Learning the ropes

Learning the ropes

091005_18
A climber abseils down a climbing wall attached to scaffolding at the Yellow Tower construction site. Climbing enthusiasts turned out last Saturday and Sunday to socialise and take a rare opportunity to practise their skills in Phnom Penh.

Post reporter Jude Mak put aside his acrophobia to join thrillseekers scaling a construction site last weekend

Getting to the top is all that matters. Only purists would be concerned with the how.

Dangling at the height of five-and-a-half double-decker buses above the ground should be enough to get anyone’s heart pumping.

And those seeking an adrenaline rush got a chance to do just that – atop a temporary climbing wall installed for the Khlimb the Penh event, held last weekend in Phnom Penh.

The 25-metre-high vertiginous challenge was erected on the side of the Yellow Tower, currently under construction on the Chroy Changvar peninsula.

With safety gear and harness provided, climbers scaled the wall as they pleased for only $5, which included ferry rides to and from the site.
Climbers also had the choice of abseiling down the side of the building.

By noon on Saturday, there were more than two dozen people at the site, hanging around and socialising, offering encouragement to whomever was on the ascent.

The neon-orange wall was studded with different colour grips, which led the climber on ascents of varying degrees of difficulty.

Since the wall could only accommodate one person at a time, there was a queue, although time was easily killed by walking up the uncompleted Yellow Tower to enjoy a spectacular view of Phnom Penh from way above.

When my time came, I admit I was a bit nervous – and a slight fear of heights does not help in such situations.

And my lack of climbing shoes and chalk bag simply exacerbated the problem.
I’m pleased to report, however, that I did eventually make it to the top in one piece.

A small amount of cheating – holding onto the sides of the wall and taking my time – was brushed aside by Tony Keating, one of the two organisers of Khlimb the Penh.

“Getting to the top is all that matters,” Keating assured me. “Only purists would be concerned with the how.”
Co-organiser Yves Nommay said he was satisfied with the turnout.

“We got a bunch of good people. There were many beginners and climbers of all different nationalities,” Nommay said.
“This was the objective – to get people together and get the climber’s network going.”

As for continuing the event, Yves said: “We are planning to do it on monthly basis, but it takes a lot of time and energy.”

He said the next Khlimb the Penh, to be held at the Skyline building near Independence Monument, should be even more impressive than the first.
“There will be four pitches to accommodate four climbers at the same time,

as well as a temporary wall over the swimming pool,” Nommay said.

“The view of Phnom Penh should be very nice, as will the breeze, since the building is 40 metres high.”
The next event would be held in late October or early November, he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune