On Tuesday, the two girls drove more than 850km from Monkey Mia back to Perth. We set off around 9am, saw the landscape changed several times before we finally reached Perth, about 9 to 10 hours later. Kudos to them. And we learnt some things from the drive — Geraldton’s radio station reaches quite far North, but Perth’s got the best music stations. Long-trains can overtake caravan-hauling cars and it is possible to drive from Monkey Mia to Perth (or vice-versa) in a day.
We only had two nights and a day in Perth and I really wanted to check out the climbing gyms. Thankfully, there was one–Rockface indoor climbing centre on John Street, just 1.5km from where we stayed. I so I trotted off, after stuffing myself with some bread, to have a small taste of the climbing gyms in Perth.
The streets were quiet at half past 7 on a weekday evening, and as I walked along the unfamiliar streets, Google Map in hand, there was a small amount of excitement that coursed through my veins, in venturing into the unknown. I passed by graffiti covered walls, empty carparks, pubs with live music playing inside, well groomed city-folks having dinner in dark restaurants, a small park, a petrol kiosk…
The climbing gym was in a warehouse at the very end of the road. It was so far at the end that I almost turned back and walked away, thinking I had gotten the place wrong. Then I saw colourful handholds in what seemed like a warehouse and I knew I was in the right place.
The place had the vibe of a climbing centre. It reminded me somewhat of Westway, somewhat of The Arch at London Bridge. There was much more rope walls then bouldering areas. In fact, I think if I had lived in Perth, I would be bored of the bouldering all too soon. The leading wall was under renovation, but the top-rope walls were filled with people. I didn’t hang around to observe, but I thought the people looked more like casual/beginner climbers than ones who’ve got their own rack and stuff.
There weren’t that many people bouldering, for which I was glad for, since the area is really not that big. Probably just slightly bigger than the first floor of Climb Asia’s bouldering gym. It had quite a nice roof though, and a nice steep hanging wall. The boulder problems were pretty good. There was one section that really reminded me of one of the rooms at The Arch London Bridge. I had a few gos at the V3s and managed to get a few of them. They seem to be graded slightly harder than those in UK but slightly easier than the ones in Singapore. At least for this gym.
Met a couple of interesting people there too! Am always glad to meet other climbers around the world. And I learnt a new game that climbers can play, called “Add-on”, where each climber just adds on another handhold to the previous climber’s handhold. Until no one else can complete the route I guess.
I stayed there till around half 9 but by then the place was almost emptied out. I guess people in Perth sleep early. Even though I prefer climbing gyms with much bigger bouldering area, I really do like the vibe at Rockface Indoor Climbing Gym. Friendly, easy-going climbers who are game to try new things and climb hard. Benches and tables all around for people to gather, chat and just socialise.
Shame I don’t have a photo of the place though!