When you want to climb more complex mountains, you will need to have some technical climbing experience. Since my goals are to climb higher and go for more challenging mountains, i thought some technical training will do me some good.
I reached out to our Elbrus climbing group and luckily they were also interested in learning more, so we decided to sign up for a Level 1 certification course conducted by YMCA. a Level 1 course is certified by Singapore National Climbing Standards (SNCS), is a set of standards developed by Singapore Mountaineering Federation (SMF), a professional body that oversees the sport of climbing in Singapore.
The course was conducted on Saturday, 24th October 2015 at Climb Asia, situated at Civil Services Club, 60 Tessensohn Road. We met our instructor, Freddie Ablazed. He is one bad ass climber who has done a lot of climbs all over the world. We could not have asked for anyone better to be our instructor. His style was very friendly and casual, yet professional and engaging.
We were taught the basics of climbing in the initial half of the day followed by hands-on climbing and belaying the next half. The basics included introduction to the various tools, ropes, knots, techniques as well as understanding communication between climbing partners and many more.
The second half was where all the action and pain was. We tried out free climbing and little did i know how weak and under trained my upper part of the body was. The pain on the fingers, shoulders and arms was excruciating. The initial few tries were ok but subsequently, i couldn’t even get my self up and had to fall a couple of time.
Later on, we went onto learning belay. This was more fun and i was more successful in climbing and belaying although by this time i was totally wasted in terms of strength.
After some initial tests, i managed to pass the basic course. Now i need to train seriously for the Level 2 course which requires you to do lead climbing, rappelling and other cool stuff.
Below is the video showing how Freddie does the climb. So simple and smooth. Need a lot of practice before i can do that.