Malaysia

Malaysia, Travel

Broga Hill: Hidden Tranquil Beauty At The Outskirts Of Kuala Lumpur


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It is surreal to know that this beautiful sight is actually located near Kuala Lumpur. Check out our video snippet of Broga Hill. Would you have thought that this is only a 400m hill?

Broga Hill is a hidden gem tucked 45mins away from the bustling and colorful Kuala Lumpur. Broga Hill or locally known as ‘Bukit Lalang’ is a hill by the quiet town of Semenyih. Although only 400m high and a 30minutes hike up to the third peak (it has three peaks at which you can see the sunrise from), the view you will get up there will make you forget that it is only a hill, you’re only 45mins away from KL and that you sacrifice your sleep by waking up at 430am to catch the sunrise.

Check this out the next time you have a long weekend in KL! I give it a shiny 5★★★★★!

Tip: Check the weather forecast beforehand.


Getting to Broga

From KL:

  • 45mins via Uber/Grab. 6-seater car is RM90 each way. About RM30 per pax (return). It is located along Jalan Broga. You won’t miss the entrance because there will be alot of cars heading towards that direction in the wee hours of the morning.

To KL:

  • We just called for an Uber Car. Waited for 20 minutes while we devour our Nasi Lemak breakfast =)

If you’re driving your own car, please take note that there is a RM1 parking fee.

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Catching Sunrise At Broga Hill

Once you’ve found the parking entrance, just follow the crowd through the oil palm estate. Yes, there will be a crowd for sunrise, so be patient, give way to those faster than you and trek safely.

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Avoiding Injuries

You are there to catch the majestic view of the sunrise and clouds, so the last thing you would ask for is a broken ankle or anywhere else. Here’s some tips for an accident-free experience of Broga Hill.

Tip 1: The route is a series of steep uphills and downhills. Survive this for 30 minutes and you will be rewarded with a beautiful grand view at the top. There are ropes for you to pull at some of the uphill slopes. Exercise caution as some of the ropes are tied to just a thin branch. It may not sustain your weight.

Tip 2: DO NOT attempt Broga if it rains the night before or in the early morning. The path gets really slippery and too dangerous for trekking.

Tip 3: When going uphill, put your body weight forward instead of standing straight.

Tip 4: Aim to finish the day walking the same speed at which you started. Think rhythm and flow. Tortoise rather than hare. There will be others who are faster than you. Just move aside and give them way.

Tip 5: Focus on positive thoughts, rather than how exhausted you feel. Repeat a mantra or positive expression to yourself over and over.

The Essentials

What to wear: Comfortable hiking shoes or sports shoes with a good grip | Sports Attire

What to bring: You are going up and down a steep hill. So the last thing you would want is to drag a 10kg weight on your back.

  1. Mosquito Repellent
  2. Headlight/Torchlight
  3. Camera (keep it small if you can. DSLRs are great but a chore to carry)
  4. 500ml water bottle  (It’s a 400m hill, you won’t need a big bottle for this)
  5. Some snacks
  6. Poncho or raincoat (in case it rains)

Please do your part in keeping the place clean and free from rubbish.

Once you’re back at the base, there will be a couple of stalls set-up in-time for breakfast. The coconut shake is just too good. Do give this a try.

Amenities Nearby: Parking Area, Meeting Point and Toilets

The View

I’ve seen beautiful photos of Broga from the Internet so I had expectations. But when I reached the third peak, Broga Hill exceeds my expectation and left me speechless. I know that I’ll get to see a beautiful sunrise but the clouds……I didn’t see that coming. At around 6.45 to 7am, a gush of clouds closes in and covered the entire valley. You will see the slow transitions of the clouds covering the town of Seminyak. It was magical! A video timelapse of this will be awesome! The last time I saw a sunrise like this was at the summit of Mount Kinabalu.

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I would do this all over again if I have another long weekend in Kuala Lumpur. And next time, I’ll do a video timelapse of the sunrise! For now, I hope you enjoy this article and the photos.

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Malaysia, Rockclimbing

Beginners’ Guide: Top 4 All-Time Favorite Batu Caves Multi-Pitch Routes


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So you can lead climb, that’s cool. But are you ready to move on to bigger, better adventures?

There are 170 routes from 8 crags in this massive limestone outcrop. Out of these 170, 30 are available for multi-pitch climbs. The experience of being able to do lead climbing can be a personal achievement for some. Multi-pitching, however, allows you to team up with 2-3 friends to complete at least a 2-pitch climb. Now, here’s where teamwork in rock climbing comes in. The most rewarding moment will be when you’ve reached the top of the big wall and just chillin’ with your buddies while admiring the view that only you and your friends are privileged to have.

If you’re new to Batu Caves, you can click here to check out our article on how to get there and the budget accommodations that you choose from.

So here’s our Top 4 picks for Multi-pitch routes for beginners: (‘Cause 5 is just typical in so many articles anywhere!)

N°1 Good Onion

Difficulty: 3 pitches – 5C,6A, 6B (78 metres, 23 storeys)
Location: Damai Wall

Pitch 1 (5C) – 25m – 6 bolts, 2 threads
Pitch 2 (6a) – 28m -9 bolts
Pitch 3 (6b) – 25m – 8 bolts

Check out our video!

It was an easy route to lead, even for a beginner. However, the surface is rather jagged and edgy at some parts. Some crimpings are involved. But the footholds are a joy to work with. There will be a really nice comfy ‘nest’ or resting spot that can fit 3 people max on the 2nd pitch. Once at the top, you’ll get a great vantage point of Kampung Wira Damai and the surrounding Batu Caves area. Here’s some of the snippets of our ascend.

Abseiling

To get down the wall after completing a multi-pitch climb, you will need to do some abseiling. For this, we have to head down one pitch at a time, depending on the length of the rope. And that too requires training and some coordination. Do beware, failure to do things properly may lead to loss of rope or worse, your life.

For Good Onion, we used a two-rope system for abseiling, which is quite complex as a typical abseiling requires only one set of rope. But for our abseil system, we used two ropes that are of 70m in length, which for this climb, our ropes are long enough to be thrown all the way to the ground, without us having to stop at the next pitch to reset. That saves us time.

Disclaimer: For a two-rope system, you will have to sacrifice one of your climbers to carry the 2nd rope up. Abseiling is a high risk maneuver, even the most experience climbers lost their lives due to negligence.

N°2 Redemption Song

Difficulty: 3 pitches – 5C+,6A+, 6B (60metres, 18 storeys)
Location: Damai Wall

Pitch 1 (5C+) – 28m – 11 bolts, 2 threads
Pitch 2 (6a+) – 25m -7 bolts
Pitch 3 (6b) – 20m – 6 bolts

Looks can be deceiving on this one. Don’t be fooled. From the ground, the first two pitches may look easier than Good Onion but once you get to the mid-section of the route, you’ll need some technical moves, and core strength. But only just for a small part of it. The climb to the 1st pitch is easy while the 2nd pitch may need some effort. The rock surface may seem familiar to Sweet Onion, but at the top, there’s a small ledge where it can fit 2 climbers comfortably.

N°3 Sweet Maria

Difficulty: 2 pitches – 5C, 5C (60metres, 18 storeys)
Location: Damai Wall

Sweet Maria was the first pitch I’ve done in my climbing career. The route itself started off with an easy ascend just like Good Onion, however do beware of the rough surfaces that you will encounter on your way up on the 1st pitch. The climb takes up to 20 metres high where it will lead you to a small cave opening, where we took the group picture of 6 in the cave (as above).

The second pitch, started off with a slight scary maneuver to the right of the anchor point. However based on the climbing guide, the correct route and anchor point is actually right side of the cave whereby the first bolt of the 2nd pitch would be directly above instead of traversing to the right. Once you manage to make your first bolt on the 2nd pitch, the rest of the ascend will be easy. At the top before the final clip on the anchor, you may need to traverse to the left for about 3 metres before making to a safe point. Do beware of your fall factors and swinging distance should you fall.

N°4 Training Day

Difficulty: 4 pitches – 5C, 5B+,6B,5C (87metres, 26 storeys)
Location: Nyamuk Wall, Fumakilla Section

Training Day at Nyamuk wall was one of the highest big wall attempted on our trips to batu caves. It is by far the highest route available at Batu Caves. I have onsighted this climb together with my strong partner in making the first 3 out of 4 pitches. I would recommend this climb to those whom would want a challenge after achieving many of the Damai wall multi pitch routes.

How to Get There

The journey to Nyamuk wall from Damai took us some 15 mins walk along the kampong road, Jalan TIB 3, till we reach Surau Al Muhajirin, whereby we made a right turn from the Red Warning sign situated just after the Surau. The path towards the wall was covered with loads of debris and trash after passing some residences, and best to enter with a proper footwear. Some moderate uphill trekking required. Once at the wall, it’s hard to see the topside as it is covered with trees and the only way to see it is to start climbing. This attempt should best be taken with a climbing guide in hand as you may get lost along the way.

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Climbing Training Day

The starting bolt up the Training Day is slightly risky for a first ascend. Best to use a stick clip for the first bolt as a safety. Once past the treeline after the third bolt, it is a gradual ascend to the first anchor point.

Starting off the second pitch is another easy one, I can relate the route of Sweet Maria in this as it is a more direct ascend. Do keep left as the right bolt will end on one of the other routes at marked 26 metres (Check out the climbing guide for reference). The second anchor point will lead you to a small ledge where you will be able to stand while hanging comfortably before the start of the third ascend.

Heading up the pitch is no joke for beginners and you must be prepared with an exit strategy should the climb fails. The climb itself is a 6B to 6B+ grade which involves 30 metres of finger holds and a handful of jugs. Technical climb is required to succeed in making this pitch. Mind you, 30 metres is seriously no joke. Be sure to train your fingers before making this attempt. Failing on this route will leave you hanging in mid air and a prusik cord is required for self rescue to the wall face.

Upon reaching the 3rd anchor point after the hard 30 metre climb, you will be at another comfortable ledge to recover before completing one more easy pitch to 87 metres. However, due to time constraints, we were unable to made that 4th pitch in this ascend as the 3rd pitch itself took up most of the available time.

For climbing training day, it is recommended to wear helmets as there are some loose rocks on the higher pitches, we did encounter releasing 2 huge sized rocks from above and came crashing down to the ground. So ground team do ensure that you don’t stand anywhere near the Training Day route.

For more enquiries, you can leave me a message and I’ll be happy to join you for a weekend climb at Batu Caves. =)

Gua Damai Extreme Park Address: Kampung Melayu Wira Damai, 68100, Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

Safety first and happy climbing!

Also Read: Rockclimbing At Batu Caves

 

Malaysia

Rockclimbing At Batu Caves


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When not adventuring into the unknowns, we rock climb. Here’s a video snippet of our rock climbing experiences at Batu Caves, Malaysia. The Gua Damai Extreme Park at Batu Caves is one of the popular hot spots for both beginner and professional rock climbers in Malaysia. This huge limestone outcrop boasts 8 crags, 170 beginner-friendly routes, and some tough multi-pitch routes for the advance climbers.

There are 4 climbing sections of Batu Caves:

Damai Wall – Suitable for beginners, and popular for multipitch climbing

Difficulty: 5C to 7A
No of Routes: Approximately 30 with multi-pitch
Length of Route: 15m to 30m

Nyamuk Wall – Suitable for intermediate and advance climbers. The longest and best sport climbing routes in Batu Caves

Difficulty: 5b to 8a+
No of Routes: Approximately 50 with multi-pitch
Length of Route: 15m to 40m, mostly below 33m
No of Bolts: 5 to 15

Nanyang Wall – Suitable for the advance climbers. Features short and technical routes

Difficulty: 5c to 8a
No of Routes: Approximately 25 with multi-pitch
Length of Route: 8m to 30m
No of Bolts: 3 to 12

Comic Wall – Suitable for the advance climbers. Features overhanging and technical routes

Difficulty: 5c to 7a
No of Routes: Approximately 15
Length of Route: 7m to 25m
No of Bolts: 2 to 8

How to get to Batu Caves (Damai Wall):

  • From your hotel/guesthouse in Kuala Lumpur city centre, take the red taxi (avoid taking the blue taxi as it’s pricier) to Kampung Wira Damai which is located near the main section of the climbing area. This section is known as Damai Wall.
  • Markers: There’s a large soccer field infront of Damai Wall and a mosque
  • The climbing site is located on the other site of Batu Caves where there is a Hindu Temple and a big golden statue.

Travel time: 20 mins (without traffic)

Travel cost: MYR $25

Pro-tip: To return to KL city centre from Batu Caves, it’s best that you download the Uber app on your mobile and book a cab. Flagging down a cab from this area may take some time.
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Tell your taxi driver that you are looking for this mosque: Masjid Annur Wira Damai
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Damai Wall
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This is a marker to indicate that you have arrived at the climbing site
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Route called Up Step has a small cave that can fit 5-7 people. Trial and tested. =)
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Trying out a 5-men pitch at Up Step – 30m high
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Giordano decided to try out the 7B route inside that huge cave in the middle of Damai Wall

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We got a chance to climb inside that huge cave and what an awesome experience it was

Where to Stay?

1.The 5 Elements Hotel, Chinatown

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You will be located right in the heart of Chinatown which means a plethora of food choices!

If you are coming from Singapore, you’re in luck! Bus company KKKL serves hourly buses that leaves from Golden Landmark directly to the entrance of the hotel. If you plan to take the evening bus, say 8pm, you will reach Elements 5 by 2am. At the wee hours of the morning and after a 6 hours bus ride, I don’t think you would want to walk around KL to hustle for a taxi to your hotel.

Room Price / night: SGD $36 Deluxe room with buffet breakfast

Address: Jalan Sultan, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +60 3-2031 6888

2.  Ceria Hotel, Bukit Bintang 

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This light-hearted hotel is located amidst popular hotels like Berjaya Times Square, Furama Hotel. Situated just behind Berjaya Times Square, Ceria Hotel is a quaint hotel that is value-for-money, unique in interior decoration as well as comfortable. You won’t feel like you’re in Malaysia once you step inside this hotel. Trust me.

Getting to Ceria Hotel from Singapore:

  • Take the bus to KL and alight at Berjaya Times Square. From here, walk towards the back of the building. (7 mins)
  • Better yet…Google Map it!

From KLIA via rail:

  • Take the Express Rail Link to KL Sentral
  • Switch to monorail line
  • Exit at Imbi monorail station and walk to us

Room Price / night: Starts from SGD $29 for Standard Double room without breakfast

Address: 270 Changkat Thambi Dollah, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2143-1111

3. Lighthouse Hotel & Shortstay, Damansara

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Lighthouse is located just 10mins away by cab from One Utama. One Utama is home to the biggest indoor climbing gym in KL. It’s massive! Being near to One Utama is always a good choice for those who decide on going to Camp 5, after sweating it out at Batu Caves.

There are rows and alleys of cafes, pubs, dessert bars, restaurants, and coffee shops around the area. Best of all, the ever-popular and tasty Nasi Lemak cafe is right infront of the hotel. Just be sure to be there as early as you can to avoid the breakfast crowd/queue.

Uber ride from Lighthouse to One Utama: RM10

Room Price / night: Starts from SGD $36 for Deluxe room without breakfast

Each room has its own unique theme.

Getting to Lighthouse from Singapore:

  • Take the bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (One Utama)
  • From One Utama bus terminal, it’s a 10min drive to Lighthouse

Address: 2, Jalan SS 21/58, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: +6 03 7733 2379 | +6 012 227 5526

A detailed information on routes and the various climbing sites at Batu Caves can be found in this book. Included: Location maps and climbing areas around Malaysia.

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Points to note:

  1. You don’t have to book with any climbing operators if you have experience leading. You can borrow the guide book from the counter to see what are the routes available. However, should you require assistance from a climbing operator, you may check out Vertical Adventure
  2. You can bring your own ropes and equipment or rent it from the counter at the site
  3. There is no climbing fee to the park
  4. The best time to start climbing is at 7am. It’s early but this will give you ample time to explore the routes before a whole group of people arrive for their top rope/lead course. It may get really crowded around 10am
  5. Bring your own helmets for safety reasons

Multi-Pitch Climb At Batu Caves (Damai Wall)

We decided to try a 3-person multi-pitch route named Sweet Maria. (5c, 5c)

It was an easy route to lead. However, the surface is rather jagged and edgy at some parts. There will be a really nice comfy ‘nest’ that can fit 3 people max on the 2nd pitch. Once at the top, you’ll get a great vantage point of Kampung Wira Damai and the surrounding Batu Caves area.

Also read: Beginner’s Guide – Top 4 All-Time Favourite Batu Caves Multi-Pitch Routes

Multipitching Sweet Maria from Kirzruba on Vimeo.

For more enquiries, you can leave me a message and I’ll be happy to join you for a weekend climb at Batu Caves. =)

Gua Damai Extreme Park Address: Kampung Melayu Wira Damai, 68100, Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

Safety first and happy climbing!