The really weird thing nowadays in Singapore that if you go to Orchard or Somerset, you’d end up in a mall once you get out of the train station. The even weirder thing is that there’s so many malls like woah and they’re all next to each other. This makes it quite confusing for anyone who hasn’t been there for quite a while. Considering most of the malls are similar to each other, I went “Wooooh” when I got the newsletter from my climbing place that they’ve set up a shop in one of them at Orchard Central! It’s the Via Ferrata by Border X. Guest stars for this adventure include: Joelyn Alexandra, Avariel and Mintea.
See that thing above Gelare? THAT is what we’re gonna climb.
Ehhhh, going up close to it doesn’t make it seem less scarier actually. Anywho, Jo was kinda late so we hung around the Prana shop which is Border X’s clothes/equipment store and there was a bunch of stuff that I liked. Then we somewhat wasted time by signing our indemnity forms first and paid $35 to them cause it was a weekend. On weekdays, it’s just $30. I find it worth it cause the equipment and all is included. Then Jo came so yay, she got her form signed and paid for hers! We’re all then led to the platform.
There were two guides for us and oooh, we got to stuff our bags into a large locker on top so it was all good. Once our bags were stuffed in, we were shown how to put on our harness. IT WAS A SPORTS HARNESS, LIKE GASP!!! Okay, let’s do a brief infomercial here.
Alpine harness is a harness that is easy to put on if you wanna take off your clothes or put on your clothes. Um, I mean, considering it’s called ALPINE, it’s for those climbing up mountains so you can easily layer your outfits without taking off your harness every time. The con for this is that you really need to make sure your “buckles” are strapped on properly. The other climbing harness which I always forget the “style” is the normal one that I get to use at other places, bla bla bla, really secure but it’s got straps that mean you won’t be able to put on/take off your clothes easily while wearing it. ANYWAY, the ones we got was the SPORTS harness which mean it was like the normal one BUUUUUUUT, it had padded leg straps and stuff!
It makes me le squee cause it’s one of the most comfortable of harnesses of the lot. We got to wear THAT. Okay, end of infomercial. Besides the harness, we got to wear a helmet and gloves. I brought my own gloves though and heh, we were all set once we had our stuff on and had a little briefing on how to use the lobster claws, “blue” safety line and how to put in the rope on the metal pig tails on the wall. Bla, bla, bla, FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS OR FALL TO YOUR DEATH.
I mean, you can see how high that wall is!
Without any flowers or chocolates whatsover, I got attached to Mintea. BWURHURHUR. Right, anyway… We climbed up! On a scale of the scary climbing things I’ve uh, climbed, THIS IS ONE OF THE SCARIEST. Oh hey, you can see what a “lobster claw” is, it’s the one which I’m clipping on with the yellow line, it only opens if you press both sides of the clip.
But anyway, yes… SCARIEST because unlike Forest Adventure/Megazip/rock climbing, you’re attached to just the rope and the yellow lines. It’s scary to me cause compared to the rest, it’s seems more difficult to scramble up if you fall and are dangling from the rope, against the wall.
Suuuure, it’s TECHNICALLY iron ladder steps there but you’ll realize it’s not that easy going up!
This is probably the view Mintea gets cause she’s below me. Also, the nice thing about this all is that the guides FOLLOW you up! Which is good cause you can talk to them and they’ll check on you every step of the way! Ps. Those are North Face multi-sport shoes if you’re wondering why they have such funky treads. VERY useful in climbing things like these, by the way.
Unfortunately, Jo and Avariel couldn’t make it up but they DID try which was much better than anyone not trying it at all and going all “EEEE, SO SCARYYYYYYYYY”. You can see those two waay down below. That little black and brown thing sitting at the bottom. Oh, all these pictures while we’re on the wall? THEY WERE TAKEN BY THE GUIDE! That was so cool of Border X! He was using a Power Shot camera, the tough adventure one with the special cable attached to it. I did wonder to buy that one or the latest Canon ixus to replace my camera that was dead. (I’m using a loaner that I got for my parents actually.)
We took around 1 and a half hours to get to the top, this included “resting” time where we hung on our blue lines on the metal steps thingy and just leaned back. I kinda talked to the guide while we were half way up since Mintea wanted to rest and asked him what happens if the people get stuck or are too afraid to continue? He told me that… Well, he’d have to help them by carrying them up, some in awkward positions like on his shoulders etc to get off the wall.
See, by the time we were halfway, it was really tiring for us newbies at this and we were wondering, “WHYYY, WHY AM I DOING THIS?” adding to the fact that it was heck scary if you lost your footing.
ALSO, adding to the fact that while we chit chatted in the middle of the wall (while Mintea rested cause she hasn’t gone on climbing adventures like these before), I learned that he was a student at where I worked… AND no, I’m not an educator by the way but anyway, the main point is…
I AM NOT THAT KIND OF PRINCESS.
I refuse to be rescued and thus, I would stubbornly make my way upwards (with Mintea in tow cause as I said, we’re attached). I had to employ some moves I learned in my previous adventures which involved stretching and grabbing an iron ladder step while swinging to the other side and scrambling up. Eventually we got to the top, so yay, YAY!
And then we celebrated with ice cream and waffles which totally cancelled out our calorie burning climb. Sheesh, all four of us chilled at Gelare while we watched another set of climbers go up since we had the best view there.
Gelare probably got a lot of business from climbers since it can get really tiring going up. We haven’t finished our waffles and these two teams managed to get up the top quickly! We were like, “GAAAh, WHAAT!” and they even took the alternate route which was more difficult. We figured they were regulars since they knew what to do. Uuungh. No matter, we were new at this! Next time, we can do it faster and better!
Damage report:My hands got blistered and Mintea’s got her arms pretty red too from scraping against the wall. Heh, I wore long sleeves so it was only my hands that were hurty even if I had gloves on! Next time, I’m gonna borrow my brother’s gloves, the ones that I got were a different padding type for general adventures with rope. I needed a leather padded one instead. Mintea’s hands were relatively okay though so yay on the gloves they gave her!
So we hung around there for a bit and then decided to get up to the top floor of Central since we were there, might as well check the mall out, eh? The lifts however, were confusing. We’re not gonna talk about the architecture of the place because you’ll realize the problems with it once you note the “target audience” of the mall. Anyway, they had a sky garden and it was pretty nice and windy. A few art sculptures there too so it was nice. Overall, Orchard Central seems pretty quiet compared to the other malls on the strip but hey, I think I’ll visit it more just for the climbing, especially when I can just take a train trip and head on there quickly! It’s fuuun.