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Saturday Adventures: Via Ferrata at BorderX

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The course itself.

Seriously Sarah just started a new series of posts where she does adventures. The series, Sarah Does Singapore, (I know it sounds a little porny but that’s why most of us voted for this title) starts on the 11th of January (which is today). Anyway, she had an open invitation to everyone who is interested to join her in her adventures (unless you’re a creepo then no, you’re not invited) and I thought, that sounded like fun.

So on Saturday, four of us, Sarah, Joelyn Alexandra, Avariel and I, met at Orchard Central. The Via Ferrata that we were going to was at BorderX, which is on the 4th floor of Orchard Central. It’s right in front of a Gelares outlet, so I guess those people who don’t climb, could just watch others do it while they enjoy their waffles/ice-cream.

Anyway, once the four of us have signed this paper thing saying that we’re all well and with no health problems, changed into our climbing gear and stored our belongings into the lockers provided, the next step was to get harnessed up. After getting into our climbing harness, the staff of BorderX explained to us the safety procedures and how to clip/unclip the cables through out the entire course. Since there were four of us, we were paired up; Sarah and I, Joelyn and Avariel.

As Sarah and I had done our little safety ‘training’ drill, we started the climb first. I wasn’t as confident as Sarah, so I waited while she climbed first and then I followed. About five metres up, I was already tired and so Sarah had to stop too and we just hung there by 2 safety cables and another one anchoring us to the metal rung, and we rested.

Joelyn wasn’t feeling well so she had to come back down and Avariel too, not too long after. They may not have gotten to the top but they tried.

After resting for a little while longer, Sarah and I resumed our climb up the 8 storey vertical climb, pausing to rest every few metres. Ok, so we rested because I needed to rest but it was just so challenging. The staff that climbed up with us was really nice and very encouraging. I would have given up about half way through if it wasn’t because of the encouragement and the push to finish.

Half way through, Sarah shouted, “Princess is not in the castle!” That made me laugh and momentarily made me forget my exhaustion. I guess it was a Mario reference since Princess Peach seems to get locked up in a random castle every so often.

It took me close to two hours to complete. Sarah was patiently waiting at the top since she finished the climb first and was saying, “Princess is in the castle!” It was funny and in a way it encouraged me to finish the climb all the way to the top.

To tell you the truth, that last bit, I was pretending to be Link and climbing up the last bit to save Princess Zelda from what ever monster that had taken her in this adventure. When I reached the top, it was a big achievement for me. I have a slight aversion for heights but making it all the way to the top was amazing and I felt like I could accomplish anything.

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They make it look so easy.

After coming back down (via a lift and not by climbing back down the course), we collected our belongings and sat down at Gelares to recover and to get some refreshments. While we had our waffles and ice-cream, we saw two other groups going up the course. They made it look so easy, completing the whole course before we even finished our waffles. We didn’t even take that long to eat.

I think that these two groups could be some what regular climbers to the course since they took one of the harder course routes and the speed at which they ascended.

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The climb was not without a certain amount of injury for me. They had advised that to prevent scratches, one should dress in long pants and long sleeves. I didn’t have any long sleeve shirts that were suitable, so I went with just my dry-fit shirt. Having to cling to the rungs at certain points by wrapping my arms around the rough metal, left me with some abrasions on my arms, some scrapped skin and bruises on the upper arm and knees. Not to mention the aching muscles on the upper body. It definitely was a good work out.

Would I want to do this again? Sure, but I just need to work on my upper body strength first as some parts of the course required me to pull up my body weight up just so that my legs could reach the rung I need to climb further up the course. Ultimately, I hope to the outdoor one at Mt Kinabalu.

I think that everyone should give it a try, even if you’re afraid of heights.


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