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Rock On

More than 600 participants showed up to prove their rock-climbing chops at Pumpfest 2011, its biggest turnout since 1998. (Photo: Pumpfest) 

More than 600 men and women from around the region made their way to Millenia Walk to prove their rock-climbing skills over a period of three days Pumpfest 2011, a rock climbing event organised by students from the Nanyang Technological University, was held in the centre of the air-conditioned Millenia Walk mall and featured rock-climbers from Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia as well as local climbers.

The large scale of the event combined with the prime location attracted hundreds of spectators over three days from 3 to 5 June as they gathered to watch the climbers attack the rock wall.

There were cycles of despair and rapture among the crowd as climbers were just as likely to reach the top as to tumble off it at any moment. It was a game of determination and strategy, where speed was just as likely to get you to the top as on the ground.

The event has been scaling greater heights since its inception in 1998 when it had only 48 participants. Pumpfest now draws crowds of hundreds, breaking its own record this year with 600 rock-climbers competing.

“I’d say there were many firsts,” said Alex Goh, chairman of the organising committee. “Besides the high participation rate this is the first time we are having an exhibition of this scale and we also had a corporate charity category.”

The event was a hit with the climbers like Jonathan Kuah who came in second in the Men’s Open category. “The event was great, the routes were tough but fun,” said Kuah, “I am also trying out for the South-east Asian Games so this is a good way for people like me to prove myself.”