Situated within half an hour of the city centre, Damai Wall is one of the most popular natural rock climbing destinations in the region. With more than a 100 routes over 4 climbing spots around Batu Caves as well as a difficulty gradient from beginner to expert, Damai Wall makes a perfect place for aspiring new climbers to have a feel of climbing on natural rocks and seasoned climbers looking for a good workout.
Having experienced indoor rock climbing, I have always imagined that outdoor rock climbing would be much more difficult as you are not provided with pre-set pathways, specific handles, and coloured markings which indoor gyms offer. But when my uncle (experienced outdoor enthusiast and owner of Tacfitters Group on Facebook) asked me to join him and his group for a climb at Batu Caves, and mentioned that it’s in fact easier than indoor, I jumped at the opportunity and dragged my brother along.
We reached Damai Wall Climbing Site at approximately 7.30am. It’s good to start early to avoid crowds as well as the scorching mid-day sun. Lucky for us it was a cloudy day and we were fortunate not to encounter rain.
We kicked it off with a simple safety briefing conducted by an experienced rock climbing instructor. The most prominent safety instruction I remembered was never grab hold of shrubs, roots or branches whilst climbing; forgive me it’s my first time!
Let’s not forget how to tie an ‘8’ knot!
One of the fundamentals I learned about rock climbing is that it’s not all about how much upper body strength you have to lift your body, but more on utilising your lower limbs to make the climb. By doing so you would save loads of energy on your arms as well as avoid muscle cramps; you will be able to enjoy longer climbs.
To me, the most rewarding part about natural rock climbing is setting your goal (which is the apex of your climb), followed by setting a climbing route to get there (because natural rocks do not have a preset route). Hence it is up to how you want to use the crevices and grips of the rocks to climb. For those who are afraid of heights, keep looking upwards for your next grip!
If you thought climbing was the scary part, oh how wrong you were… Imagine looking out of a 6 to 7 storey building then slowly turning your body to fix your feet on the wall and ‘sit’ in mid-air as shown in the picture. This is called abseiling. And for amateurs like myself, my legs were cold stiff and my heart screaming like a little girl so to speak. But once you get the hang of releasing the rope, you’d do what they do in the movies like bouncing off the wall thinking that you’re with the Impossible Mission Force or something. Nothing like a good rush of adrenaline into your bloodstream!
Overall my first time climbing on natural rocks was nothing less than excellent. Challenging my slight fear of heights, exhausted forearms and butt cramps in mid-air were all worth it. Definitely worth another round!
What to bring/wear?
Since we had a rock climbing instructor, all our climbing equipments were provided for.
- Gloves (for belaying if you want to prevent burns)
- Energy bars and Isotonic drinks
- You may want to wear ¾ pants to protect your knees from scratches
Jo’s ratings (ratings are subjective and biased towards participants’ experience)
- Accessibility: 10/10 (It’s easily accessible via car or public transport)
- Difficulty: 5/10 (Our instructor set up beginner routes for us hence all were able to climb to reach our goal)
- Rewarding Experience: 8/10 (Nothing beats adrenaline action and an awesome workout)
- Overall Rating: 7/10 (An excellent experience for amateurs looking to try natural rock climbing. It’s also a great place for seasoned climbers to train as there are so many different routes/walls to climb)
Address: Kampung Wira Damai, Pingiran Batu Caves, Gombak, Selangor.
GPS Coordinates (Decimal Degrees): 3.248109 101.687683
- From Jalan Lingkaran Tengah 2
- Turn left into Lebuh Utama Sri Gombak just after the BHP Station
- Continue to proceed straight all the way pass the Taman Tasik on your right (you should be able to see signboards indicating distance to Damai Wall Climbing Site along the way)
- Finally a sign board should inform you to turn into Jalan GP 2, immediately take another left to Jalan GP 3, head straight until you see a mosque on your left and a narrow turning on the right
- After making that turn, follow the road and you’ll be greeted with a stunning sight of the limestone climbing wall.
- There is a proper parking space to park your vehicle