pick up rig!

Hopefully we can transform this beast into a beauty!

Hopefully we can transform this beast into a beauty!

Yosemite Rock Trip

This year is an exciting year to Yosemite for us as we are having the first participant who wants to climb Half Dome via the North West regular route! We are also happy that Yosemite Rock trip is running for the 3rd year in a row. I hope more and more climbers are interested in big climbs like these be it big wall climbing or long multi pitch.

Looking down from the belay

Looking down from the belay

 

This year, I have my eyes set on climbing Rostrum, a feature which I’ve always drove pass but never touched just because a friend told me that given our climbing standards I will never be able to climb it. It will also be good to knock off another El Cap route and hopefully free climb most of it. While all these are in place our camp chief, Miss Kelly Khiew, is busy learning how to dish out more delicious asian cruisine at the campsite! Looking forward for a larger ice box!

The Rostrum is the tower in the shadow on the right.

The Rostrum is the tower in the shadow on the right.

Krabi Rock Trip 2014

Tonsai, Krabi has always been an interesting place for me. I’ve been to Krabi perhaps more than 15 times and still feel excited when I touch down in this place I call paradise.

Tons Beach 2014

Tons Beach 2014

In fact, this place bears a lot of memories for me, it was my first outdoor climbing experience back in 2005 with Derek Yuen and Rachel Hoon. On the same trip I met my wife Kelly and took this group photo even though we never talked to each other after years later. To make things better, I got back to Singapore after a 4 days climbing trip to Krabi and immediately decided to head back. Instead of planning for another holiday, I changed my riding trip destination to Krabi and had my riding buddy stay in Tonsai with me. All these within 5 hours of arriving in Singapore. Tonsai left me a deep impression of climbing sends, drunk birthday parties, Spanish chickas and also valuable time off from my time in the army.

The oldies photo with Derek on my right and Rachel on my left. Its ok if you can't recognise the rest of them. They either lost their hair, grown older or disappeared.

The oldies photo with Derek on my right and Rachel on my left. Its ok if you can’t recognise the rest of them. They either lost their hair, grown older or disappeared.

5 hours after arriving in Singapore I decided to go back to Krabi again. This time with my pack packed full of gears!

5 hours after arriving in Singapore I decided to go back to Krabi again. This time with my bike packed full of gears! Still riding my AT 750

The last time we were there was during Slackfest 2013 and it was minimum climbing and all about slacklining trip. This time however, was the complete opposite and pretty close to every other Krabi trip I had in the past, except for we are running SNCS Sports Level 3 which is a new syllabus on multi pitch climbing by Singapore Mountaineering Federation. It’s not a new thing for me =D and I have conducted a fair bit of multi pitch training outdoors. Having 2 super keen participants this trip made things even better. On top of that we have Joao who attended my first few trad courses in Long Dong coming for guided climbing during the same time.

Long tail boat ride into Tonsai. If there is a storm, you are getting wet for sure!

Long tail boat ride into Tonsai. If there is a storm, you are getting wet for sure!

So it all worked out well. Kelly and I arrived in Tonsai a few days early and warmed ourselves up on some climbs before the group comes. A few burns on projects like K1 and Gillesnolimit on the first few days but no sends. Kelly is trying to get her first F7c and I’m just trying to climb as many F7c during my off days as possible.

Kelly on Gillesnolimit a year ago.

Kelly on Gillesnolimit a year ago.

The group arrived, together with a depression coming from the north that brought a lot of rain to Tonsai. Joao and Bee Kuen arriving from Krabi Airport had a wild time on the long tail boat journey travelling from Ao nang to Tonsai beach, while Zhu Yan and I were drenched on Thaiwand wall. The following day, the crew went out to do single pitch climbing at The nest, warming up on some steep easy climbs. The steep walls in Tonsai keeps rain out making many spots great places to hide out during rainy afternoons.

Photo by Ian.  Me on Voodoo Doll F7c+, Steep walls like this keeps some of the crags dry and climbable in the rain.

Photo by Ian. Me on Voodoo Doll F7c+ years ago, Steep walls like this keeps some of the crags dry and climbable in the rain.

On the second day, Bee Kuen and Zhu Yan head off to Monkey world with me to work on the skills required for multi pitch climbing. Some route finding, top belays, building of anchors and more. Within the first few hours, they found themselves lead climbing their first multi pitch, Curious George, F6b. The duo swap leads and they quickly found themselves getting pretty pumped from a simple short multi pitch.

Swapping leads on Monkey world

Swapping leads on Monkey world

Gunning off for the first multi pitch!

Gunning off for the first multi pitch!

On Curious George first pitch

On Curious George first pitch

Zhu Yan on Curious George second pitch

Zhu Yan on Curious George second pitch

Putting in some work for the end of day work out climb

Putting in some work for the end of day work out climb

Pumping the steep 6b section

Pumping the steep 6b section

Bee Kuen throws a heel!

Bee Kuen throws a heel!

The following day we decided to take on something bigger with a little bit more climbing. A mega classic of Tonsai is on the East pillar of Monkey world, The beauty and the beast. This time we roped up in a party of 3 to ensure that both of participants have equal practise on top belaying.

Watchful belayer

Watchful belayer

Climbing on Monkey world

Climbing on Monkey world

The team did well and climbed to the top of The beauty and the beast, without much problems. It was a great climb and we worked on different descend options to end the day off.

Descend with backups and smiles!

Descend with backups and smiles!

All good after hard day of work out!

All good after hard day of work out!

After 3 days of climbing, everyone was feeling a little tired and opted out of the 5 pitch classic I have installed for them. So instead we work on some anchor building and rescue techniques with a little climbing thrown in.

Our little friends around here

Our little friends around here

While the course has ended, Zhu Yan has arranged for an extra day at the end of the trip and so I climbed the famous multi pitch in Tonsai, Humanality. A long 5 pitch climb, with a brilliant crux pitch in the middle. Its one of those climbs that I still sweat in my palms when I think of it. Its never too hard at any point but the exposure and the never ending climbing keeps every climber on their toes. Zhu yan gets the second F6a+ pitch and he was pretty overwhelm by the exposure.

Zhu Yan heads out of the cave on exposed ground

Zhu Yan heads out of the cave on exposed ground

3rd pitch with great views

3rd pitch with great views

The holes are what?!

The holds are what?!

Ah! Climb in between! Pitch 4, crux pitch

Ah! Climb in between! Pitch 4, crux pitch

Rest after the crux!

Rest after the crux!

Top of the climb!

Top of the climb!

While the multi pitch crew’s program came to an end, Joao is busy sweating his way through the limestone jungle. Coming from Sweden, the heat and humidity is too much for him. Of course we had to introduce him to some pineapple fried rice and Thai massage since its his first time to Thailand. However he also climb loads with Kelly everyday and it seems like it was a great trip for everyone!

Joao on Thaiwand Wall, Circus Oz first pitch.

Joao on Thaiwand Wall, Circus Oz first pitch.

At the end of the trip, with some off days left, Kelly went on to send K1 on full lead and I sent both K1 and Gillesnolimit and whole bunch of other stuff. It was a great trip and I felt really happy to show our participants the way of climbers in Tonsai. I hope they enjoyed the trip and hopefully see more of you you out here for SNCS Sports level 3!

My Mimi this trip! We already miss her!

My Mimi this trip! We already miss her!

Incredible Hulk – Sunspot Dihedral

The world is small, it is even smaller when it comes to the world of climbers. In 2010, Matt Robertson, author of Long Dong Climbing Guide, put together a team of 21 climbers from all over the world including some big names like, Mayan Gobat Smith, Hazel Finlay and Tim Emmett. Somehow the average Joe, climber wana-be, me managed to get into that climb as well.

During this climb of course we forged good ties, made new friends and climbed a pretty tall building. It was during this time I met Mike Knarzer from Phoenix. Of course Mike is a great climber known to climb desert cracks and towers. All this did not make any sense to me until last week when Mike and I shared a rope on the Incredible Hulk in the high Sierra.

Mike in blue shirt in 2010 climbing tower 2 of Marina Bay Sands and me in red shirt to his left

Mike in blue shirt in 2010 climbing tower 2 of Marina Bay Sands and me in red shirt to his left

The first time I heard about the Incredible Hulk was when I watch the video, Orgins, featuring Lisa Rands and Peter Croft climbing the route Venturi Effect. The video will seem a little boring to those who have no interest in alpine trad climbing or is expecting to see Lisa Rands crank another boulder problem. But the more interesting thing about the video features the amazing legend Peter Croft. This guy is a bad ass, in case our Singapore readers out there doesn’t know. He is the Alex Honnold of the 90s and has some amazing feature under his belt, first one day link up of Salathe Wall and the Nose in 1992, free soloed the Astroman and the FA of Airstream, 5.13 on the Hulk.


The only thing I can imagine myself doing, is to climb 5.9/5.10s at 11000ft. To climb a 5.13 trad route at that kind of height is a serious undertaking and not the same as climbing the 5.13 in Tonsai beach where you can have 2 Khao pai pak (veg fried rice) in between burns!

The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk

I met up with Matt and Mike at Black Sheep cafe in Bishop when Kelly and I were passing through to get to LA after the whole month of guiding in Yosemite Valley. We had a great season, having 2 big wall summit and also guided another 2 clients on big wall summits and now its time for Kelly to go home and I will be without a climbing partner for 1 week. However when Mike talked about the Hulk, it struck me that this climb has always been at the back of my mind. The long approach, the altitude and the beauty of the wall is what draws me to wanting to try to climb something similar. Something more alpine like with big long routes.

Pretty high up in the Sierra with view of Outgarde Post on the opposite side of the valley.

Pretty high up in the Sierra with view of Outgarde Post on the opposite side of the valley.

Mike and I finally settle for plans after a few days of cragging in Bishop with the Singaporeans. We decided the 5mile approach is going to be our rest day and blast up Sunspot Dihedral on the following day, rap the route on the same day and descent. Sounds doable, after all its ‘only’ 11b and 8 pitch of climbing. Seriously, I have my doubts as I have never climbed so hard so high before and I know the approach is steep. That means the calves will blow out early on those crazy stemming and endless finger cracks.

The final approach before getting to bivy site. Hulk hiding behind the approach.

The final approach before getting to bivy site. Hulk hiding behind the approach.

There was no time to waste, we cooked a big asian dinner at Matt’s place and started to pack for the 1 night stay up in the high Sierra. The following day’s drive from Bishop to Bridgeport is about 2 hours and that includes getting to the ranger station to get our Wilderness permit. And we park in the village at the trail head which requires a USD 10 parking fee that last for 7days.

Parking at the village

Parking at the village

Packed our bags and have Mike’s little Miss Pather come along with us! The first 2.5 miles of the hike is on hiker’s trail which is easy to follow and pretty flat. We made good time to the fork of the trail before taking a break at the river.

Miss Pather!

Miss Pather!

The trail head

The trail head

Pretty good view!

Pretty good view!

From the river its another 2.5mile climber’s trail and steep rocky terrain. As we started gaining altitude, the body begs  for more air and the legs become sluggish. We took about another 2 hours for the last 2.5miles.

Crossing the river to the climbers trail

Crossing the river to the climbers trail

At this point of time, the objective is right in front of you and the size of the rock is just amazing. With many routes going up the wall, we chose something which is in between, not super easy like the Red Dihedral, 10b or something crazy hard like the Venturi Effect, 12+. The Sunspot Dihedral is a long sustain climb with 3 pitches of 5.11 back to back and the crux pitch is a 11b face climb protected by bolts.

Getting water before the heading to our bivy site

Getting water before the heading to our bivy site

The bivy cave!

The bivy cave!

The following day we bolted off at 0830hrs after a double breakfast and some coffee. 15 mins hike gets us to the base of the climb from our rock cave. I took the 1st pitch 10a warmup and accidentally climbed the 10c tips that Mike has been wanting to do! Sorry Mike! Its a great climb and one could actually link it up to the 2nd rap anchors from the ground with a 70m rope!

View from inside the cave.. 1st class!

View from inside the cave.. 1st class!

The 10c tips section I stole from Mike

The 10c tips section I stole from Mike

Funky stemming already low down on the route

Funky stemming already low down on the route

Pitch 2 was a breeze after the 10c crux is out of the way. I got pitch 3 which was pumpy underclings and roof that requires you to traverse out to the left. However the crux is actually high up on the pitch with a insecure shallow crack with huge run outs!

The runout before the bolt. Can you see the last gear?

The runout before the bolt. Can you see the last gear?

Mike down low after the underclings section

Mike down low after the underclings section

Entering the spooky section as described in Supertopo

Entering the spooky section as described in Supertopo

And a looooong reach out!

And a looooong reach out!

Mike got pitch 4 which is the tiny tips crack and super long and sustain! None of the crux on the pitch is hard but the route just keeps going and going for another 50+m ! Pitch 5 is a short bouldery crux with only 5-8m of hard climbing which pass a steep face and enters the Sunspot which is easy climbing all the way to the anchor. And if one as why is this called the Sunspot Dihedral, its not hard to spot the climb which has a big red patch of orange rock in the middle of the route!

Shadow of the wall! It doesn't get sun till late!

Shadow of the wall! It doesn’t get sun till late!

The cruiser sections after the crux of the route.

The cruiser sections after the crux of the route and to the right is the sun spot

Can you see the sunspot?

Can you see the sunspot?

Pitch 6 is a easy 11a and it all goes easy after that. Instead of climbing the summit we traverse right to the last steep headwall pitch of Positive Vibrations to climb another 5.10+ 70m pitch to get the the first rap anchors. At this point we are just a few meters short of the summit of the Hulk. Since we have a long day ahead and sunlight is quickly fading away, a few quick photos and off we go rapping the rite with a single 70m rope.

The mandatory selfie

The mandatory selfie

Just short of the fake summit

Just short of the fake summit

Summit shots!

Summit shots!

At the rap anchor!

At the rap anchor!

Going down!

Going down!

Windy and high Sierra clouds!

Windy and high Sierra clouds!

My first time wearing the Arc'teryx Atom Hoody to climb! Its too cold to wear other combos!

My first time wearing the Arc’teryx Atom Hoody to climb! Its too cold to wear other combos!

The day ended with a great dinner at Denny’s in Bishop at 1130pm and a 6 hour drive to LA at 4am for my scheduled car appointment.

Overall the climbing feels not too hard since there is not hard distinct crux but its long and keeps going and going. I’m happy to onsight the crux pitch and climb the whole route in good style with Mike. I will be back next season to climb another route on this wall and for now its the end of the climbing trip for me, just waiting for the flight out of LA tonight!

The route we took

The route we took

Taiwan Rock Trip 2014 is full for this October but we have Krabi Rock Trip in Nov and if you are keen to learn how to multi pitch get in contact with me! I will be running SNCS Rock Level 3 courses and guiding in Krabi in Nov!

Climb some classics on the Thaiwand Wall during your SNCS Level 3!

Climb some classics on the Thaiwand Wall during your SNCS Level 3!

Mega Classic climb of Tonsai that you should not leave without! Humanality 6b

Mega Classic climb of Tonsai that you should not leave without! Humanality 6b

Salathe Wall, July 2014

The route demarcated by the red line. (photo from Supertopo.com)

The route demarcated by the red line. (photo from Supertopo.com)

35 pitches and 3500ft of climbing, it is the longest thing Kelly and  I have climbed. Previously having done The Nose on El Capitan too, we knew that Salathe Wall would be a level up from climbing The Nose, since there is more wide climbing/offwidth in the route and many spicy chimney pitches including the Half Dollar pitch and the Ear.

Starting off the first pitch of Salathe wall (the first 10 pitch is commonly done as a multi pitch route also known as the Free Blast)

Starting off the first pitch of Salathe wall (the first 10 pitch is commonly done as a multi pitch route also known as the Free Blast)

After just 4 days getting off Mount Watkins, my mind was set on Salathe Wall, knowing that this is the most probable block of climbing days we have left before our clients are here for the Yosemite Rock Trip 2014. So we throw Ribbon Fall Wall’s plan out and focus on the preparation for Salathe.

Easy but run out chimney after the Hollow Flake (https://dreaminvertical.wordpress.com/tag/el-capitan/)

Easy but run out chimney after the Hollow Flake (https://dreaminvertical.wordpress.com/tag/el-capitan/)

The main crux for me on this route is the Hollow Flake pitch, a quick search online will show you endless horror stories of people bailing or freezing half way up this pitch. That definitely sounds like a show stopper for me and I did not want to get up to that pitch only to realise I cannot climbing this 5.9 runout off width flake.

Over view of the Hollow Flake (picture from http://mayangobat.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/salathe-wall/ )

Over view of the Hollow Flake (picture from http://mayangobat.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/salathe-wall/ )

We started training on off width climbing since we arrived in Yosemite and that includes, Moby Dick, Captain Ahab, La Cosita left(5.9 variation), Sacherer Cracker, Copper Penny and more. Trying to climb 5.9 and above off width which is inline with my army teachings, train hard fight easy. To be frank, after all those wide and off width climbing I have been working on, it all seems more natural to climb with one side of the body in the crack and the knees, elbows quickly become very accustomed to be the weapon of choice.

Me onsighting  Sacherer Cracker (Photo by Sam Cheng)

Me onsighting Sacherer Cracker (Photo by Sam Cheng)

Gunning for the onsight of Moby Dick

Gunning for the onsight of Moby Dick

Kelly muscling some funky off width and squeeze variation on La Cosita left at the base of El Cap

Kelly muscling some funky off width and squeeze variation on La Cosita left at the base of El Cap

Big run out off width on Five and Dime

Big run out off width on Copper Penny @ Five and Dime

However, bringing a set of really good off width skills is one thing however being up there with 100oft of air below you, knowing that a fall onto that pendulum can possibly land you the fast way to hospital. Kelly and I decided that I should spend the money and get a big ass cam.

The big ass Friends #6 from Wild Country

The big ass Friends #6 from Wild Country

So we got on Freeblast on Monday and as usual we had a late start at about 9.30 knowing that its 1o pitches of hard climbing (at least hardest we have attempt to free) there was no time to waste. Flake the rope, got the tag line out, rack up and off we go on the first pitch of Freeblast which is 5.10c fingers. I would say finger crack would be more of mine and Kelly’s thing as compared to say wide cracks or chimney. The climbing on Freeblast went pretty well and I would onsight the 5.10 and below pitches (except Half Dollar pitch) and pull on gears on the 5.11 pitches. It was great to climb with a small rack without hauling and move quickly through the 10 pitches of superb climbing. The only pitch which we really had problems was the Half Dollar pitch which was a chimney with good hand jams but very slick on both side of the rocks. I think I was facing the wrong direction when I went into the chimney and that’s why I fell.

On the third pitch of Freeblast and muscling the 11b section which I couldn't free

On the third pitch of Freeblast and muscling the 11b section which I couldn’t free

The exit from the roof and getting into the chimney could be the hardest move which I fell off in this photo

The exit from the roof and getting into the chimney could be the hardest move which I fell off in this photo

Beauty crack system before getting to the Half Dollar pitch

Beauty crack system before getting to the Half Dollar pitch

In total we spend about 10 hours getting to Mammoth Terrace and back drop to the ground via the 6 raps on fixed ropes. Not the fastest but enough for our standard. =) The body however was feeling it and we decided to drive to Wilson Eastside in Bishop to get my big ass cam the following day. The big ass cam isn’t really that big after all, if you put the Wild Country size 6 claiming to be 7.6in side by side with BD’s size 6, you will be surprise they look the same size! However the shape of the cam for the WC size 6 gave it a larger camming range at the end which allows it to be used when its almost tipped out. Paid for this expensive cam and drove back to Yosemite the same day to get ready for the long week on the wall!

Finishing up the last 2 pitch of Freeblast with easy climbing

Finishing up the last 2 pitch of Freeblast with easy climbing

On Mammoth Terraces at the end of the day!

On Mammoth Terraces at the end of the day!

Kelly is tired and Qx is hungry!!!

Kelly is tired and Qx is hungry!!!

What is this expression?! haha

What is this expression?! haha

Sibei shag face

Sibei shag face

Driving on Tioga pass to East side for that WC #6 friends

Driving on Tioga pass to East side for that WC #6 friends

Day 3, we woke up early, cooked a lot of food, ate a lot, drank a lot and started to packed our haul bags. drove to Fern spring to fill up close to 35 litres of water for the haul bag and started off with hiking! Here’s our packing list,

– 35 litres of water

– 2 haul bags

– 9.8mm 55m climbing rope

– 9mm KM III static haul line from New England

– Camalot C4 double rack to 4, with 1 #5, 2 #6  ( 1 from WC)

– 2 offset TCUs + 1 offset masters, 1 set of C3 to #00, 1 set of nuts and 1 set of micro nuts.

– Cam hooks, 1 of each size

– Arc’teryx Atom hoody X 2

– Campers’ Corner light down sleeping bags

Preparing to hike loads up the wall

Preparing to hike loads up the wall

I have to say getting the pigs up to the fixed lines of Heart’s Ledge is not that bad since we hike 2 manageable loads. However the hauling is mad, there will be always a small little roof to get the bag stuck on or the rope will be running over a ledge that made the hauling impossible. Kelly and I spend a lot of effort and time to get the bags to the Heart’s Ledge before taking a rest. It was close to 4 hours of effort to jug the 5 fix lines and bring the pigs up.

Starting the jug!

Starting the jug!

Sat around waited for the sun to set and I set off for the pitch to Lung’s Ledge. P12 is a weird line, moving off with some face climbing to gain a crack then up to a roof and traverse to the left before traversing back to the right. I had too many gears down low and the rope drag was just incredible. There was a time I could hardly move and I had to down lead back to the last gear and remove it. Close to 1.5 hours to get the bags up to Lung’s Ledge where we spend our first night.

Kelly after a night's bivy on Lung's ledge

Kelly after a night’s bivy on Lung’s ledge

Lung’s ledge is a great ledge, as there is loads of space and you can choose to sleep on a sloping ledge, rocky bed or right at the edge. I chose right at the edge since its the flattest.

Looking at the monster off width on the left and the 5.10d and the Ear pitch to the right

Looking at the monster off width on the left and the 5.10d and the Ear pitch to the right

Kelly following on the easier 5.10 pitches after those scary wide climbing

Kelly following on the easier 5.10 pitches after those scary wide climbing

My turn to 自拍

My turn to 自拍

Day 4, is a early start, we have a whole bunch of climbing up to El Cap Spire consisting of 8 pitches of climbing with 3 pitches of wide climbing. First off the class 4 pitch was Hollow Flake, the fixed ropes from the belay to the flake meant that we will end up directly at the 5.9 crux of the flake. The crux was short and the WC size 7 works superb in there. I work my way above the crux bring the WC with me to a point where there would be little rope drag and I started to climb above the gear where the crack starts to widen. Taking my time and being very care (my belayer cannot see what I’m doing) I placed another Big Bro #4 about 20 feet above the WC #6 and started to climb the Hollow flake facing towards the Valley. To look at El Cap Meadow and climb this flake at the same time actually made me feel very calm, there wasn’t actually a lot to do except to jam the thighs in and keep pushing the body upwards. I also have a A0 wooden block attached to my BD #6 for the last part of the flake in case I needed to take a break.

My A0 ammo on the Hollow Flake

My A0 ammo on the Hollow Flake

When my wife gets bored belaying me, she takes pictures instead

When my wife gets bored belaying me, she takes pictures instead

Bio hazard!

Bio hazard!

Thank you for the warm sleep!

Thank you for the warm sleep!

The pitch after Hollow Flake is worth mentioning, graded at 5.7 there is little gears that you can use on this chimney as its kinda big. First good gear is about 45ft off the belay and its a mental game to keep it together and not fall, as falling would means falling onto the ledge below. 3 more easy pitches (we took the optional belays) and that get us to the Ear pitch. A Bombay chimney that becomes smaller and smaller upwards, I took off my helmet and hang it off my daisy just 15ft into the chimney and started to squeeze and leap frog the 2 #6 outwards. This is indeed a spicy pitch! I back cleaned the whole chimney leaving a free rope to jug so Kelly wouldn’t need to waste time squeezing in to retrieve gears.

Dangling the helmet on my daisy in order to squeeze deep into the Ear

Dangling the helmet on my daisy in order to squeeze deep into the Ear

One more hard pitch and we got to the Alcove, its such a relief to be at the Alcove as we can bivy there if it gets late or if we are too tired but also its such a big spot to hang out and rest the tired body! I decided we should push on and get to El Cap Spire since its such a beautiful place to spend the night and I still have some gas left in the tank. Kelly at this point of time look trashed.

Looking at the El Cap Spire from Alcove

Looking at the El Cap Spire from Alcove

Airy 5.7 chimney before El Cap Spire

Airy 5.7 chimney before El Cap Spire

Getting the bags up to El Cap Spire and the last haul for the day!

Getting the bags up to El Cap Spire and the last haul for the day!

Getting to the ledge before sunset. (watch out for mouse on the El Cap Spire!)

Getting to the ledge before sunset. (watch out for mouse on the El Cap Spire!)

Good night and enjoy the ledge!

Good night and enjoy the ledge!

Day 5, we climbed a few easy pitches to Teflon Corner followed by the Sewer pitch. Luckily it is in the middle of summer, Sewer pitch is all dried up with a huge garden to climb through and a quick link up to the Block, a sloping bivy. I fixed 1 pitch to Sous Le Toit (below the head) to a bird shit infested ledge and head down to enjoy the beautiful sunset. While doing so, a big piece of bird shit hit me on my pants. What great luck I have today!

Warm up dance..

Warm up dance..

First pitch off El Cap Spire. I regretted not wearing my free shoes as I had to climb the 5.9 squeeze in my approach shoes.

First pitch off El Cap Spire. I regretted not wearing my free shoes as I had to climb the 5.9 squeeze in my approach shoes.

Trying to get a picture like Royal Robbins on their FA

Trying to get a picture like Royal Robbins on their FA

Under the Teflon Corner

Under the Teflon Corner

Happy to be on the Block

Happy to be on the Block

Check out the sloping ledge!

Check out the sloping ledge!

View from the Block

View from the Block

My wife gets the super single on the Block

My wife gets the super single on the Block

Day 6, after waking up from a ok sleep, I did not slide on the Block as I used a haul bag to cushion my ass against some loose blocks. Kelly however had a nightmare and scream as though she fell off the Block and I actually thought I would find her hanging off the wall somewhere.

Following morning we ate our usually breakfast, bread with tuna and salami and gunned for the last bivy! Guarding the Long Ledge is the head wall, a split pitch of 12a and 12d which we took the optional belay as our rope is too short. The aiding on this pitch is tricky with some flaring pin scars and long reach for good placements. I took a few falls before getting to the belay under the huge roof.

Off the Block with Kelly jugging back to the last high point

Off the Block with Kelly jugging back to the last high point

Jugging to the last high point with El Cap below me

Jugging to the last high point with El Cap below me

Check out the steep cracks before the Roof

Check out the steep cracks before the Roof

Below the roof..

Below the roof..

The exposure is big!

The exposure is big!

The bongs on the belay. Pretty solid!

The bongs on the belay. Pretty solid!

Sticking my ass off the roof as I'm aiding the whole thing.

Sticking my ass off the roof as I’m aiding the whole thing.

The 5.13 crux of the route. Steep!

The 5.13 crux of the route. Steep!

The roof is great and manageable for free climbing and the great position you are in when pulling those steep moves and having the whole El Captian under you is pretty rad. I skip the chains right after the roof (bad move) and went for the bolted belays instead. This could be the hardest aid climb of the whole route with tiny gears, steep wall and hard to communicate with the belayer (under the roof) I pulled a few pieces of small nuts before getting to the belay. I would think this bit would be a really hard free climb clocking in at 5.13s!

Looking down from the belay

Looking down from the belay

Tired and moving very slowly we catch a full view of the El Portal fire from the start on the head wall. The fire spread really quick and soon Kelly and I were just covered in smoke and dust from the fire.

Fire just started

Fire just started

Grew really big by the time we reached Long Ledge

Grew really big by the time we reached Long Ledge

The window of light and ray of hope

The window of light and ray of hope

We got to Long Ledge which really lived up to its name, about 35ft long and just shoulder width apart, it made the last bivy really interesting place to be at. As usual I would rest drink some water and eat some cliff bar and try to fix a pitch before the sunset. Knowing that we have 3 more pitches to climb, the mood of the climb suddenly lighten up and we ate and drink all we could for that night. One word of advice for Long Ledge is there is almost 15litres of water left there and if you could drink some of those and bring the empty bottles with you, it could prevent the place from becoming like Camp 6 on the Nose.

Take a rest first la..

Take a rest first la..

Off Long Ledge on the hidden crack and just 4 pitches from the summit!

Off Long Ledge on the hidden crack and just 4 pitches from the summit!

Day 7, was straight forward climbing, the body could hardly free 10d cracks but it doesn’t matter anymore since getting to the top and jumping into the Merced river for a quick wash off was all the body is asking for.

The Long Ledge and the rest of the route downwards

The Long Ledge and the rest of the route downwards

Smoky morning but lets take a picture first. After all its not every day you get to sleep on the wall huh?

Smoky morning but lets take a picture first. After all its not every day you get to sleep on the wall huh?

The last few meters of climbing!

The last few meters of climbing!

Summit shot!

Summit shot!

My best big wall partner on earth

My best big wall partner on earth

The pine tree at the top marks the end of the route

The pine tree at the top marks the end of the route

I’m happy that we free climbed more on Salathe Wall, instead of the full aid mode we were in on the Nose 2 years ago. I’m also glad I have muster enough courage to climb the Hollow Flake which ended up being not a big deal. The Ear was actually the scarier one. Kelly and mine 8th big wall together and 2nd big wall on El cap, I guess we have come a long way and I will work towards being a better climber so I can free all the 5.12 pitches when I get on Salathe Wall the next time!

Our sponsors Arc'teryx Singapore for helping us so much in the last 2 years for all our wall adventures! Big Thank you!

Our sponsors Arc’teryx Singapore for helping us so much in the last 2 years for all our wall adventures! Big Thank you!

The descent off East Ledges

The 4 hrs descent off East Ledges

Got to the Manure Pile Buttress bus stop at 5.50 pm and wondering if the bus is coming.

Got to the Manure Pile Buttress bus stop at 5.50 pm and wondering if the bus is coming.

Yes got on the last bus!

Yes got on the last bus!

Hope everyone enjoyed the read and look out for the trad course and Taiwan climbing trip in Oct 2014! Hope to see more aspiring big wall climbers and trad climbers soon from Singapore!

While soaking in the Merced river, El Cap is staring down at us with the sunset on it

While soaking in the Merced river, El Cap is staring down at us with the sunset on it

Many more big walls in this couple!

Many more big walls in this couple!

Mount Watkins – July 2014

2009 photo of Kelly and I on Regular North West Route of Half Dome. Mount Watkins is the wall to the left of me with a depression in the middle.

2009 photo of Kelly and I on Regular North West Route of Half Dome. Mount Watkins is the wall to the left of me with a depression in the middle.

Nested at the back of the Yosemite Valley with a big 4-5 hours hiking approach, Mount Watkins is pretty remote with no tourist bus coming by to snap pictures of climbers, no hikers walking at the base of the route and pretty far from help if you were in trouble. To top it off, there is a 3-4 hours or 800ft of fixed ropes guarding the start of South Face of Mount Watkins. The guidebook says 4 pitches of class 4 – 5.8 climbing and I could see how all those fixed rope could be done in 4 super long pitches.

The top of Watkins peeking out at us from the climber's trail

The top of Watkins peeking out at us from the climber’s trail

Kelly and I’ve been wanting to climb the Mount Watkins since last August, but have to bail on the plans as we have more work to do in US than expected and we ended up climbing the Lost Arrow Spire. Which was a great climb but the big obstacle of getting to the back of the Valley with huge loads, spending 3 nights on the wall and possibly getting the summit late on the last day with no daylight to find the hikers trail continues to make Mount Watkins a challenging yet attractive wall to climb.

Long hikes to get water and gears to the base makes this wall a huge challenge and keeps many Yosemite climbers away

Long hikes to get water and gears to the base makes this wall a huge challenge and keeps many Yosemite climbers away

However on the hike there are many beautiful spots!

However on the hike there are many beautiful spots!

We decided that we wanted to get on this beautiful wall and quickly made plans to hike our first load up the base of the wall. Supertopo says 3hrs on the approach and 4 hours on the access pitches and as usual I find the guidebooks in America is always very optimistic or just superhuman, nuclear powered timings.

The second load of equipment and food. Kelly's Arc'teryx Alpha FL 30 fully loaded!

The second load of equipment and food. Kelly’s Arc’teryx Alpha FL 30 fully loaded!

Catching the bus to Mirror Lake trail head

Catching the bus to Mirror Lake trail head

Starting off with the hike to Mirror Lakes -> Snow Creek trail -> Climber's trail after wooden bridge

Starting off with the hike to Mirror Lakes -> Snow Creek trail -> Climber’s trail after wooden bridge

Taking a break at the wooden bridge. Its really hot out here!

Taking a break at the wooden bridge. Its really hot out here!

 

Kelly and I took close to 5 hours with 4 gallons of water, 2 ropes and some gears. We thought we were pretty slow as the trail after the bridge on Snow Creek Trail is hard to follow and we stray off the trail onto the river bed a few times. The key to getting on the right way is to wall along the river till you come to a huge boulder on your left with Watkins right behind it. At this spot it was great to pick up water and head in for a cold dip!

Shower time!

Shower time!

Huge rock with Watkins right behind it. Marks almost the end of the long hike.

Huge rock with Watkins right behind it. Marks almost the end of the long hike.

The mosquitos were the crux of the hike as we stood at the base of the access pitch, that could be like 250 mosquitos swarming around us and on average I could kill 4 mosquito with one swap on my back.

Looking up at the wall from bivy spot 1

Looking up at the wall from bivy spot 1

It was pretty late at about 6.30pm when we got there we we brought the bags to the top of Pitch -4 and hung it on the tree. The job was done and we ran down the trail and marked the trail with cairns and sticks avoiding the blood donation drive.

We rested the following day, cooked a lot of food and water parade like NSFs during BMT knowing that we will be thirsty during the 4 days on the wall. The climbing preparation for such a big mission is to be have enough water, food and gears to get you up there and stick it out on the wall till the job gets done. So after the big rest day, we hiked our gears and empty bottles to the base of the wall again. This time we use purification tablets and about 9 litres of water from the river. In total we would have 25litres of water for 4 days on the wall, that includes a leaking water bag which we tried to duct tape together to prevent the leak.

Our precious water!

Our precious water!

Here’s our gear list –

– Singing Rock Guru harness and Nara

– 2 x Arc’teryx Atom hoody jackets

– 2 x Arc’teryx Hybrid SL Goretex jacket (I know its summer but the Sierra storms do come)

– 2 x light down sleeping bags from Campers’ Corner

– 1 x 65m New England KMIII 9mm static rope

– 1 x 56m Tendon 9.8mm

– Double rack of c4 with triples of .75,1,2

– Single rack of c3 – 0,1,2

– 1 x Talon, med and large Cam hooks

– 1 x offset master and 2 x offset TCU

– Singing Rock  Cam clean

– 2 Juma and 1 mini traxion

Its mostly our regular rack for big wall with nothing extras except for a size 5 camalot.

Kelly on the fix ropes hauling water and gear to the start of the climb

Kelly on the fix ropes hauling water and gear to the start of the climb

The first 800ft of fixed ropes to the ledge is brutal. We packed 2 haul bags and one Arc’teryx FL 30 pack and had to shuttle the bags in a leap frog method in order to have enough rest. However the bag with the most water was too heavy for Kelly to carry and jug and I figured that it would be much faster for me to make a few more round trips to get the bags higher than to have my wife suffer with a bag that is close 1/2 her weight.

Fixed our ropes to Pitch 2

Fixed our ropes to Pitch 2

3 hrs on the fixed ropes to get to the nice bivy spot at the base. Time was 7pm and we hung around drank water rested a little and head off to the base of the climb. At this point of time the guidebook had a huge error with a pitch to the pendulum and the 5.11d variation starts right off the ground. It’s actually 250 ft of climbing to the pendulum anchors and 2 raps to the ledge. There is also a old leaper bolt in the middle of the first rap which you will need to clip in order to stay tensioned on the rope to get to the next anchor. We took much longer than expected and was on the wall without headlamps until 10pm. Kelly wasn’t pleased about that, however we have to full moonlight as our headlamps! Super beautiful and bright night!

I know this could be taken anywhere haha

I know this could be taken anywhere haha

There were a lot of trash on the wall and at the base of the wall, that includes 2 shit paper bag(which we burned), pillow, first aid kit, toilet paper, 2 pairs of hiking shoes and a Gerber knife. We managed to clean up some of the mess but have to stash the rest of the rubbish at the corner of the first pitch since our fixed ropes for the first day doesn’t go there.

Lost your shoes?

Lost your shoes?

The second day’s plan is to jug up to pitch 2 and climb to pitch 8 of Sheraton Watkins ledge which was a huge sloping ledge with 2 good spots for bivy. The climbing or the aiding in these 8 pitches are easy but the wall is super glossy! Pitch 7 have got a lot of confusing anchors but it doesn’t really matter which one you haul or climb to, they will work out pretty much the same. Our bags were heavy and hauling is painful of the low angle wall before Sheraton Watkins.

Starting out the day by jugging

Starting out the day by jugging

Belaying off a tree at pitch 3

Belaying off a tree at pitch 3

I love the view of walls dropping down below my feet

I love the view of walls dropping down below my feet

Kelly and I got to Sheraton Watkins at about 7pm with 2 more hours of daylight we could have fixed pitch 9 but decided we want to chill out and enjoy the view of Half Dome in sunset.

3 more pitches to Sheraton Watkins !

3 more pitches to Sheraton Watkins !

Sunset on Half Dome

Sunset on Half Dome

Kelly's the wall chef

Kelly’s the wall chef

Enjoying Mama Noodle dinner(Tom Yum!)

Enjoying Mama Noodle dinner(Tom Yum!)

The decision was wise as we started the next day late since we know the next bivy is at pitch 11 which is kind of close to where we are actually. So we took our time, enjoyed breakfast as a leisurely pace and move on to pitch 9. Pitch 9 starts off with some grassy cracks which I french free and got to another huge ledge where I made a terrible mistake of going too low instead of the ‘belly crawl’ on top. There was also a huge mess of bad bolts, broken slings and broken wires which we tried to clean up and replaced some of them. At this point there is one hard free move after the bolts to the right and that gets you a much deserved rest with a 2 beefy ASCA bolts on a great ledge!

Looking down at Sheraton Watkins with a blue haul bag stashed there

Looking down at Sheraton Watkins with a blue haul bag stashed there

Kelly's lead!

Kelly’s lead!

The husband doing the hauling @@

The husband doing the hauling @@

 

Kelly led pitch 10 which was her first successful big wall lead (great job Kelly!) and I quickly dispatch pitch 11 to get to our bivy ledge. It was 4pm and the sun is out of the way with nice cool temperatures, we decided to fix as many pitches as possible. So I went with the 10b variation of pitch 12 and it was sweet fingers that was a little pumpy but not hard and that pitch went pretty quick.

Sent it!

Sent it!

Next pitch is the pendulum pitch which most of us are familiar with as shown in Reelrock 7 where they filmed Alex Honnold . The moves off the belay to a large expanding flake is a huge runout without gears a fall means you will hit one of the ledges below you and the creaking sound from the expanding flake just freak the hell out of me. I think I was mentally ‘pumped’ and gave up on free climbing to aid all the way to the pendulum, while Kelly quickly jug the pitch.

Sweet ledge on Pitch 11

Sweet ledge on Pitch 11

We fixed our rope on top of pitch 13 and our 65m static rope was too short as we tied it to the anchor of pitch 11! Rectify the problem and head back to bivy and dinner. Easy day with some scary moments =D

Jugging to our last high point

Jugging to our last high point

Body ache la

Body ache la

Last day on Watkins, started off with jugging that ‘180’ feet rope back to pitch 13 and a big day ahead of us. Pitch 15 onwards, the wall starts to get really steep and bolt ladder on that pitch needs some work. Clipped a copper head on the first piece and just dinosaur era bolts all the way to some free climbing and pass a ASCA bolt to the anchor. Way long pitch and a funky hook move in the middle of the bolt ladders since the shorty me couldn’t free that face move.

What is this?!

What is this?!

War relic

War relic

High up on pitch 15

High up on pitch 15

Ever beautiful view

Ever beautiful view

Hand cracks that I can't climb because I'm so wasted!

Hand cracks that I can’t climb because I’m so wasted!

Hauling on the head wall is sweet!

Hauling on the head wall is sweet!

Last belay!

Last belay!

Staring at the lip!

Staring at the lip!

Summit! Yay!

Summit! Yay!

The 10d off width and the 10c hand cracks at the top of the route are truly the pitch of the route, with long 120-150feet pitch with just perfect hand cracks soaring to the top of Watkins. It already felt like the beer keg is waiting for you at top. But when you top out and realised that the walk down is 7 miles down with knee busting switch backs, its a good idea to drink up all the water you have and have some dinner before heading down for the 5 hours walk to the car!

Tough Jefferey pines that grew everywhere!

Tough Jefferey pines that grew everywhere!

Summit shot!

Summit shot!

We stole a shower from Curry Village at 1am and drove to Oakhurst for supper at 2.30am! Double serving of breakfast at Denny’s! Awesome!

Sweetest view after a 4 days climb

Sweetest view after a 4 days climb

Salathe wall is up next and I’m going to lose some sleep over hollow flake. Hopefully I do not die if I fall out of that flake!

 

 

 

Taiwan 2014 trad climbing!

I understand a post is way overdue on this blog and I apologise to all readers who have been following my blog. Its just been a crazy block since I got back from Taiwan and getting ready for our big trip to US and after our summit of Mount Watkins which marks the completion of the triple crown or climbing the 3 biggest faces in Yosemite via their main routes, I finally feel I can take a break and write a entry!

Me and Kelly on the summit of Mount Watkins via South Face (Trip report on that coming up!)

Me and Kelly on the summit of Mount Watkins via South Face (Trip report on that coming up!)

Before all these madness, we spend a month in Taiwan with great people and new faces who decided to step forward to learn this amazing skill of trad climbing. The first step to becoming a big wall climber is to have good trad climbing skill and know how to place gear. And I have to say we have 12 more climbers from Singapore have taken that big step!

Great weather, bleed fingers and my wife's monkey face.

Great weather, bleed fingers and my wife’s monkey face.

April – May weather in Taiwan is good, from cooling weather in April it gradually turns warm towards May as the summer approaches. We have many days off good climbing weather except for a 4 day block when it was time for Kelly and I to climb, it started to rain really hard. I guess plum monsoon gotta live up to its name!

Some sandstone action at School gate

Some sandstone action at School gate

Most participants come for a 4 day trip over a weekend and taking 2 days off the week. They would fly into Taoyuan International Airport via a overnight flight via Scoot and arrive at 6am (tiring!) or flight via Tiger or other airlines the night before for me to pick them up at a near by train station like Fulong or Ruifang train station.

Great weather in April and May. View of Bitou Cape.

Great weather in April and May. View of Bitou Cape.

The first day would be learning the ropes of placing gears and lead climbing on trad gears. Of course our training is relative to participants abilities level. If you are confident on rocks and have a flair with trad gears, we can move really fast and climb many interesting things in the coast. Having said that, we go progressive and gear you up to leading your first trad route on easy routes 5.5 – 5.6 YDS.

Learning to place gears! The first lesson in Second Cave! Great outdoor classroom when it showers in Long Dong!

Learning to place gears! The first lesson in Second Cave! Great outdoor classroom when it showers in Long Dong!

Learning the jamming techniques

Jie Ling learning the jamming techniques

The second day is usually doing some revision, learning how to build anchors and getting off a typical trad route setting up a abseil. These are all important skills to learn when you are leading any kind of routes outdoor. So even if you do not like trad climbing by now (which I do not think so) you still get to learn very important skills in a safe and beautiful environment.

Sek Koon from KL on anchor building and learning how to get off a climb

Sek Khoon from KL on anchor building and learning how to get off a climb

The third day is spent climbing some of the more beautiful single pitch routes in Long Dong or also known as the Long Dong classic trad climbs like,

Jie Ling on Sea Crack 5.6 School gate sector

Jie Ling on Sea Crack 5.6 School gate sector

Tom on Bomb Fuse 5.8 Clock tower sector

Tom on Bomb Fuse 5.8 Clock tower sector

Kay on Golden Shower 5.9 Golden Valley sector

Kay on Golden Shower 5.9 Golden Valley sector

Nicole on Images of Yosemite 5.10a Golden Valley Sector

Nicole on Images of Yosemite 5.10a Golden Valley Sector

As usual we have surprise for everyone before they go home and there is a choice to climb a offwidth multi pitch Via Del Drago 5.10 in Grand Auditorium sector or climb to a sea cliff tower in Long Dong on Clock Tower. Whichever option the group chooses they get to experience the true adventure of climbing and getting up to see a beautiful view of the North east coast of Taiwan in a unique way.

Those unfamiliar with the wide jamming technique will love this climb. Some scraps and bruise guaranteed!

Those unfamiliar with the wide jamming technique will love this climb. Some scraps and bruise guaranteed!

The party of 4 + 1(photographer) hanging out on the ledge of Via Del Drago

The party of 5 + 1(photographer) hanging out on the ledge of Via Del Drago

Elton on the access pitch of Via Del Drago

Elton on the access pitch of Via Del Drago

Enjoying the view from top of Clocktower!

Enjoying the view from top of Clocktower!

 

Easy routing on the last day with Sek Khoon at Golden Valley

Easy routing on the last day with Sek Khoon at Golden Valley

This trip, Kelly and I have not been trad climbing a lot as we are just working on strength and power training for our upcoming projects in Yosemite. Did a whole load of climbing in Backdoor trying to send every route in the 5.12 range there. Not quite successful but we will get there!

Kelly working the muscles on Coach Demonstrates 5.12

Kelly working the muscles on Coach Demonstrates 5.12

Taiwan Trad Climbing will be back in October 2014 so check the flight tickets and book your flight early! We are already half booked for the trip so get in touch with us really soon with your timings and we will get a tailored course or itinerary for you soon!

Taiwan Trad climbing 2014

Learn trad climbing!

Learn trad climbing!

 

 

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