Climberland – Bouldering Gym @ Wan Chai, HK

collage211.jpgAfter the almost daily bouldering sessions we had back in S’pore during the Easter Break, we just couldn’t get enough of the sport. Since the walls at YMCA @ TST are undergoing renovation for the entire month and will not be opened till 7th May, D & I have to look for alternatives.
We visited Climberland on Sat afternoon and spent about 3 hours bouldering there. This is very much similar to Climb Asia in S’pore: both are bouldering gyms in shophouses; both are somewhat near the subway stations but required a short walk; admission tickets are quite cheap (about S$6 for as long as we can boulder); and both gyms are not air-conditioned (DARN!!!)

Some differences:
Climb Asia’s bouldering gym is divided into 2 levels – the lower being the more difficult and technical one while the upper level is manageable for novices like me.
The bouldering gym at Climberland @ Wanchai is only on the 1st level, which is
technically-challenging for D & I; while the 2nd level is a cafe. This is a good addition since the cafe is done up like someone’s living room that include TV, DVD player, computer with Internet access, books, mags and lots of games for kids. This is a great idea especially for girlfriends, mums and young kids to chill out while their boyfriends or fathers are bouldering below.
I get to learn a number of techniques watching some of the experts there and tried to do it, accompanied with lots of falls. D tried to do the low overhangs, and he did a pretty good job.
I tore my palm a little while bouldering, had slipped off the hold, while the rest ofhand.jpg my fingers are tender and developing some kinda calluses. The Climberland’s holds are generally quite abrasive. This is the first time I tore my palm, and it stings when I wash.

There was also a number of kids who were having their climbing lessons at Climberland, some were as young as 5. I will definitely have our kid learn climbing, as it is not just a sport which requires brute strength, but a thinking sport.
We think about which holds that we should use; how we should hold them; where to place our foot; do we smear, tiptoe or hook our foot; where to move next… up, down, traverse… and this is just the basics. I am at the stage where I will just crimp and step on any holds, the experts will be following a set route which is usually very tough and demanding.
pumprocks.jpgD is looking into purchasing a pair of Pump Rocks and fix it in our apartment. These allow us to train our fingers’ strength, ‘cos not all holds are deep crimps.

Seriously, I don’t know how we have fallen head over heels with this sport. Perhaps it is because we need to do something exciting and active to fill up the additional time since we are alone in HK, without friends and families back home in S’pore. Perhaps it is to substitute our other love, motorcycling & touring, since we don’t do it in HK. Maybe it is just our 2nd childhood. But frankly, I enjoy this ‘cos it is something that D and I can do together, which allows us to spend more time together and have something else in common to get excited about.

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