Climbing in Castle Hill, New Zealand

 [Guest post by JW, Regina’s hubby, who is an avid rockclimber and fitness fanatic.]

With a social wave of fitness hitting our island-state, it’s
no wonder that climbing is now a rapidly growing sport in Singapore! It strengthens the body,
requires technique and challenges the psyche – an absolutely mind-blowing and
adrenaline-pumping experience. I particularly enjoy climbing overseas, against the backdrop of beautiful scenery which will take your breath away to the point of sweet suffocation, but before you even get there, you first have to start climbing in Singapore. Having climbed in Singapore for a good 10+
years, I guess I’m in a decent position to write about it! =P

I first started climbing in 2003 when my army mate HH
recommended the sport to me. Back then, while I trained competitively in the
comfort of NUS Bouldering Gym, popular commercial climbing spots were Yishun
SAFRA and Bukit Merah SAFRA. How things are quite different now… So lemme
give my lowdown on climbing gyms in Singapore which I’ve been to (I shall
discuss ‘natural’ in a subsequent post). I don’t frequent all of them regularly and this is purely my personal opinion so please
feel free to comment if you beg to differ or if you spot any inaccuracies!
60 Tessensohn Road
Singapore 217664 (Nearest MRT Station: Farrer Park)

Credit: Climb Asia

  One of the most established climbing gyms in Singapore,
CA really offers a good spread of options for climbers – which I deem
as its competitive edge. Two storeys of indoor bouldering, wide selection of
indoor top-rope climbing, and even a 15m outdoor wall for lead-climbing and

The location is also one of the most central compared to the
rest. Its focus on route-setting somehow feels more diminished over the years
as it seems to cater more to climbing courses/events and the top-rope community
since the bouldering crowd is quite seasoned. You can also check out Team Climb
Asia in action e.g. some of Singapore’s top boulderers Haroz Foo and Xu Liting.

Price per entry: $14
for non-members and $7-$9 for members
60 Yishun Avenue 4 Singapore 769027 (Nearest MRT
Station: Yishun)
Credits: SAFRA
For outdoor lovers, this is da place to climb! You get the
breeze, the sunlight, and unfortunately, the rain too as well sometimes… Some people may
find it scarier coz the climbing feels more exposed but you’ll get used to it
soon (I hope!). The high-wall texture is great – you can smear more confidently
without slipping compared to other gyms. The route-setting is also top quality,
thanks to Paul Soo and gang who dedicate much time and effort to it. For a
period, it became kinda infamous for sand-bagging i.e. stiffer route-grading but who
cares? Climbing is not about the grades (yeah right!)… YS also boasts the
highest outdoor wall (25m) in Singapore and an air-conditioned boulder gym
although not much serious attention has been paid to them vis-à-vis the 15m
walls for top-rope and lead-climbing.
Price per entry:
$16.05 for non-members and $10.70 for members/students
100 Guillemard Road
Singapore 399718 (Nearest MRT Station: Guillemard)
Credit: Onsight Climbing
The biggest indoor gym in Singapore! And also very crowded recently
– for good reason, I suppose. Being indoors, its competitive edge is
all-weather sport-climbing. It has really nice high-wall routes for top-rope
and lead-climbing. 

My only grouse is that the route-setters may sometimes have been
too carried away and set a few routes which criss-cross – meaning two lanes may get
occupied by a single climber – which however makes for interesting climbs. I’m
more into sport-climbing so I’m not very sure about the bouldering. The few
times I tried, I found the boulder routes pretty challenging and organised. And since one of Singapore’s
top female boulderers Felicia Lim hangs out at OS, you know the quality is

Price per entry: $18
for non-members and $11-$13 for members/students 
48 Toh Guan Road East #05-152
Enterprise Hub Singapore 608586 (Nearest MRT Station: Jurong East)
Credit: Climbers Laboratory
A great place for beginners! I like the rough wall-texture
and abundance of easy routes for me to guide interested friends who are new to
the sport or wish to build their sport-climbing foundation. 

The only
short-comings (pun intended) are its inaccessible location and 8m walls which
are too short for more advanced sport-climbers to push their limits. But well,
parking is free if you drive. And there is a lovely horizontal roof section to
lead-climb which can’t really be found in other climbing gyms. It is also
enjoyable because it is generally less crowded than the rest, which allows you to hop
on the route of your choice almost anytime and take your time to work on
climbing fundamentals/moves on-rope aka route-hog or hangdog without feeling
too self-conscious.

Price per entry: $11-$13
for non-members and $7-$9 for members 

160 Paya Lebar Road Singapore
409022 (Nearest MRT Station: MacPherson)
Credit: Kinetics Climbing
An awesome place for bouldering enthusiasts! A lot of effort
is placed on quality boulder route-setting so there is no need to squeeze your
own brain juices (you can still do so if you wish to). I must say that
bouldering offers more thrill and comfort with its acrobatic possibilities on
the wall and cosy rest-time on the mattress. It also allows you to focus on
training specific techniques or holds – be it dyno, drop-knee, side-step,
slopers or crimps – which are important for both budding and advanced climbers.
While you may not find the option of high-wall climbing, you can probably draw
inspiration from one of Singapore’s top climbers Jay Koh or steal some tricks
from Team PMS!
Price per entry: $16
for non-members and $10 for members 
1 Stadium Place #B1-01 Kallang Wave Singapore
397628 (Nearest MRT Station: Stadium)
Credit: Geraldine Kong
The newest kid on the block! And my, does it have a lot to
offer – in terms of non-climbing stuff, heh! High quality walls with well-set routes (mostly 5s and 6s tho’), air-conditioned
and in close proximity to the likes of H&M and Starbucks – I believe that it
will appeal to many who crave a mall-break between climbs! 

it’s easy to see why the crowd is growing. CC also boasts the highest
indoor climbing wall in Singapore – at 16m. It is rather exhibitionist,
surrounded by curious onlookers/shoppers on a few storeys, which will perhaps
go down well with our younger generations and also hopefully encourage more
people to try or support the sport. The bouldering section is
still under construction, but I’m sure it’ll be another cool feature!

Price per entry: $14-$20
for day pass and $140 for 10-session pass