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Boulderactive 2009 - Limit Break
in this issue
Have some burning questions on climbing? Get them answered in our Dr. Rock column.
eaping men and flying women, deafening audience and the numerous breathtaking moments. Many tasted the sweetness of grabbing the end hold, but numerous more the dirt on the mattress. However, success or otherwise, everyone cheered and was wildly entertained. This effectively sums up the exhiliration of Boulderactive 2009, held across three days from 20th to 22nd March 2009. The annual bouldering competition organized by the NUS Climbing Club for the 12th time, comes back bigger and better. Taking place at a new premise, Velocity@Novena, it was a change welcomed by many for its better accessibility and abundance of food and amusement choices, all of which provided both shelter and entertainment that served to distract when the clouds came on Saturday afternoon. This year, Boulderactive saw a whopping number of over 300
participants. Coming from all walks of life, they ranged from working professionals to students to stay-athome mothers. “It is very encouraging to see the growing interest in our sport,” shared Mr Nigel Chan, President of NUS Climbing Club: “We were surprised by the number of people signing up, and it was really unfortunate that we had to turn away some.”
(cont. on page 4-5)
Join Traveling Climber in exploring one of Asia’s most loved climbing destination - Krabi
Health & Training
Pumpfest ‘09 Photo Contest
Submit photos and stand a chance to a Black Diamond Positron Locking Carabiner + ATC Sport worth $55 courtesy of Campers Corner. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Pumpfest Photo Contest”.
4 steps to enhance your competition performance
Singapore Cli mbers Associa tion (SCA) is a long overdu For many yea e endeavour. rs, there have been many d part for the cl edicated clim imbing comm bers who have unity in Sin route-set, to be tried to do thei gapore. They lay and to co r have volunteer ach. But it ha ed themselves s all amounte I have done a to d to little. fair bit myse lf, but perhap be climbing th s not enough. an politickin I love climbin g. That is why Europe, to clim g, and I will my partner an b. But havin rather d I went away g made it back community. for a year in , we realize th at it is time w e give back to The past is ov our er. What we w ant to do now which sport cl , with SCA, is imbing can g to rebuild the row again. T League (NBL foundation fr o that end, S ). CA created th om e National Bou Climbers are ldering most energiz ed and bonded are fiercely co together duri mpetitive, we ng competition always cheer camaraderie s. While clim our opponents and the sharin bers onward towar g is like nothi ds that last ho ng experience Thus, we form ld. The d in any othe ed SCA with r sports. the aim to get before- To in spire keen you the climbing community m ng people to co or helping to ore cohesive th ntribute to cl organize a cl imbing by ro an imbing event. ute-setting, be Forming the laying association w as no easy ta administrativ sk, we realised e work and fi . There were to ling, digging cracking our ns of into our pock brains and m ets to fund ou uch more. Bu r movement, t no, we are n Producing th ot complainin is copy of Dy g. no that you ho first 8a. It to ld in your ha ok a lot of wor nds was like k, but it is w each climber’ conquering m ell worth it. W s journey, lett y e hope Dyno w ing us fill you enhance your ill become a pa in on the late health & train rt of st happening ing regime, an climbers, like s, provide tips d offer an oppo yourself. to rtunity to con nect with othe Apart from D r yno, SCA ha s also launch http://www.s ed a dedicated gclimb.com website and fo rum at Being a self-f unded organ ization, we se You can contr ek all the con ibute as simpl tributions that y as- letting sharing with we can receiv us know how us your exhila e. we did and he rating adven the communit lp us to improv ture, or by don y better. Every e, ating to us to little effort co contributions. help us to serv unts and we e hope you will en courage us with yo Cheers to you, Ch ur eers to Dyno. Ben Toh SCA Chairperson Yours sincerely,
SCA needs you! Come join us as route-setters, photographer, marketing team, contributors, etc. Write in with your name and contact to email@example.com today!
Where to get your issue of Dyno
- Pumpfest ‘09, RockaMania ‘09 - Various institutions & Climb Asia - Electronic mailing list
A quarterly publication by
All materials in this issue are copyrighted materials of SCA.
Smart - New Belaying Device
Mammut has launched a new belaying device, Smart which locks the rope in a style similar to that of the Petzl GriGri. A singular piece of equipment, the Smart works well for single ropes from 8.9 to 10.5mm in diameter and retails at half the price of a GriGri.
How much rest do I need to allow my body to recover sufficiently for the next climb?
ask DR. ROCK Q
What should I look out for when buying my first pair of climbing shoes?
The amount of rest you need varies each time you climb or train. It is dependent on factors such as the intensity of your climb, how often you train, and your age. The harder you climb or the older you get, more rest would be needed. A good rule of thumb adopted by most climbers would be to climb two days and rest one day. Having appropriate rest is necessary for muscle growth (hypertrophy), which takes place during rest and not during a workout. Failure to rest may undo all the hard work you did during training itself. Resting may sound simple, but in our day and age of 24 hour entertainment such as YouTube and Facebook, it does not come easy. Lack of adequate sleep or proper nutrition is perhaps a major roadblock to most of our younger athletes.
Free Climbing with BAGJUMP
Bringing a whole new meaning to the term “free climbing”, a giant multi-chambered airbag, BAGJUMP, was recently tested at the ‘Rockmaster’ climbing wall at Arco, Italy. Russian national speed climbers tackled the 20m wall solo, bringing home with them only an adrenaline rush after each fall.
A good pair of shoes is vital to good climbs. While many climbers or sales people have different ideas on sizing a climbing shoe, Mad Rock hit the nail with their philosophy on shoe fitting: Comfortable is too large. Painful is too small.Uncomfortable is perfect. Apart from this, the following are some guidelines to help you find that perfect shoe: + Buy from people who climb Retailers such as Campers Corner and Climb Asia have salespeople who actually wear the shoes they sell, and are able to provide reliable assistance when you make your shoe purchase. + Testing on a wall Good retailers will have walls or surfaces for you to test the shoes on, so do not be shy to take advantage of the facilities. + Legendary “small” Uncle Do not be affected or swayed by a salesperson’s pushy tactics. Take your time in finding your “uncomfortable” shoe. Never get shoes that are too small that go beyond “uncomfortable”. It may just be the fastest way to end your enthusiasm for climbing!
Want your questions to be answered? Submit them to dyno@ sgclimb.com along with your nam e and contact number. The best entry will walk away with a Black Diamond Rocklock twistlock carabiner + ATC Guide worth $82 courtesy of Campers Corner.
A Spin on Climbing
Suspending a series of volumes 20m aboveground to create a tricky 13m overhanging traverse, climbing competition Skymasters continues to incite spectator frenzy in Birmingham, U.K. The highlight this year was a rotating cone-shaped volume which climbers had to hold onto, and spin around on in order to reach the last section of the climb.
How do I overcome my fear of falling?
By falling a lot! But seriously, a good attentive belayer may be all you need. Thus, the importance of finding good climbing buddies whom you can trust. Be wary of asking strangers for a belay on a project route. Getting a stiff belay on a vertical route might mean a painful experience that will leave you scared of falling for life! A good dynamic belay should feel like you are landing in a pile of autumn leaves. If a good belayer is not available, train your mind by taking repeated falls on overhangs, where the chance of banging into the walls are slimmer.
A trendy new climbing outfit, Border X (pronounced Border Crossing) opens at Orchard Central on 25th May. Watch out for the world’s tallest indoor Via Ferrata, climbing walls equipped with auto belaying stations, and a shop retailing coveted prAna merchandise.
More Routes More Fun
Across 6 climbing surfaces which included a steep overhang, a slab and a roof, the 3 climbing towers provided plenty of opportunities for a variety of climbs. Adjoining walls also made for interesting dihedral routes, increasing the excitement for both participants and supporters. If you got the feeling that more climbs were made, you are certainly not wrong. Boulderactive ’09 had from a 25% increase in the number of routes completed in the Women’s Open finals to a 200% increase for the Men’s Intermediate Finals. It had more finished routes than the whole of 2008’s bouldering competitions combined! The giant leap in the number of routes was to enable competitors to be tested on a variety of techniques, to better entertain the audience, and, of course, to make your participation fee all the more worth it. To accommodate the dramatic increase in routes, the NUS team more than beefed up their management skills. “It is much more efficient this year, the waiting time was much shorter too”, said Ms Kai Xuan, 20, a student from TP who has been climbing for 2.5 years.
well-versed in technique, flexibility, power, dynamism and problem solving. These were the criteria that guided the route-setting team in its designs,” shared Mr. Ben Toh, chief route-setter for Boulderactive ’09 and a passionate climber for over 14 years. The biggest improvement to Boulderactive was perhaps the placement of the bonus and end holds. It allowed route-setters to set ‘do-able’ routes that filtered out participants by attempts without having to ‘kill’ everyone off. That was what resulted in the astronomic increase in number of tops. Commenting on the routes set this year, Mr. Haroz Foo, 19, a student from TP and winner of Boulderactive ’09 Men’s Open, said, “The routes this year are indeed challenging but yet still achievable.”
audience, with the Top 11 finishing all 4 routes. Unfortunately, a narrow miss by just 1 attempt robbed Mr. Ee Guo Rong of a spot in the finals, and he had to settle for 11th position. On the other hand, Mr. Chua Yi Xiong (right) from NUS, who came in 2nd place, had reason to celebrate. Having attained 5th for Pumpfest and 8th in Rockmaster in 2008, his achievement finally ended his overdue detention in the Intermediate category. Well done, Yi Xiong! An early upset in the Men’s Open qualifiers shocked the crowd when competition favourite Mr. Muhd Hazlee failed to qualify for the finals. Nevertheless, a spectacular finals was set to unfold. Coming in 3rd position was Mr. Zul Fadzli from Malaysia. This young upstart came up 1st in the qualifying rounds and young as he is, is already posing a threat to the veterans in the Open Category with his fluid and powerful moves. With more competition experience, we believe we will be seeing more of him on podium finishes. In an unexpected turn of events, Mr. Khairul Hafiz, the candid and regular sportsman from up north, forgot to hold the end hold with 2 hands, which dearly cost him the 1st placing. The effortlessly likeable climber will be taking home the 2nd place for the 2nd consecutive year. Mr. Haroz Foo from Temasek Polytechnic was crowned the ultimate winner of Men’s Final.
A gross underestimation of the abilities of the Under 16 Male participants resulted in an 8 way tie. This meant that they had to battle it out on routes designed for the Men’s Novice Category to sieve out the eventual winner, Mr. Chew Jie Rui from Loyang Secondary. His spectacular performance easily placed him 22nd out of the 95 participants in the Men’s Novice Category. Definitely a star climber in the making, Jie Rui might just be the name to look out for in the years to come. The intensive Men’s Intermediate qualifying round thrilled the
Routes: Style & Difficulty
No longer will the winner be the best crimper, the best dyno-er or the best locker. The new chief route-setter sought to sieve out the most all-rounded athlete from the competition. “The top boulderer should be
Mr. Foo, who has been climbing for 6 years, shares with us his aspiration, “I always admire European climbers for their powerful and fluid climb, I want to climb as well as they do.” Through her powerful and dynamic climbing style, Ms Beatrix Chong demonstrated her utter dominance of women’s bouldering, flashing all the routes in both the qualifying and final rounds. In the last route, while everyone struggled to even make the first double dyno, she breezed past it and went on to stick the second dyno. She ended up being the only woman to finish at the top, winning Boulderactive in style.
strengths, and at least I know where I stand (among other climbers).” Sharing the same view was Mr. Nigel Chan, “It will encourage participants to be more consistent in their performance and help to boost participation rates.” Points are accumulated through the Continuously Updated Ranking Score (CURS) system, where scores are allocated according to one’s ranking in each competition. More details on the CURS and latest ranking results are available on our website at http://www.sgclimb.com As a start, only participants in the Open Category will be considered in the official league, where the top female and male boulderers will be sent to compete in the Asian Continental Championships in Korea in September, courtesy of SCA. (terms and conditions apply) Tabling of league results for age groups and varsities in the Novice and Intermediate categories will still be available, however on an unofficial basis.
NBL ranking results are out and are available for viewing and download from our website (http://www.sgclimb.com). Check out our video collection for a recap of all the finished routes and the array of stunning pictures captured. A big congratulation to all the winners and participants of Boulderactive ’09. It does not matter if you are in the Novice or Open category. It does not matter if you finish the route or not. It does not matter if you win or lose. What matters is how you face your problems. If you put in 100% for all your climbs, you will always be a winner. (Just remember to hold the end tile with 2 hands )
National Bouldering League (NBL)
Amidst all of these top climbers, do you know where you stand in terms of your bouldering abilities? This is a key resolution that the Singapore Climbers Association (SCA) aims to bring to our climbing community through the introduction of the NBL. NBL, which is endorsed by the Singapore Mountaineering Federation (SMF), is a consolidated ranking league comprising Boulderactive, Pumpfest, and Rockmaster. It is a platform on which climbers can continuously monitor their personal progress over these competitions and in turn, motivate themselves to improve. “Given the right opportunity to train and compete, I believe our local climbers will be able to out perform the regional competition and start making a splash in the international scene,” said Mr. Toh. Already, one of the best female Asian boulderer is a Singaporean. Mr. Allen Tan, 26, a student from NTU, commented on the league, “It can help to gauge climbers’
for galore com of picture s, v ideos and NBL r anking re sults.
NBL WOMENS OPEN
RANKING 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 NAME
BEATRIX CHONG LOW SHUANG E SUE ANN CHUNG SANDRA XU SARAH TOH TRIANA ARIESSANDY LEE TING TING
POINTS 100 80 65 55 51 47 43
NBL MENS OPEN
RANKING 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 NAME FOO XIU QUAN, HAROZ MOHD IRWAN JAY KOH MUHAMMED HATTA YAM CHOON HIAN DANIAL MOHD MUHD HAZLEE POINTS 100 80 65 55 51 47 43
your pictures with us! Email us your photos or albums to firstname.lastname@example.org
Krabi – Rock Paradise of South East Asia
Not again. I believe many climbers have visited Krabi or at least heard of people making trips to Krabi, but we really can’t get enough of this place.
Rest day – what to do
Maintaining our form is important for good climbs. A good rule of thumb is to climb 2 days, rest 1 day. There are tons of activities to entertain you during rest days. Activities like snorkelling, hiking, sunbathing, beach volleyball, kayaking, islandhopping and of course, indulging in soothing massages. Recommended to do: Exploring the Batman Cave, sunbathing on Pranang Beach and massage.
Live cheap yet luxurious
With over 600 routes of all grades and height, you will be spoilt for choice and there is definitely something for everyone. The main bulk of routes are dotted along Railay and Ton Sai. Krabi is probably the best climbing destination in the world. It has an amazing atmosphere with climbing sites located within close proximity, and most importantly, a 200Bht (SGD8) Thai massage (1 hr long) to relax those sore muscles after a hard day’s climb. Simply heaven. The key to cheap living is to go during low season, which is anytime of the year except from late November to late January. Not only will air tickets from budget airlines cost less, but you can also get bargain accomodations for as little as 100Bht at a bungalow and even lower if you are staying for extended period. Recommended resorts: Ton Sai Bungalows, Krabi Mountain View, Dream Valley (more expensive), Pasook, Green Valley, Andaman Resort and Banyan Tree (less expensive).
Low season would also translate to less queuing. Beginners will have an easier time climbing at spots like 123 Wall and Tyrolene Wall without the pressure of onlookers and snaking queues. Especially so for adventurous climbers eyeing the most popular multipitch climb in Asia, Humanality (6b+). With so many choices, it is important to be selective. Below is our list of our recommended routes to try when you are in Krabi.
How to get there?
Two common ways of getting into Ton Sai would be by road or air. While there are no more direct flights from Singapore to Krabi, an alternative would be to fly to KL, and take an AirAsia flight direct to Krabi. For more details on how to get there, what to do, and what to climb. Log onto our website at http://www.sgclimb.com
Name/Grade Groove Tube, 5c Where Eagles Don’t Dare, 6b Make a Way, 6b Loisl, 6c+ Freedom Safari, 7a Live and Let Thai, 7a+ Reminscence,7a+
Area Fire Wall Eagle Wall 123 Wall Tyrolene Wall
Description Easy.Fun. Beautiful. New Route. Nice Moves. Classic test piece Exciting. Safe. Anaemic.
Name/Gradet Cross-Eyed, 7b
Area Melting Wall
Description Easy.Fun. Beautiful. Technical & Varied. Everyone’s first 7b+. 14 Quickdraws Epic Journey Moves that you have never done
The Way of the Emperor, Generator 7b Wall Tidal Wave,7b+ Blind, Deaf and Dumb, 7b+ Tyrolene Air, 7c Just Call Me Helmet, 8a Tonsai Tyrolene Wall Tyrolene Wall Tyrolene Wall
Wild Kingdom Fun. Hassle to clean. Thaiwand Wall Exposed . Hard for grade. Dum’s Kitchen Technical Climb. Anaemic.
Training Performance ≠ Competition Performance
ave you ever wondered why, despite having trained so hard and doing really well during training, you still falter at the most crucial moments during a competition? This issue of Health & Training aims to enlighten you on how to improve your competition performance with your current fitness level. Here are 4 key aspects to help you up your competition performance.
No athlete can perform at 100% all the time. Even Sharma takes a break sometimes. Therefore there is a need to prepare the body to be at its best during competitions. Some tips on planning your own tapering program:
Periodisation, Tapering and Peaking
Develop your own warm-up routine and competition habits/ procedures. Give yourself at least half an hour to raise your heart rate and warm up your fingers. Doing so will prevent flash pump and finger injuries. Simple routines like these can help you to relax and be ready to climb at your best.
+ Quality Rest
The body needs 24-48hrs before it feels a training effect and becomes stronger than it was before the training.
+ Quality vs Quantity
A tried and tested training regime is to have high intensity workouts in lower volume nearer to the date of competition. Eg. For the week leading up to the competition, do hard boulder problems (4-5 moves) instead of doing 30-moves power-endurance problems. Also focus on onsighting and not on projects.
How many times have you ended your climbing turn, looked at other climbers and realised that your sequence is wrong? Or that you missed a crucial foothold? The truth is, your performance is already guaranteed to improve for every handhold and foothold that you did not miss! So ingrain in yourself the habit of taking a step back to read your route and look around before you begin climbing. Taking 30 seconds to analyze the problem would definitely serve you better than hitting the climb immediately. And if people are shouting “LOOK AROUND” or “THINK”, it is probably already too late. Ultimately, climbing is not just about physical preparation, but mental preparation as well. Adopt the attitude that competition day is a day of celebration for all the hard training put in during the months before. So just relax, enjoy your climbs, smile and wave to your friends!
+ Stop Procrastinating
“De-training” effects set in as fast as after 1 week of doing nothing! You will be better off even if you just boulder for an hour. If you have to stop climbing due to injury such as inflammation in the joints, doing simple intervals of ‘opening/closing’ exercises of the hands with the arms outstretched will do wonders in retaining your fitness while you patiently wait for it to heal.
Rehearsals allow athletes to be comfortable with the actual situation during the competition itself, i.e. with the rest/ climb intervals, the pressures of onsighting, noise, etc. Hold mock competitions with your training buddies or if you’re fortunate enough, have your coach set competition-style routes for the mock competitions.
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In Conversation with Philip Lim
ot your regular seasoned climber, Mr. Philip Lim is a well known personality in the local climbing circle. 5-time National Champion, his other accomplishments include co-founding the beloved Climb Asia Climbing Centre, onsighting up to 7c+ and redpointing an 8b.
However, what might best distinguish Philip of today are not these personal victories but instead the enduring respect of students once coached by him. Philip has unquestionably helped mould rock climbing in Singapore to what we know it to be today.
Nonetheless, as implausible as it seems, Philip’s attachment to the rock was not always set in stone. “[Climbing] wasn’t something that I told myself I would do forever. There were definitely times when I thought that maybe I should move on and do something else, I was just taking it one step at a time.” In his third year of active climbing, Philip hit his first dry spell from the mundane shuffling between the school wall and Dairy Farm. His passion was reignited after a trip to the limestone crags at Krabi, Thailand. Enchanted by the beauty of the rock, he returned every 6 months for the subsequent 5 years, staying for up to 2 months at a trip. Philip’s renewed passion for rock climbing and new found love for the great outdoors propelled him to take the next step – he left his full-time job in advertising and alternated between taking on freelance assignments and exploring new climbing areas. “I felt like climbing every rock on this planet.” Only mortal, Philip could not escape the financial realities of living and had to sometimes take on odd jobs such as cleaning windows on skyscrapers as a rope-access technician. Traveling whenever opportunity arose, Philip has visited the rock faces at exotic faraway locations such as a
France, Italy, Switzerland and Japan. He recalls his trip to Céüse, France as the most special. Returning to Céüse in 2004, Philip completed his hardest climb to date – a route named L’ami de tout le monde (8B), loosely translated as ‘Friends of the World’ “L’ami de tout le monde is a very beautiful and very challenging route. I didn’t mind doing it over and over again.” Regarding it to be his greatest personal achievement in life, Philip elaborated on his decision to stop competing and to shift his focus towards nurturing young talents. He made the choice to be contented with his competitive accolades and settle into coaching full-time. “My latest ‘project’ is to set up
a team of dedicated and passionate climbing coaches, to nurture young aspiring climbers to become outdoor rock climbers.” Newly wed and founder of the recently set up climbing consultancy Acrobatics, Philip still struggles to find the delicate balance between work, family and his personal pursuit of climbing. He does, however, remain a respected coach, climber and veteran. In his simple words of advice for aspiring climbers, he unwittingly reminds us of the purity of his love for climbing: Just enjoy climbing. Explore the outdoors more. And take care of your fingers [laughs]
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