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.
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.
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!
Post credits to Eudaimoniacs Singapore