Tuesday, April 11, 2006

rock climbing @ camp5

The last time I did any indoor rock climbing, it was for a competition at Summit Climbing Gym to humour my friends (who were the organisers) a couple of years ago. I haven't been indoors since then, mostly sporadic weekend visits to Batu Caves. Climbing had really taken a backseat in the last year or so, ever since I took up biking and went for more rides instead.

Today, Eric and I decided to visit the new climbing gym at 1 Utama, called Camp5. We've been talking about it for some time since its opening a few months ago. A lot of our friends have already made their visit. Time for us to pay homage to the new gym on the block.

Our first few steps into the gym were followed by ooh's and ahh's at the sight of the walls filled with multi-coloured hand holds. There were kids running about, climbing up and down a small little boulder and peeking out through the holes. The proshop had a lot of gear goodies stocked up (which I had browsed through after our climb, greedily eyeing a few things I'm tempted to buy on my next visit).

The interior layout and wall placements are impressive; during daytime, the gym relies on natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the highway. The first floor of the gym, where the top-rope climbs are located, is carpeted so people could walk around without shoes and still stay fairly feet-clean. Despite the vast space, the air-conditioning system was working good enough to keep us at a cool temperature.

Coming back to our climb...

As mentioned, we've not climbed indoors for the longest time. The misconception is that if you could climb outdoors well, you'd be able to do ok indoors, and vice versa. The truth of it is, the outdoors is less protected and perhaps scary, but with endless hold possibilities. Indoor climbing requires more technique with fixed hand or footholds that one must use without other choices.

I'm used to exposure with lots of holds for my fingers, so if one didn't fit or feel right, there's always another. Today, I had to settle with WYSIWYG on the walls.

Over the long period of absence from indoor climbing, it was so apparent that my strength had deteriorated. I couldn't even do a simple pull up to the next hold, which I would've quite easily accomplished 2 years ago. By the end of it all, the skin on my fingers were kinda raw from "exfoliation", my muscles were fatigued and my poor toes were screaming for sweet relief from the tightly-fitted climbing shoes! Right now, my grip is a little weak, and I could feel the tense muscles almost wanting to cramp up when I try to wring a piece of cloth or tie my shoelaces. And I paid RM22 for this torture... ha-ha!

All in all, it was a good climbing session. A lot of familiar faces were there too; it was nice seeing some of my friends from the climbing community again. I wouldn't mind coming back once a week or so. We're already contemplating in getting a 10-trip pass for RM180, which saves us RM4 per visit. To trip or not to trip? I guess that'll be this weekend's question if we come here again. Hopefully the skin on my fingers would've grown back by then.

I think I'll be wearing open-toed sandals to work tomorrow; my feet would appreciate it and my hands won't need to fiddle with shoelaces.

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p.s. I did the unthinkable today... I dropped my camera on the floor! It now has a dent on one of the corners. What's worse, little pieces of the battery compartment door had broken off, and it can't close anymore!! *sob sob sob*!! I'll have to send it back to Nikon to get the flap replaced... *sad sigh...*

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