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Friday, August 24, 2012

Indoor Wall Climbing at Camp Sandugo » A Weekend To-do for Adrenaline Junkies

Two climbers and two belayers in Camp Sandugo
Our weekends are not always blessed with great weather and sunshine, but it doesn’t mean we cannot have adrenaline-packed fun activities. If the weather is a little bit gloomy - yet you still feel that “Spiderman” sense of adventure, go check Camp Sandugo at Market Market in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City for some wall climbing fun – it won’t disappoint you, that I assure.      

The sport has been around for quite some time, but has yet to get to the mainstream. Aside from being a sport, wall climbing is also popular as a training aid for mountaineers since most of the trails have difficult sections of boulder or rock. 

Indoor wall climbing is also an exciting and fun alternative, aside from jogging and exercise, when psyching yourself up before a major climb. The indoor climbing wall, with a simulated rock formation affixed with numerous hand and foot holds can definitely provide mental & physical challenges to build strength, endurance, and self-confidence.

Hence, we tried this indoor wall climbing as part of a series of pre-requisite activities and tasks for my Hakbang Kalikasan Mountaineering Society (HAKAMS) membership. This is in preparation for our first minor climb at Mt. Pico de Loro.

Wall Climbing 101 at Camp Sandugo
 
Climbing wall at Camp Sandugo in Market Market showing different climbing wall grades
Climbing Walls at Camp Sandugo showing its different grades

Ok, so I got committed to this mountaineering deal and that made me required to finally try wall climbing and wow, I’m glad I finally did! This is my first time and I must say it is surprisingly fun!

The Camp Sandugo climbing wall, located at 5th Floor Market Market Mall, Fort Bonifacio in Taguig has 44 feet painted multiplex board drilled with various grips for hands and feet with 6 anchored belays. There are different grade routes which vary from 90 degrees vertical to overhang lead wall. It said to be the highest climbing gym around the metro.

Different wall stone grips of the Camp Sandugo climbing wall
Various stone-type grips

For first-timers (this is the category I fall under), they have easier routes/walls to climb. So don't be all that intimidated. 

It's more intense than the walls I see at theme parks and party venues so don't go here thinking it's just one straight wall. Upon first trying the easy flat level, I got overwhelmed by the heights since it’s on the fifth floor overlooking all other floors of the mall. 

Wall climber climbing a difficult overhead portion of the climbing wall
Intense climber doing the Spidey moves

Upon doing my climb, I got overwhelmed by the intensity of some of their regulars. Oh, what with their climbing upside down, super fit bodies, and amazing climbing skills. They are the instant stars from the onlookers on the mall. So much about envy eh?

Belaying

The climber is usually secured to a safety line, which I learned is called the “belay line.” The belay line is secured at a point on the floor and on top of the wall to prevent the climber from falling more than a short distance in the event of an accident or, well, just plain misadventure


People handling the belays while two people are climbing walls
Belayers and climbers

Being a newbie, I learned that belaying is one of the most important climbing skills you have to learn and master in wall or rock climbing. It is the basis of climbing safety, of ensuring both you and your partner’s safety. Simply put, it is a simple process of holding the rope and the climber in the event of a fall. The rope links both the climber and the belayer together in a safety partnership, allowing the climber to fall without fear of hitting the ground and suffering injury.


Indoor Wall Climbing - Two people working together to reach the top
It's teamwork!

If you don’t have a belayer, you can just then hook up with another partnerless climber and swap climbs and belays – who knows it could end up to something else. But to have sure fun, I recommend you grab a friend and go climb, but if you’re alone, there are Sandugo staff which can assist you to be your belayer.

Essentials

In wall climbing the essential equipment includes specialized shoes to provide extra grip, a harness to attach the ropes that will be used in the climb, and various types of anchors to be inserted into the rock face into which the ropes are secured or the climber's body may be positioned.

However, you don’t have to buy all this equipments to enjoy wall climbing at Camp Sandugo. You just have to wear proper attire – fitted shirt and shorts will do, just avoid any lose clothing, and then you can just rent footwear at the Sandugo shop just beside the climbing wall. 

Sandugo Mountaineering shop at Market Market Fort Bonifacio
Sandugo mountaineering supplies beside the climbing wall

Climbers are also provided with a chalk, which I learned is not just a simple powder for hands like what billiards players are using. Climbers chalk is manufactured from magnesium carbonate, a chemical that dries a climber's hands and fingers from the perspiration generated during a climb.

And of course, don’t forget to bring your camera to capture that “Spidey moments”

On having a great weekend

Hakbang sa Kalikasan Mountaineering Society Batch 11
HAKAMS Batch 11 - AJ, Yodi and Digoy

For the adrenaline junkies or even if you just want to have a something-to-try fun gig, wall climbing at Camp Sandugo is definitely a great way to spend a day with friends especially on a gloomy rainy weekend.

If you have a little extra time, you'll find that the place is also great for window shopping since there are great specialty shops around the area.

Maybe your dream activities are free, but if not, it’s often possible to do things you love at not-so-costly activities like this wall climbing gig. Some experiences are once in a lifetime (like watching that beautiful sunrise at Mt. Pulag). But the good thing about this simple kind of weekend is that you can do it multiple times. And we should!

Creating a special weekend every now and then can give really give us a lot to look forward to.

So just relax and may you all have a great weekend always!
 
_____________________________________
Quick Info:


» How to get to Market Market Mall

Go at the North bound side of Ayala MRT Station. Walk to The Fort Bus Station, just a corner away from the MRT station along EDSA. The bus will bring you to Market Market mall.

You can also go to at the Guadalupe MRT station North bound side, then at the back of Jollibee, there is a queue of jeepneys going to Market Market.

» Camp Sandugo Climbing Wall Rates

UNLIMITED CLIMB (Inclusive of harness and chalk box)

ADULT                                              Php 140.00
CHILD (13 years old and below)          Php 110.00 
CHILD (with instructor)                     Php 310.00
ADULT (with instructor)                     Php 340.00

SINGLE CLIMB                                    Php 50.00
GROUP DISCOUNT - For every group of 5, one climber is free of charge. 

» OPERATING HOURS: 
Monday to Friday 12NN to 9PM
Saturday and Sunday 12NN to 9PM

Contact Number (Telefax): 856 04 53)
Location: 5th Floor, Market Market Bonifacio Global City Taguig. 

 





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About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi de Veas Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry, and cliff jumping can make him high,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a self-certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan hiker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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