Updates

June 6, 2010

310510 Monday
– Workworkwork. Slow and lacking motivation.
– Cooked my first meal for everyone. Cream carbonara 🙂 Great success! Damn happy and satisfying.
010610 Tuesday
– Harvesting of rotten grapes for dessert wine
– Worked in the rain but really fun. Finally something different from boring wrapping/trimming job and so many of us working on the same task both employees and supervisor which was quite heartening and morale boosting
– Work ended early at about 11 – 12. Prepared another dish for everyone. Baked cheese sausage + Broccoli + Onion
– Went out to job hunt. Not bad some possibly good prospects.
– Received letter
– Found ‘The Secret Garden’. Really really nice place! Perfect atmosphere, affordable atas food. Even got their own fireplace. Will definitely eat here someday.

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Defeat but Satisfied

December 16, 2009

Crag: Lei Pi Shan

Rantings about climbing:
i) Thunder (7b+)
Attempts: 4, Total attempts: 8

I couldn’t send this route in the end. Fell at the 3rd last move on my best attempt and 4th last move twice. I really really tried very hard up to the point there’s an obvious skin tear from crimping and the pins and needles feeling in my finger tips. More intense than anything I’ve done.

Keretapi – Forgot beta at last moment cant send
Phet Mak – It’s only 2 cruxes. And just jug to jug except near the end Tantrum – Just endurance fest
Moon Walker – Just work out the moves till 100% efficient and endure
Mr Greenwood – Just endure the painful crimps

But Thunder was very much at my limit sadly. I believe if given 2 -3 more tries on ANOTHER day with new grown skin I’ll definitely send it.

The 4 last moves of the route was possibly the hardest crux on the route. A half digit very bad crimp gaston low foothold deadpoint to another ledgey crimp. By the time I’m there my skin usually fails and I can’t feel my fingers from the cold so wasn’t very confident making that deadpoint.

But nevertheless I was quite satisfied for pushing myself so close to the end. At the end of the climb I wasn’t angry nor angsty, slightly sad but more glad and relieved that I really did to the best of my ability. Working out the holds, figuring out the damned footholds, finding the best clipping position and lots of mental prep with soooo many big falls. I live to do battle with the route another day 🙂 Sigh.

ii) No Name (7c+)
– On this route I learnt I can hold stuff I nv knew I could
– 1cm crimps?

NCR
Ok going back SG soon. Did last minute shopping. Approached by pimps twice. Usually no one approached us but maybe today everyone looked horny and rich.
Wanted to buy Dragons here. 100SGD but they ran out of sizes. Some retail therapy and I’m back in my room desperately trying to pack up. See everyone back in SG again 🙂 This blog will be taken down soon after I return.

And with one last word before I leave YS, the Laundry Service here is freaking awesome. Sent my crag bag and groundsheet for washing. The totally brown soiled groundsheet returned green as new to me again 🙂 Damn happy. They wash practically anything including shoes. Maybe I should have sent our rope for washing. Haha jk PKK.

I Wished I Was Stronger

December 15, 2009

Crag: Banyan Tree

Slightly overhang long climbs 25 – 30m

i) No Name (7b) Attempts: 2
Super good pumpfest. 25 – 30m route. Fell very close to anchor.

ii) No Name (8a+) Attempts: 1 on 2nd up
Damn good crazy hard shit. Practically smearing all the way on the flat wall. Pure crimps. Haven’t been climbing at my limit this trip so I was damn glad to work on the route. Definitely redpointable given 8 – 10 tries. I guess my crimp strength really improved alot here at the expense of alotttt of bleeding.

NCR:
Today we went to our driver’s house for dinner. Very nice of him to treat us to a damn good steamboat dinner. Very nice dude. Recommend to hook up with him if ever anyone comes to YS.

Jonathan Segriez is really good. Learnt quite alot from him. And I officially hate plastic climbing. Makes you retarded on rock with lousy footwork.

With SG having so little to offer me in terms of climbing besides plastic. I think my climbing career of 5yrs might come to an end soon. Might seem shocking to alot of people reading this but that’s how I really feel now. I’m done with competitions knowing my finger is totally screwed and I cant crank as hard anymore. And i dun see as much value in plastic anymore. I’m gonna need sth new to keep my passion for climbing going and SG has little to offer me on that nor Asia for that matter. I wanna go out and see the world and the climbs and the people. Do I have that much time?

After YS trying really solid climbs like Greenwood and today’s 8a+, I strongly feel I can hit a 8b this lifetime. But to attain that I need sth more than dumb indoor gym climbing. I need out. And I’m almost desperate to find sth to keep my passion going. Cos it’s waning very badly. The thought of leaving YS and going back to SG makes me dreadful on how much worse my perspective on climbing would change. I need change.

Mr Greenwood and Mr Siegrist

December 14, 2009

Crag: The Egg

Climbs: i) Mr Greenwood (7b)

– 2nd project sent 😀

– 3 attempts today,

1st attempt: Put up clips confirm beta,

2nd attempt: Redpoint attempt AND.I.FELL.OFF.THE.DAMNED.LAST.MOVE.AGAIN. ALWAYS HAPPENS… Sibei dulan

3rd attempt: Sent (Yay :D)

ii) too lazy to check guide book for route name (7a+)

Attempts: 1 – Technical flat wall climb

– Hard one move crux route but route still very easy for me

NCR!! =D

Today a pro climber joined us. Or rather come to YS to climb. Think we’re too noob to be his climbing kakis. He climbs at 8c+ level and his name is Jonathan Siegrist can watch a video of him doing Lucifer on Vimeo. The NUS peeps might have seen him in Chiangmai. He was there a week back before going to Hongkong and now he’s here. Sponsored by Arc’teryx and La Sportiva. My dream brands man.

He’s damn pro. He climbs damn smooth. Smears perfectly on flat walls at The Egg with his DOWNTURNED Miuras. Warms up on 4 climbs within 30min including my project without shaking out. His body tension, footwork, finger strength is just so damn strong. His climbing style is like Philip and Jay with very controlled body movements and very precise footwork. But of course he’s climbing 10 grades below his project (with reference to my project) so of course he makes everything look so easy. His core strength is really imba. Baffles me even now. Tml climbing with him again! Yay. Damn exciting. He’s gonna warm up on my project again. Hopefully can learn some stuff from him.

When the End is Near

December 13, 2009

Decided to do a short writeup of my trip as a whole since I’m pretty free at the moment with my roomies out. It’s 4more climbing days left, 5 more to going back home.

I really grow to like Yangshuo alot. Probably more than all the places I’ve been to so far.

I love Krabi for its laidback lifestyle, the close proximity to the sea and the several crags it has to offer to climbers.

The whole atmosphere is very relaxed and a good escapade from the irritating rat race lifestyle in Singapore.

I love Perlis for the huge white cave and the trek leading to Belly Button Window.

I love Ipoh only for the food. I hate the climbing.

I love KL for Camp 5 and food. Ok so-so with Batu Caves but I hate the mozzies.

Yangshuo is very much a touristy area. So all the time you’ll be met with shopkeepers soliciting with you trying to get you to buy their goods and offer you cheap accoms and special tourist rides. It feels like a pseudo culture mainly forged around pleasing tourists. I don’t really like this point. It definitely lacks the laidback lifestyle of Krabi which kind of suits my personality better.

I’m done with the bad point on to the good points.

Food and accoms very cheap. Food not more than 10SGD a day, accoms 10SGD per night (discounted price cos of Jonathan and Liu Li’s intro)

People: 80 – 90% of the people here are really friendly and nice. I’ve come to realise that Chinese from different parts of China have different personalities/traits/cultures. For example, some foreigners in NUS and SG are plain rude, snobbish, loud and unpleasant. But it’s really different here. Of course there are still exceptions but still acceptable. Women here are really tough and ‘hardcore’ quoting Tim. They’re really the domineering type in general and I don’t think I can win a quarrel with them.

Scenery:
The scenery of a climbing crag is actually quite important to me. It makes the whole process of climbing more pleasant and enjoyable. To me, they’re almost as important as doing hard shit itself. I feel the climbing process and send is less enjoyable without the beautiful scenery around us.

Which kind of explains why I hate going to one place only all the time. True I’ve got alot of projects at one place but I’ve seen every part of the landscape at that place. That’s why I condemn Batu Caves and so-so with Dairy Farm cos I got no other natural places to climb in SG. After visiting almost more than half the crags in YS, I think I’m done with Asia. I’ll be looking at Australia next for exploration and adventure before going back to Krabi and YS solely for hard sending. For now, my want to see the outside world supersedes my need to do hard climbs. I’m sure there’s sth hard everywhere so there isn’t much of an issue 🙂

Climbs:
I really like the climbs here better than all other places because I feel most of the routes/climbs are well thought out for its potential and the moves involved. It’s not like Krabi where “Hey there’s still space on this wall so let’s just bolt a route” and end up a whole bunch of routes clustered together all within close proximity. Ok la some are really good but some really feels it’s almost exactly like the route beside it just cut and pasted. Perhaps YS will be like that in the future, but I like it the way it is for now, and the classics I’ve tried are really really nice and well thought out.

I’ve been climbing everyday and get to visit different crags almost everyday which is really good and fulfilling for a first time trip. I get to see different styles and faces and I’ve never tried climbing on.

Let’s Fight the Japs

December 13, 2009

Crag:  Chicken Cave

Interesting crag. The crag is like a fort with brick walls. It seems that the place was used to fight the Japanese during World War 2. The crag is a cave which means lots of overhung climbs within the cave itself and flat wall climbs to the sides. Outside the cave there is another smaller cave with lots of stalactite climbing similar to La Sculpture.

Climbs:

i) White Tiger (7b+)

– Did up to first anchor which is a 7b+. There’s a 2nd anchor just to 2m above it which is a slab and makes the route an 8a. Damn hard. Can’t even load the first sloper crimp.  Bah.

– Feels like Dreamcatcher. Easy slab climb before joining to 40degree diagonal overhang traverse so lots of right heel hooking

– Fun ‘dyno’ move to mega jug. One arm pull up on it tested OK 🙂

– Quite an interesting climb

ii) Weekend Warriors (6a)

– Onsight

Funny moments of the day:

i) Jon’s Traumatic Brain Injury, still alive

ii) Yingbin circumcised his finger by pulling off loose chunks of rock

iii) Waitress accidentally spilling tea on Jonathan and still ends up screwing him for not helping her shift the heater. LOL.

Days Leading to the Send

December 12, 2009

Day 1 081209

– Very nice clean airport
– Waited for Yingbin to arrive before heading for main city together
– Called one of the airport bus service lady ‘xiao jie’ which I learnt meant prostitute. Guess that’s why she wasn’t verypleased with me and was very rude when I asked her some questions
– Took airport bus to main city
– Guangzhou quite a developed bustling city
– Alot of time to spare before night bus to Yangshuo at 8pm
– Looked around the city to search for a climbing shop there
– Took the ‘MRT’/ Metro line to a place where Jonathan told us where the climbing shop was situated
– Quite an interesting experience to take their MRT. ‘Chips’ similar to poker chips as their EZ link card
– Couldn’t find the climbing shop so just shopped about randomly in JUSCO and another mall
– Nua-ed till 7+ went back to the bus station
– Alot of farmers going back to Guilin so they took insane amount of barang barang with them. I think they should be crops. HUGEEE bags
– Bus.was.quite.an.eye.opener.
– Inside 3 rows of double decker beds are your so called High class sleeper buses. The length of your beds are like 1.7m? Andthe space between each double decker bed is just enough for a person to walk through ie. less than 1m. So you can imagine how damn cramped this crap shit bus is
– FURTHERMORE, no footwear allowed. 30 – 40 people, half are farmers. Sooooo…… you get the idea
– Sleep was so-so with many occasional stops

—- END DAY 1 —-
Day 2 091209

– Reached Yangshuo and 530am. IT.WAS.DAMN.COLD. Bankai 4 layers of clothing, could see my breath. Probably 10 – 15 degrees
– Took a ‘tuk-tuk’/San Lun Che/3 wheeled vehicle/motorbike-with-attached-passenger-cabin-which-looks-amusing to the hostel where Jon and Zhen Xiong stayed

– It did cross my mind that we might get abducted considering how late/early it was and there’s no one on the streets but we got to our destination safely 🙂
– Washed up a little and went to eat at a nearby place for breakfast
– We had Man Tou/Steamed buns for breakfast. Recceed ‘Cheng Zhong Cheng/City in City’ to search for the famed restaurant Peng Yang told me
– Weird lady at the place welcomed us. Said she owned the whole place -.- Now that I think back thought she might have been a hooker
– RV with Jon Hwa and Zhen Xiong and proceeded to first climbing place! The Egg

Climbing:

Crag: The Egg

The climbs I’ve been on were rather flat and balancy. But the rocks are freaking sharp. Damn it. Not a good place to start with for your first day if skin isn’t accustomed to the rock yet.

i) Pumpy Brewster (6b+)
Didn’t onsight it. If you’re shocked go read my DISCLAIMER post before reading my blog any further. Didn’t know the holds to

the left could be used so I fell just right before the anchor. Bah. Bad start. Low morale. Spanked.

ii) Mr Greenwood (7b)
Attempts: 2
– My project. Andrew one of the people working with China Climb said it’s a very solid 7b and I must agree with him.
– 2 cruxes. 1st crux is god damn bloody painful. Two finger 1 digit crimp on two sharp prongs lock off super high for sloper.
– Clip from sloper is super dicey and I feel and can be considered a crux on its own
– 2nd crux involves very tricky footwork with matching and gastons

iii) Poser’s Lonely Reunion (6b)
Onsight

Non-climbing:
– Shopped around a little at West Street
– Lots of good imitation stuff
– Dinner at restaurant at Cheng Zhong Cheng
– Dinner was not bad and dirt cheap. 5 dishes 5 people 4SGD =)

—- END DAY 2 —-
Day 3 081209

Crag: Moon Hill

Very very good crag with solid climbs. Variation of overhung powerful routes (under arch) to slightly overhang technical (right face of crag) climbs.

i) New Moon 6a+
– Onsight somewhat
– Went into 2nd pitch of a 7b accidentally. Got damn pissed when I hangdoged. Thought I really that weak =\ Morale dropped even further.

ii) Eclipse (7a)
– Toproped it since the anchor of New Moon is directly above it so just gave it a try
– Quite a good route but didn’t have enough time to lead it

iii) Moon Walker (7c)
– 2nd project. The overhang and pumping out is crazy. The route is a monster. Hard to find jugs. Need to work out the moves.

—- END DAY 3 —–
Day 4 091209

– Totally tired from past few days so woke up at like 1130
– Very nua and was deciding between finding the boulder in Dosage or go climb at Twin Gate
– Asked the China Climb people where to find it and we were told it’s near the Li Jiang River
– Went there didn’t find anything went back reconfrim directions with another guy

THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART:
– He said the boulder is one of the mysteries of Yangshuo
Moral of the story: Don’t always trust everything you see in the media. It may be bullshit.

– As it was pretty late we ended up doing plastic bouldering in China Climb. Kind of regretted not going to Twin Gate.

Plastic FTW again.
– For dinner we had a superbbb meal. Best meal for the trip in my opinion. Tofu, fish, lard, beef/mutton(?), veg, steam egg (which sucked) and one more dish. 7 dishes 7 people and guess what, 6SGD. Pwn you 🙂

—- END DAY 4 —-
Day 5 101209

Crag: Lei Pi Shan
Favourite crag in terms of hard shit to do. It’s like Dum Kitchen’s white rock, and Tyrolean ASP inclination. Very nice clean rock. Very good routes and hard too.

i) Power of One (7a)
– Flash with lots of beta from Jonathan. Quite soft. But nevertheless first morale booster for the trip. Woots!

ii) Thunder (7b+)
Attempts: 4
– Projecting pitch 1, feels like an upgraded Phet Mak
– 4 cruxes, one you can get by easier if you’re taller
– Favourite route with too much details to write about. Ask me again in person if interested
– Very hard and intense. Last crux is 1m below anchor and that already involves 2 hard deadpoints.

—- END DAY 5 —-
Ok that’s about all for my climbing days. I know I’ve missed out alot of non-climbing details so I’ll talk about some stuff here.
i) Is it cold?

My resistance to cold is very very low. So I usually wear one more layer than the rest. Past 2 days been damn good (10 and11th Dec). I can just wear one layer to climb and I’ll still sweat. It’s so much less colder than Yishun Bouldering so it’s actually very gd if you’re lucky.

Windy days esp. at Moon Hill where it’s exposed gets VERY bad. First time I went to Moon Hill I had to climb with 4 layers and my fingers numb half the route. Warm up hardly helps. Even if your body and fingers are warm, the rock is cold. So not much help.

I usually go around in 3 layers, others 2. So it isn’t really bad. I’m not a good gauge.
ii) Breakfast! I survive on Guilin Noodles almost everyday cos I love it lots. It costs a freaking whooping amount of….. 1SGD. Good soup, very nice chu mi fen, addtional toppings for you to add on your own and some pork slices. Love it man.

iii) Lunch! Breadbreadbreadbreadbreadbreadbreadbreadbreadbreadbread. Bah. Pastry lovers will love it here.

iv) What do we do during R & R. Play cards, shop around in West Street, a very commercialised touristy area. But can’t go too often. Damn boring.

 Funny moments up till today:
i) Tim always going on unknown ‘6bs’
ii) Allez to you TOO
iii) Tim’s ultimate Z clip
iv) Clip for your neighbour
v) Topping out and trying not to die
vi) All man for himself. Clipping into your friend’s bolt

It takes 735 steps to reach the Moon

December 12, 2009

Crag: Moon Hill

Initially wanted to rewrite the last post on Twin Gate but I’m too tired to rewrite it now. Cos I don’t think anyone would really be interested in the technicalities and details about the climb so I thought I should talk about my climbing day in general as a whole. If anyone’s interested I wrote the details of my climbs in my same small journal. I’ll be typing in point form cos I’m usually too tired by the time I’m back unless sth is worthy of elaboaration and mention.

Climbs:

i) Dark Side of the Moon (6b) – Onsight

ii) Moon Walker (7c)
Attempts today: 3, Total attempts: 4
REDPOINT on second up =(

Damn sian and angsty about not sending this project proper. Initially I would consider a redpoint on second up a send if it doesn’t make sense when the only way to clear runners is to second up. Like it makes sense right, on a super overhang or roof, if you sent the route on lead, what sense would it make to REDO the route just to clear the clips. The only condition or restriction is that the belay shouldn’t be tight to simulate a lead climb. But at the end of this redpoint it really felt empty. Like it wasn’t complete. The fear factor and insecurity during clipping isn’t there. It’s just like any toprope climb. The feeling really sucks. I wanted to give lead another go but due to the sudden change of weather with probable rain I had to clear the route.

Yeah. I’ll definitely come back and send this proper next time. Super annoying. The only consolation is that I didn’t rest in the 2nd cave only a knee jam so I guess that doesn’t count as a total rest as stated in the guide book. Bruised thighs FTW tml with 3 painful knee jams. Very nice route overall. It’s like an ultimate Tidal Wave just add more 10 more metres of pain to the route. After doing the route my forearm just feels pain from the pump. Very good fight to the top. Bah. Will definitely send this route proper when I come back. I swear. Pissifying.

Dinner was claypot rice. Best I’ve eaten in my life. Choose a few dishes like Yong Tau Foo then they’ll cook for you in a claypot so it’s sth like Cai Beng. That’s all I’ve got for today. 1 project down 2 to go.

PS: It’s 735 steps to the top of Moon Hill.

Drifting by the River

December 10, 2009

Crag: Twin Gate Mountain

Though there isn’t alot of hard stuff to do here, but it’s definitely my favourite crag in terms of scenery. Today’s the first time I took so many pictures with my cam. The scenery here is simply beautiful. There’s a river behind the crag. The tranquility of the place is certainly one to remember.

Climbs: General nature of routes are flat wall techinical climbs

i) No Name (6c?) [4/5] Attempts: 1 (onsight somewhat)

 – New route not listed in the book

– 2 hard crux, interesting end

– Compression crux followed by gaston, 2nd crux for me I did a huge dynamic cross hand cut loose move

– End off with heel hook on ledge lock off clip

 ii) Da Feiji (pitch 1) (6b+) [4/5]

Attempts: 1 (onsight) – Fun climb to mini roof followed by technical climb to the top with lots of layback

iii) Xingjiang Black (pitch 1) (6a) [4/5]

Attempts: 1 (2nd up)

– Flat, slabby climb lots of fun frogging and standing up

– Certain parts very dicey with lousy pinch which made me suspicious of the grade

iv) Ta Ma De (6c) [3/5]

Attempts: 1

– Route deserving of its name

– Two lousy holds high step dead point with left hand to jug then undercling the jug high step to sloper and attempt to clip in

– Not that keen to finish the route as the clipping from sloper is very dodgy. Might hit the ledge below me if I slipped/fall at that clip

 - Top part of the climb similar to Da Feiji but with worse holds during the layback sequence