This posting is contributed by Stanlley Tai on his experience in putting up rungs at the Station 9 ( formerly known as First Rope ) of Bukit Tabur West, creating a mini-via ferata like structures as aid to trekkers.
Stanlley advised that a proper via-ferrata has a safety cable running alongside the rungs and climbers are required to wear a proper climbing harness, supposedly t be clipped onto the cable for safety from one point to the other.
The rungs that were drilled & fixed unto the rocks at station 9 has no cables on them, they were fixed just as an aid to the trekkers should they INSISTS to climb down the cliff at the left side of Station 9.( formerly known as First Rope)
Comparing the rungs that were fixed into the drilled holes in the rocks ( done in October 2011 ) with those ropes that were tied to the rocks, the rungs are believed to be safer than the ropes.
We always advise trekkers/climbers to use the right side of station 9 to proceed to the cliff opposite, it is a much safer route. If trekkers must choose to come down from the left side of Station 9, the rungs are just merely an aid.
Disclaimer : Always trek safely. Exercise caution for your own safety, we are in no way to be hold responsibility for any mishaps that happens.
This below posting is from StanlleyTai
With 15 kg of safety and climbing gears and first aid in my Dueter bagpack, Nov 18, 2011 was a memorable day for me and my dad and his team of volunteers . Vince carried the powered Bosch hammer drill for the job.
It was a day when hope was translated into work, that no unnecessary accident should happen again at the accident prone spot at Station 9 ( formerly known as First Rope ) in Bukit Tabur West.
The load of our backpacks were heavy, as we set out the journey starting from the foothill of the Klang Gate, considering the rocky & steep terrain of Bukit Tabur. it is for sure it wasn't an easy climb.
The thought that someone could accidentally fall again due to the danger at station 9 gave us the strength to carry the load towards the purpose and reason why we were there in the first place.
It seemed that the weight we carried was nothing when compared to the rescue workers would have to go through should another rescue operation is to take place.
How we did it
Upon reaching Station No.9, first and foremost, we brought out the prayer material and items, did what we believe was to appease the local 'residents', where we got some offerings and prayer material burnt for the 'Datuk and Nenek' (Granpa and Granma of the mountain) before starting work.
For my own safety
I started by locating 2 points to mount sturdy anchor points for my safety rope,
wore my harness and clipped on my descender to enable me to work handsfree and safely.
We identified suitably hard and flat surface for rungs mounting
Thanks to the volunteering consultants for their patience and efforts, they did many dry runs before the locations of each rung were confirmed.
We spend the most time locating for appropriate spots to mount our rungs, and double check on the position of the rock nearby versus the appropiate spots with safety to the trekkers as our most concern.
Rocks that are fractured, brittle and uneven are not suitable.
It took us many trials before deciding where to place the rungs.
After marking, we then drilled into the rock.
I consulted a geologist before commencing work in Bukit Tabur. The quartz formation in Tabur West is quite diverse. We have to find good solid quartz, this is solid color with no fractures. Those with fractures is like sand. Imagine a sheet of tempered glass like those on a car's windscreen, the glass is strongest when clear, but when shattered, there is no strength in the glass.
After the drilling, rung after rung was installed.
The contractor , named Loon is an experience contractor and he helped with the installation of the rungs.
The upper rungs were deliberately mounted low, to avoid the big loose rock on the edge, marked out by a few yellow X marks.
More information on the loose rock in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig4tomiPzC4
Altogether there are 9 rungs bolted into the rock. These bolted rungs forms a kind of mini-via ferata at Station 9 . The purpose of the 9 rungs is to assist the trekker/climber, to hold themselves steady.
Testing & simulation
Testing was done one by one,
Checks and double checks were performed by everyone in the voluntary team,.
Simulation climbs on the rungs were done by the entire team until everyone was satisfied on its safety.
After finishing up at Station 9, my Dad and the team went towards Station 12 to mount a rung there. I stayed back to pack up all of the safety gear and it started to rain.
I got my raincoat on and quickly secured everyone's bags and waited for their return. The rain wasn't that heavy and there was no lightning.
A word of appreciation and thanks to Loon and Dad and his team of volunteers for contributing towards the success of getting the mini-via ferata up.
We then descended Bukit Tabur West, with hopes that the rung structures will help trekkers and prevent accidents in the future at station 9.
A word of appreciation and thanks to Loon and Dad and his team of volunteers, their team of volunteers for contributing success towards the contributing towards the success of getting the mini-via ferata up.
We strongly recommend trekkers/climbers to use the right route ( the SAFER ROUTE ) to get to the opposite cliff as a safe way to get ahead.
Pictures courtesy of Ms. Paige LeeDisclaimer : Always trek safely. Exercise caution for your own safety, we are in no way to be held responsible for any mishaps that happens. Your safety is your own responsibility.
Agnes Note : A word of thanks to Kim Wone Tai & Stanlley Tai, the father & son team and their trekking buddies & volunteers for the work done at Station 9.
Stanlley Tai is the Operation & Sales Manager of Bungy Malaysia Sdn Bhd, he has over 10 years of experience in rock climbing and related safety matters. He is also an avid extreme sportman, playing competitive paintball, go-karting, rock-climbing and is a qualified medic.
( Should you have any queries, would be glad to liase for you to have Stanlley and his team to answer it )