Waterfall climbing: Delights of a slippery slope

Waterfall climbing: Delights of a slippery slope

The best way to walk down a waterfall is to lean back in faith.

HOW would you like to step off a cliff ... into a raging waterfall?

This is what a few of us adventure addicts did one weekend ... and survived to tell the tale. This particular perpendicular pursuit is called waterfall abseiling, which basically means that we walked down a waterfall - with a rope holding us safely.

The location was Janda Baik, a jungly area near Genting Highlands physically, yet a world away in spirit. Here, a variety of waterfalls tumble off the eastern slopes of the Titiwangsa mountain range - perfect for purposes.

Our weekend away involved putting up for the night in a sprawling mansion where VVIP's used to stay back in the 1980s.

It was reassuring that the first item on the agenda by the group of enthusiasts called Wildpac was a safety briefing about first aid kits. Then we were off, trekking through hilly forests en route to our training ground.

efore we were allowed to descend the waterfall, we first had to get the "hang" of normal abseiling down a rocky cliff. A dry run, literally.

Chin Su Hung, our instructor, got each of us into a hip harness and made sure the metal rings and rope knots were all in the right places.

For guys, this needs some "adjustment" to make sure that the, um, family jewels are not in the way ...

Position of trust

Then came the crucial part: Learning how to use a device called the descender. As its name implies, this metal contraption allows the abseiler to go down by letting the rope go through it at a controlled pace.

"Press the red handle when you want to let the rope move," said Prem Kumar Ramadas, another instructor. "If you get scared when descending, just let go and don't press anything."

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