As part of our varied training in preparation for our expedition to Mt. Kinabalu we enlisted the moral support of veteran rockers The Stereophinics while they were in Kuala Lumpur for a concert. Lead singer Kelly Jones suggested we load up our iPods with a few of their albums to motivate us on our charity climb past a thousand trees and not eat too many sandwiches and to remember to Have a nice day. See photo in our photo section.
Mountain Torq see www.mountaintorq.com manage the world’s highest Via Ferrata (Iron Way) located in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mt Kinabalu. As South East Asia’s first mountaineering training centre, Mountain Torq also offers activities such as sports and rock climbing, rappelling and mountaineering skills courses. They are also the wonderful people who will be guiding us down this amazing Via Feretta (see the Video on links tab of our website) not only are they wonderful because they are guiding us down the worlds Via Feretta, but they are also sponsoring our Climb4Charity. These wonderful people at Mountain Torq were so impressed with our international group trying to raise funds for Charity, that they, are going to sponsor our efforts and give a whopping 5,000 Ringgits to Borneo Child Aid. All of us at Climb4Charity are very thankful for this very kind donation. Mountain Torq will also be promoting our Climb4Charity expedition at all of their outlets in Sabah. I would like to say special thanks to Ms Quek I- Gek who is the Sales & Marketing Director at Mountain Torq, for supporting us and really getting with the spirit of what we are trying to do, Many thanks on behalf of all taking part in the Climb4Charity.
One of the things I have noticed in Malaysia is I am way off the average weight! The average Malaysia male is 164.7 cm (5' 4.8") tall, which for a healthy body mass index equates to 65 Kg’s or 145lbs. So it was with trepidation that I accepted the offer to join Amy and Ade’s group visit to Skytrex http://www.skytrex-adventure.com/ where one can courageously zoom across the rainforest canopy suspended in a harness attached to a cable. Sounds like fun, yes, but when the small print states a weight limit of 100Kg’s well above the Average Malaysia weight, then us more massive people get concerned! The last time I weighed 65Kg’s there was no such thing as mobile phones or CD’s! or in today’s context, the only place I weigh 65Kg’s is on the moon. So hence with more stress than the tight ropes I was going to be walking on I headed off to join the gang of crazy people at Skytrex.
To avoid the heat we arrived early at our meeting point, the gates of Taman Pertanian a forest reserve and National Botanical Garden on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. Amy and Ade had managed to sign up 22 nut jobs for this jungle assault course. We were bussed deep into the native forest and preceded with our safety training, while all the time I was trying to look lighter than I was so they wouldn’t send me home. Without a weighing scales in sight, we did the brief training session and were shown to the rope ladder which led to a platform way up at the top of the jungle canopy. Everybody else seemed happy and unconcerned which I guess was easier for those with considerably lower gravitational pull. So with thoughts of Sir Isaac Newton and the worrying fact that what goes up must come down I began the long haul up the rope ladder. Once up on the initial platform though, all thoughts of gravity went straight out of my head, suddenly I was Rambo, with no ammo, just me and the elevated assault course through the jungle. I could taste the adrenalin in my mouth, this was life or death, real survival stuff, it was really high, but also really exciting, nerves soon gave way to fun and the mish mesh of rope ladders and tight rope’s and “flying fox” cable slides was a total blast. Rambo won, nobody was killed and I can vouch that the stated weight limit for Skytrex of 100Kg’s is thankfully at least 25% out! I’m also hoping that the experience and carabineer training will be of additional benefit for those of us taking the Via Feretta decent route, on Kinabalu which I sincerely hope is also over engineered for non average Malaysian’s!