A bunch of Naked Hermit Crabs decided to evolve. Evolution is a process that takes hell of lot time, but we made it happen in a day.
Yesterday, six of us (Tiong Chin, July, Juan Hui, Chee Kong, Helen and me) took a leap of faith to evolve into tree climbing crabbies, with the help of instructors from Sunny Island TreeClimbers Society. Thanks to the lift by Tiong Chin, we reached Kent Ridge at around 10am, all eager to scale some trees.
We then met our coordinator, Valerie and her instructors. And things took off from there. After a short theory and safety lesson, we began our ascend up the trees.
Tiong Chin, July, Chee Kong and me shared a tree while Helen and Juan Hui occupied another tree with a couple of other participants. First off was Tiong Chin, assisted by July.
Harness and ropes all ready and ...
Up he goes!
Juan Hui was 'hanging' around on another tree.
Up next was Chee Kong with my assist.
The snake man making his way up, perhaps to meet his fellows?
Then it was July's turn.
I asked him while he was up there, "No mosquitoes eh?" and he nodded. Hahaha...
I was up next.
Making my way up. Having done a little bit of vertical ascending back in ODAC does help a little. Hehe...
Last but not the least was Helen.
Making her way up slow and steady.
Wonder why she's smiling? Cause she actually got stuck and could not descend. Apparently her blake's hitch bit on too tight. Eventually with the help of Alwin (one of the instructors), she managed land on earth again. We had so much joy and laughter while trying to get her down. Haha...
After everyone got a go at climbing the trees, a few of us went for second round. Juan Hui then had an ambition, to go up the tree and stand on the fork where the anchor point was. So she embarked on her journey while July was climbing on another.
July then decided to climb on his tree's fork too, and he was faster than Juan Hui.
Juan Hui's agony in climbing up the fork.
It was a pity that we did not capture a moment that was so hilarious. One of the instructors bought along his niece and nephew, who were perhaps about 4 or 5 years old. While Juan Hui was trying all means to climb up, the niece was happily eating her bread while watching on. Suddenly out of the blue, we all heard this most innocent, little voice saying, "She cannot climb up is it??". We all burst out laughing and it soon became the joke of the day!
Nevertheless, she eventually did it and sure is proud of it, despite being embarrassed by a little girl! Hehe...
While Juan Hui was hugging the tree, so did the rest of us. Now I've a slightly better understanding of why koalas like to hug trees.
From top left, clockwise: Chee Kong, July, me, Tiong Chin and Helen.
We then sat down for a quick lunch. Most of us either brought sandwiches or biscuit, and a couple of us ordered fried rice. After a real heavy meal, we went on to the intermediate level for our course. We learnt how to set up our own system.
We began by learning how to choose a tree and anchor point. Then followed by the knots required for the rope system. And also how to throw the weight pouch in order to get the line over the anchor point. After learning how to choose the tree, we all realised that wherever we went, we started a habit to look at the trees and decide which is climbable.
Here are the knots we learnt. Good thing being in Scouts is that I've learnt most of the knots and picked up the only new knot pretty quick. From left to right: Double figure of 8; single figure of 8 and blake's hitch.
Chee Kong finishes and looks on at his piece of work.
Helen securing the climbing rope with the end of the throwing line, and eventually pulling it till the rope is set up.
While we were doing the practical part of setting up the system, those who have finished decided to climb the highest rope set up.
Helen taking a photo from way up there.
Juan Hui also ascended halfway up the rope, and decided to eat a banana.
Hmmm... see any similarities? Perhaps NParks can use the 'new' image to spread the awareness of 'Do not feed the monkeys'. Wait... it should be 'Do not feed the Homo sapiens'. (Photo by Chee Kong and Junrebayla(flickr))
Soon, it was about time. The course came to an end and we packed our stuff. We had so much fun that now we can't wait for our test date, whereby we will be doing some theory work and of course, the practical session!