Lookie what I found… Another trip report from the days of the Rockrats written by yours truly…
N.B. The events in this update may not be true to history. Some scenes and happenings have been modified, invented and recreated at the discretion of the author. It hasn’t been edited either because I was really sleepy when I wrote it – so please excuse all the typos.
Climbing at Genting or is it Really?
Ever ambitious, the rockrats decided to make a productive climbing trip up to Genting leaving last weekend. The plan was to leave KL on Saturday arvo, climb Genting wall in the evening and head to White Wall on Sunday.
My spider senses were tingling – I knew something was amiss here so I opted out of the trip. Adrian, Kit, Jason and Fearless Leader set out for Genting late afternoon, followed by Lelek, Su Chin and CJ in the evening.
Sunday morning in:
Richard – grumble, grumble, grumble…
Shen – rolls out of bed to go do laundry.
Mike Tee – up early for a work launch (I’m presuming)
Mike Mor, Debbie, Pui Chee, Ahli, Han Chong, Ooi, and Penn hit Damai wall pretty early on Sunday morning.
The wall was surprisingly quiet for a Sunday, but the tranquility and route availability was relished by all who were present. When I arrived, Mor, Deb, PC, Ahli, HC, Ooi and Penn had already warmed up and were hitting the wall pretty hard.
*beep* *beep* I received Adrian’s SMS informing us that the Genting crew would be down to meet us at White Wall around 1 o’clock.
As predicted, Adrian and crew got caught up at Genting wall and never made it down from Genting on Sunday morning. The message at 2:30 was that they were still climbing at Genting and that they may or may not turn up at White Wall. By 4pm, another message comes through from Adrian:
“As you’ve probably figured, we’re naw coming to White Wall… Enjoy your climb”
Unfortunately, the Damai group never made it to whitewall either… Adrian, I fink you are absolutely right – start climbing on some wall and we can forget about climbing anywhere else. There’s no such fing as “one climb” only… Although, the two Mikes, Penn and Debbie made it to Volleyball, a.k.a. The Rubbish Dump (only because it was raining at Damai).
Climbing achievements: (information on the Genting crew was obtained second hand through Adrian, so I apologise in advance for any mistakes).
Adrian – projected a route on the steep overhang and succeeded in ascending up until the third last bolt (excellent stuff!)
Su Chin – climbing in top form as she worked on her leading – almost made it but still battling the mental game of “up-climb/down-climb”
Kit, Lelek, Jason and Lai – sorry peoples, I didn’t hear what you got up to, so please fill the blanks.
Pui Chee – overcoming the fear of outdoor climbing
Ahli, Mor, HC and Debbie – first time climbing on “Water on the Rock” and everyone managed to finish the route. Ahli – great footwork, one of the climbers at Damai wall made that comment. Debbie – overcame the vertical challenge at the crux (’twas a bully-short-people move). HC – nicely done, despite being sick. Mor – worked the crux without beta.
Ooi and Anne – completed Monsoon top rope.
Penn – dunno what to write, lah… You seem to send everything and have eliminated your fear of leading outdoors. Nice clean on “3 Bros” – again. Sorry I didn’t climb that route, I was up on the multi-pitch.
Me – Completed multi-pitch on “Up Step”/”Belakan Habis” with Dafi and Azam. “Up Step” is a 5C climb to the right of the drain. It begins just right of that “pond”. “Belakan Habis” is a 6B climb requiring some nice stemming and the utilization of a stalagtite. The crux was a mild overhang with “Thank God” jugs; even then, I could still feel the pump in my arms and I was sure I was going to peel off.
Azam was belaying Dafi. S comes along and looks up.
S: What’s the grade of the second pitch?
A: Oh, about a 6A. (N.B. When Azam, Akmal, Nizam or Adi tell you the grade of a route – NEVER believe them because EVERYTHING is a 5C/6A).
S: Okay, I suppose I can do it.
(At the first anchor, S looks up)
S: Looks quite interesting.
D: Want to lead it?
S: Ahhh, I don’t think so. Looks hard. The wall’s quite smooth. You sure it’s a 6A?
D: Don’t think so, looks like 6B to me.
S: I thought Azam said it was a 6A.
D: That’s what they always say. You know Adi’s idea of a jug is a crimp. I don’t think I’ll do it.
D: (Dafi bends his wrist and there a nob of bone protruding – it looked grotesque) Wrist injury.
(Azam appears from the ledge and continues on to the second pitch. He cleans it easily. I was to follow next and clean up because Dafi was bailing.)
S: (Early into the climb) *beep* *Beep* *BEEP* Thank God I wasn’t stupid enough to agree to lead this! (At the crux) Oh man! Feel so pumped. I think I’m gonna drop. (Looking up at Azam) Hmmm… will he catch me if I fall… Oh shit! You’re asking this NOW? Shouldn’t you have thought about that before you started climbing!?
Mor – projected Tiger. Heard you did well. Great stuff!
Well, actually, there were none. But I feel I should add in the input from Ooi. I was climbing Monsoon from base to the second anchor. I have done this before with both Lelek and Mike Tee on belay so I was familiar with the routine. This was the first time I was climbing with Ooi on belay. My mistake was in assuming that he knew the routine. I communicated the fact that I intended to continue to the second anchor, but I never said I was going to rappel down. I just presumed he would know because the climb is nearly 60m and my rope is 60m. When I reached the second anchor and shouted down for Ooi to go off belay, he thought I was crazy and he hesitated until I explained I was going to rappel.
Lessons learned – always, ALWAYS communicate your intensions before climbing, especially when you are doing something different to the normal climbing routine. I thought it was great that Ooi questioned first rather than blindly obliging. We may think that someone knows what they are doing, but we all do make mistakes from time to time and you never know when that mistake will be. I’ve seen veteran climbers make mistakes despite having climbed for many years.
It’s also best to communicate first on the ground and minimize the yelling of instructions because at that distance, it is difficult to hear. Of course, if there is a necessary change of plans, it can’t be helped. It’s always good to reconfirm that your climber wants you to go off belay before you perform the action. I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of miscommunication before.
To all rockrats – great climbing!
Next episode: White Wall – the return!