Personally, I think bikers and runners should take on climbing to balance things out. While biking and running give our legs a great workout, they neglect the upper body. Climbing takes care of this. Also, if you bike or run in Wawa, you must be familiar with its magnificent soaring cliffs that are just waiting to be scaled.
And there’s no better place to learn climbing than in Power Up Tandang Sora–the grand daddy of wall climbing gyms in the Philippines. It is one of the first (if not the first) indoor climbing gyms ever built in the country.
If you want to give climbing a try (and you really should) this gym definitely merits a visit or two. It is staffed by people who live and breathe rock climbing, and whose dreams probably consist of even more gnarlier climbing. It has produced some of the best climbers in the Philippines, including gold medalists in various competitions in Southeast Asia.
Don’t be intimidated by the other guys and girls who climb in TS (Power Up Tandang Sora to the uninitiated). Yes, they may look look like Marvel or DC action figures come to life, and the way they move up the walls and overhangs may seem to suggest they have mutant abilities. But they are really just friendly guys who are more than willing to lend a hand to a newbie who wants to explore a sport they love.
Getting to TS is relatively easy. If you’re driving, just check out this map. If you’re coming from the QC circle, it’s just a short jeepney or bus ride away. From Katipunan, it’s even easier.
The rates are also reasonable—just Php150 for all day climbing, plus some extras for gear like a pair of climbing shoes and a harness. It’s best to go there with a buddy though, as you will need someone to belay or hold the rope for you while you climb. Otherwise you’ll have to pay a belayer for Php100 per half hour.
Don’t know how to belay? No worries, they’ll teach you that too. Just pay attention so you don’t drop your buddy when he/she peels off the wall in sheer exhaustion.
If you fall off the wall, don’t be embarrassed. It happens to everyone, especially newbies.
TS is where I first learned climbing almost ten years ago, and where I intend to regain some of the climbing form I lost through years of neglect, procrastination, and beer binges.
Last week, as thousands of freshly minted diplomas were being handed out to kids while Verdi’s Triumphal March blared in the background, I again visited TS feeling like an alumnus who was going back to his old school.
Of course, I could never really consider myself a graduate of this revered institution. I was more like a dropout. There was a time when I was religiously climbing its walls 3-4 times a week. I even managed to level up my skills enough to climb green routes. But I never progressed beyond that. Work and other commitments got in the way of full-time climbing.
But now that I’ve got time enough for climbing, there’s no excuse not to get back on the wall.
Well, maybe if Telltale releases new episodes of The Walking Dead Game… but that’s zombies man. We all need to be prepared!
Walk-in rate: Php150
High School Student: Php120
Shoe rental: Php40
Harness rental: Php40
Belayer: Php100 per 30 mins
8 top rope lines
a 40 foot lead roof
a boulder cave
Sat-Sun: 12nn – 8pm
Tip: Bring spare clothes. You’ll be sweating buckets while trying to climb up those walls. Buy some Alaxan for the day after, because your muscles will feel like they’ve been put through a meat grinder.