Gibbon Climbing Club, Bali, Indonesia
Indonesia's island of Bali is mainly known for its surfing. Especially on the Bukhit peninsula you find some of the worlds most epic surfspots in close proximity. We also came here mainly to surf, but while approaching some of the spots like Uluwatu or Padang Padang, my Boulderers mind keeps telling me "wait a moment, there is actually some really good rock here!"
Whereas Indonesia is build from volcanic activity, these cliffs are made from a very mediteranean, juggy limestone.
This is my surf buddy Markus at the entrance and exit cave for surfing at Uluwatu. Later Gabi and I check out the bouldering at Padang Padangwhich is actually really good. There are even some short sport routeshere and we are wondering who had bolted those lines.
Conny knows about the existence of a climbing scene on Bali and of someobscure area in the mountains, but unfortunately little more.
One day, with the help of a local driver, we set out to find it. Thearea Conny had in mind is rich on high quality volcanic rock, butdoesn't show any signs of development. The further we go, the fewer people understand any English.
This feels very far away from civilization!
After some nice, but ultimately futile hiking we decide to tell ourdriver what we are looking for and having him figure it out with the local people.
Our hopes are high when the first group of people he asks all werepointing into the same direction, but sink, when in the next village, after a couple of kilometers on terrible dirt roads, nobody seemed to understand what the hell we were talking about!
After much back and forth we arrive at a cliff that didn't look any better than the many we had seen before.
A thunderstorm is approaching and our driver is concerned how to makeit back through those dirt roads. We just climb one route on very high quality crimpy volcanic rock, before hurrying back.Who had put these bolts in?
You know that climbing is becoming popular when you find more artificial climbing walls than say, soccer fields on an island like Bali! At least here, in a semi abandoned shopping mall near Kuta, we finally get the phone number of Dani Handani, one of the driving forces behind Bali climbing. Dani is heading the Gibbon Climbing Club which is just about to get familiar with their new, excellent training facilities.
Bali people are some of the nicest human beings you could ever hope todeal with! Quickly we make plans for a presentation of mine about how to go about training and getting the most benefit from theirfacilities. The workshop takes place on our last night on Bali. The difference between my analytic German approach and the Bali way of doing things is obvious, still everybody has a good time! I am surely enjoying myself in the midst of these stoked and soulful people. Thank you Bali, thank you Gibbon climbing club!
Btw, here is a nice panorama of our "hotel room" ;-)