UP The Wall
by Pauline Chan
Dale and Darren are literally driving people up the wall, in a fun way. Dale Koh and Darren Chai, owners of the UP Climbing Centre in Menglait had visions of great heights when they got together to build walls for leisure climbing.
Dale and Darren believe anyone can learn to climb so they set out to create a safe environment for climbers of all ages and abilities as their facility caters to beginners and expert climbers who are looking for gravity-defying thrills. They want to create a big climbing community in the country.
Dale started climbing 12 years ago, he had always wanted to have his own wall. Friends introduced him to Darren, who owns the fitness gym next door. Although Darren is a fitness instructor and athlete, he had not climbed before, but he was up for the challenge and the new friends struck up a deal.
The centre offers leisure climbing for walk-in customers as well as Level One and Two courses for people who want to be a certified proficient climber. Level One allows a climber to do cord roping, where a rope is secured to the harness around the climber’s waist and a belayer holds on to the rope below, providing support and security to the climber. For advance climbers, there’s a Level Two lead climbing course where climbers bring the rope up as they climb and secure it at strategic positions on the wall themselves to prevent from slipping to the ground.
Certificates given are certified to the South-East Asian Climbing Federation and it’s affiliated to the International Climbing Body. Armed with these certificates, one should be able to walk into any South-East Asian climbing centre and use the facilities.
UP is a great after work hang out venue as it opens from 4pm till 10pm and what better way to shake up the sleepy muscles after a long day at the desk than hauling yourself up a two-storey wall? Climbing is an activity that engages every muscle in your body and a lot of core strength is required. It improves your movement and flexibility, tones your muscles and even strengthens your fingers.
Dale tells us that since they opened the centre at the end of May, they have attracted little children who have fallen in love with the sport, boosting their confidence. He said it has helped these kids overcome their fear of heights. They even have over-50s who come in and scale the walls for fun. Once you have learnt the techniques, you will be able to do it, just like Spiderman.
The place can accommodate 30-35 people at any one time, so here’s a rocking idea: have your birthday party or do your corporate team-building day out at UP and get high while toning your muscles.
Adults pay B$15 for a whole day access to the centre and students rates are B$12. Kids under 11 pay $10 for one and half hours and B$15 for full day access with supervision. Shoes, harness, chalk bag (to keep hands dry), carabiners and other gear rentals are charged separately. Do note that a one-time insurance waiver fee of B$15 of payable before you start.
UP Climbing Centre
One Menglait Industrial Park
Jalan Menglait, Gadong
Tel: 673-881 6885