Of Spiderman & Clumsy Gecko – Episode 4

Have you ever had to go for an assessment, knowing full well you don’t have to study for it and that you will definitely pass… no matter how big a boo boo you make.

Well, last night was that kind of ASSessment where I made those 3 letters looked good. In a way, I was upset that the course is coming to an end, but I suppose D and I could always climb on our own. I have already thought of doing that once a week, especially since I am quite the slow learner who needs regular practice.

Found out that Ah John/Jun is really Ah Jun, and he was our examiner… surprise!!! We did our usual stretching exercises and warm up by climbing and falling off the easy walls a couple of times.

I had plans to be the first to do the assessment, so that it will be R&R the rest of the time. While up on that same wall that I had problems with the previous lesson (See Episode 3), I had to call out “Tension” twice to rest my aching arms. Anyway, finally I made it to the top, fell off the wall and descended to the ground. Next, I was assessed as the Belayer which I did fine.

Everyone did the same things – climb, fall and belay, except all climbed that darn wall smoothly.

After the assessment, Ah Jun showed us how to use the Gri-Gri Belay device, which is easier and smoother to use than the “manual” Figure 8/ATC. The Gri-Gri also has a safety lever which will lock the rope in place, especially if the climber falls. We had a go at climbing using the Gri-Gri and soon I realised that it is not made for left-handers like me.

When we used Figure 8/ATC, I could use my left hand as the brake hand to belay. But when given the Gri-Gri, I suddenly felt awkward and didn’t know what to do. I asked Ah Jun if there is a left-hand Gri-Gri, and “no” was the answer. So I had to re-learn everything.

Darn, why is the world made for right-handers?

Later that night, D tried to search for left-hand Gri-Gris on the Net, but couldn’t find any… So all left-handers are “forced” to use the other side?!?

I tried to climb this new section of the wall, but as usual, the mind is willing but the legs, especially the darn right leg, refused to push the body upwards. And being the competitive person I am, I feel miserable knowing that others can do it but I can’t. Never mind, I will conquer that stupid wall, and this other stupid wall some day… except the climbing walls in YMCA will be undergoing renovation in another couple of weeks and so, I will never be able to climb those darn walls.

Realised I am always favouring my left… will look for the footholds on my left, grab the hand holds on my left…

Ah Jun asked us to have dinner together after the class and we trotted to this Chinese eatery across the streets for some typical cantonese cuisine… 4 assorted dishes and soup. Good food tho’. I had taken some photos of this interesting feature attached to each table, but somehow the photos weren’t saved.

It’s basically a toilet roll holder that is attached to the side of the table. So instead of serviettes or napkins, customers will just pull out some toilet paper from the holder. Very interesting…

One thing I must mention is Ah Jun suggested to us that he can plan for another 11-hour session at one of the public climbing walls, so that we can have the SCAHK certification (besides the YMCA one), as he is also an SCAHK instructor. Apparently, the SCAHK basic climbing course is the same as the one we attended, but to climb at the public walls, we need the SCAHK certification. I suppose the climbing certification here in HK needs to be more streamlined, instead of having 2 different ones.

D and I are going back to S’pore tomorrow and we have plans to do some climbing or bouldering later next week.

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