I found an old video that Lelek Le Grunt recorded of me working the crux of Parang Butas at Comic Wall, Batu Caves. The video was recorded in September of 2003. It feels a bit strange to watch myself climb and I keep picking on all the useless, energy wasting movements I made back then because I wasn’t feeling very confident on lead.
On the flip side of the coin, the first time I came to Comic Wall, I attempted this route on top rope. It was set up by The Human Stick Clip, who got his name because he was so tall he could reach the first bolt standing the ground. He was an amazing climber. I watched him lapping a 6C route called “Hampir Tewas” (which translates to “Almost Defeated”). That route later became Thin Man’s first red point on 6C.
The first conversation I had with The Human Stick Clip went something like this…
THSC: So what grades are you climbing?
Me: 6A, 6A+ but I’ve climbed a few 6Bs at the gym.
I could tell from the look I received from THSC that he thought very little of this pathetic little girl who wanted to attempt Parang Butas. I, on the other hand was puffing with pride that I was becoming a more superior climber – at least, that was until I laid my hands on the starting holds of Parang Butas…
Comic wall was the first overhanging outdoor wall I’d ever climbed and I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when I attempted it. By the time I made the first two moves, I was ready to hangdog. Suffice to say it was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had with the rock. I never made it to the anchor. I couldn’t even get through the crux with aid.
The Rockrats’ visits to Comic wall did a lot to build my upper body power. Needless to say it was a steep learning curve for me since I was the kind of climber that only enjoyed climbing slabs. I hated overhangs for one reason and one reason alone – I sucked at it, big time! By the time we migrated back to Nyamuk, I had a new range of moves in my climbing repertoire so I am glad we persevered at Comic Wall. That was also about the time when I started to see big leaps of improvement in my climbing abilities so I guess I do have some pretty fond memories of Comic Wall and Parang Butas.