I have never climbed anything that is higher than the tree in my old front yard. The tree was not even higher than 4 metres and I was just 8 years old at that time. But everything changed when I deciced to join a one-day trip on Saturday, July 16th to Mount Parang in Purwakarta, West Java.
One of thing that attracts me to join the trip was the adrenaline-rush that I wanted to feel. And boy.. what an adrenaline-rush that was.
Now let me tell you a little bit about this Mount Parang. Oh well.. you can actually read about Mount Parang in Wikipedia. But hey.. what’s the point of reading Wikipedia when I can tell you first-hand of my shaky-leg experience climbing that rocky mountain!
If you happen to be as clueless as me (before knowing how Mount Parang looks like), well don’t be surprised.. because me and 5 other people who joined the trip were basically ‘common’ people who couldn’t even imagined how this mountain even looks like. Yes, we’ve googled the mountain before the trip, we read people’s blog, but when we arrived at Mount Parang… it was nothing like we imagined.
Mount Parang is an andesite mountain of volcanic rock, with its peak of 963m above sea-level. Its 600m cliffs, offering hard rock and scant holds, make it a popular venue for Indonesia’s rock climbers since 1980. It is where climbing as a sport started in Indonesia and where one can challenge to create new route or perhaps just for the type of recreational rock climbers.
Okay, now that you have a glimpse of Mount Parang, don’t bother imagining me climbing that andesite mountain! Haha! The only reason why I dare myself to climb Mount Parang is because of the ‘iron road’ aka Via ferrata. (Please google yourself what Via ferrata is). All I can tell you is that.. now climbing the mountain is just as simple as climbing the ladder! (yeah right! *smirk). Mount Parang is the first to use Via ferrata technique in Indonesia (and the second in Asean after Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia). The path to climb Mount Parang Via ferrata is made out of steel bar and steel wire alongside the ladder.
The essence of a modern via ferrata is a steel cable that runs along the route and is periodically (every 3 to 10 metres) fixed to the rock. The safety kits that we use are important as it secures us to the steel cable preventing us from falling and can also be used as aid while climbing way up to the peak (or to the designated height that we choose). These are basically the safety kits that we use before climbing: A climbing harness, a lanyard, two carabiners and helmet.
Going up seems easy because technically it’s just like climbing ladder. But boy oh boy.. here comes the challenge: going down, ladies and gentleman!. Cause yeah.. once we’re up, we need to go down, right.
Going down is done by rappeling which means descending the mountain with the help of a rope. Sounds extreme?! Well, yeah.. a little! *Haha, liar, liar! Rappeling is actually safe because there will be a man who control the rope on top of us. I made note to Sky (our guide) to make reaaaalllyy slow movement in controlling the rope.
All in all, I had a really good time and I even congratulate myself in making the step to try something new and different! Who would’ve thought that I finally took the plunge and give this rock climbing a try. I must admit that I am not an adventurous kind of person, but hey.. giving myself a challenge and learn to know how far would I go.. is something that I need to work on. So now I can tell you that I’m glad I went for that rock climbing as my first-time experience and I personally can’t wait to have another challenging trip!
PS: I decided to submit this post for BEC. The theme is about first-time experience, so I guess this post should fit the bill 😀 Hhmm.. I wonder what other members would write about their first-time experience. Should be interesting, I bet!