Climbing in SingaporeThursday, August 14, 2014
Climbing in Castle Hill, New Zealand [Guest post by JW, Regina's hubby, who is an avid rockclimber and fitness fanatic....
|Climbing in Castle Hill, New Zealand|
With a social wave of fitness hitting our island-state, it’s no wonder that climbing is now a rapidly growing sport in Singapore! It strengthens the body, requires technique and challenges the psyche – an absolutely mind-blowing and adrenaline-pumping experience. I particularly enjoy climbing overseas, against the backdrop of beautiful scenery which will take your breath away to the point of sweet suffocation, but before you even get there, you first have to start climbing in Singapore. Having climbed in Singapore for a good 10+ years, I guess I'm in a decent position to write about it! =P
The location is also one of the most central compared to the rest. Its focus on route-setting somehow feels more diminished over the years as it seems to cater more to climbing courses/events and the top-rope community since the bouldering crowd is quite seasoned. You can also check out Team Climb Asia in action e.g. some of Singapore’s top boulderers Haroz Foo and Xu Liting.
|Credit: Onsight Climbing|
My only grouse is that the route-setters may sometimes have been too carried away and set a few routes which criss-cross – meaning two lanes may get occupied by a single climber – which however makes for interesting climbs. I’m more into sport-climbing so I’m not very sure about the bouldering. The few times I tried, I found the boulder routes pretty challenging and organised. And since one of Singapore’s top female boulderers Felicia Lim hangs out at OS, you know the quality is there.
|Credit: Climbers Laboratory|
The only short-comings (pun intended) are its inaccessible location and 8m walls which are too short for more advanced sport-climbers to push their limits. But well, parking is free if you drive. And there is a lovely horizontal roof section to lead-climb which can’t really be found in other climbing gyms. It is also enjoyable because it is generally less crowded than the rest, which allows you to hop on the route of your choice almost anytime and take your time to work on climbing fundamentals/moves on-rope aka route-hog or hangdog without feeling too self-conscious.
|Credit: Kinetics Climbing|
An awesome place for bouldering enthusiasts! A lot of effort is placed on quality boulder route-setting so there is no need to squeeze your own brain juices (you can still do so if you wish to). I must say that bouldering offers more thrill and comfort with its acrobatic possibilities on the wall and cosy rest-time on the mattress. It also allows you to focus on training specific techniques or holds – be it dyno, drop-knee, side-step, slopers or crimps – which are important for both budding and advanced climbers. While you may not find the option of high-wall climbing, you can probably draw inspiration from one of Singapore’s top climbers Jay Koh or steal some tricks from Team PMS!
|Credit: Geraldine Kong|
Indeed, it’s easy to see why the crowd is growing. CC also boasts the highest indoor climbing wall in Singapore – at 16m. It is rather exhibitionist, surrounded by curious onlookers/shoppers on a few storeys, which will perhaps go down well with our younger generations and also hopefully encourage more people to try or support the sport. The bouldering section is still under construction, but I’m sure it’ll be another cool feature!