One of the lesser known attractions at Universal Studios Singapore has got to be Amber Rock Climb. Situated at the far end of the Jurassic Park area, it is something that you’ll easily miss if you don’t venture all the way in. The rock-climbing wall is 11.5m with 3 levels – Easy, Medium and Difficult, according to columns.
Facts about Amber Rock Climb
Height: 11.5 metres (4 stories high)
Levels: Easy, Medium, Difficult
What to bring: Identification card or passport. (Parents or guardians need to sign the indemnity form for those under 21 years old.)
What to wear: Covered shoes. Shoes are available but sizes limited to 3 to 12.
Best time to climb: When it’s less sunny, before noon and after 4pm.
Average time to reach the top: 5 minutes (if you’re a superhero)
Tip: Use your legs instead of your arms to push upwards
In the past, I was never keen on attempting it for two reasons. Firstly, I am the least sporty person you can find. Secondly, Amber Rock Climb used to cost an additional upcharge, so the idea of paying for my own “suffering” was a big NO.
However, since Amber Rock Climb has become free to climb starting from 4 January 2016, I thought why not give it a go.
The Big Day
The weather was great that day – cloudy and not too hot. According to the staff, the best time to climb was before noon or after 4pm.
To begin, I handed over my identification (you can use your passport or Identification Card) and signed an indemnity form at the sign-in counter. This is mandatory and for guests below 21, you will have to have your parent/guardian sign the form for you too.
If you didn’t come in sneakers or sport shoes (I didn’t!), the attraction has shoes on standby that you could borrow. Shoe sizes range from 3 to 12.
The staff of Amber Rock Climb will also act as your belayer. In rock-climbing terms, a belayer is someone on the ground who provides tension to your climbing rope so that, if you fall, you don’t drop very far. You’re in safe hands.
My belayer, Faezah, gave me a short briefing before I got started. She explained how to make sure the rope was not tangled and how to descend. She also mentioned that it usually takes only 5 minutes to reach the top. 5 minutes should pass pretty quickly!
So I took my first step onto the rock wall. As a rock climbing beginner, I chose the Easy column.(the one on the left). Finding the next hold to grip and hoisting myself up took some getting used to. But Faezah was really helpful, pointing out the next hold that I can grab onto and encouraging me along the way.
It was fun until I started to get tired midway. Pulling myself up onto the next hold took more energy than the last and I could feel my limbs struggling to hold on. I eventually scaled two-thirds of the wall before throwing in the towel and Faezah started my descent on the belay.
Tip: Use your legs to push yourself up, instead of pulling your weight with your arms. Your arms will thank you. Mine felt like jelly for a good 10 minutes after I descended.
After the aborted climb, I realised that rock climbing is not entirely impossible for me. Since it is now free to climb, the Amber Rock Climb attraction is a relatively great way to dip your toes (and fingers) into rock climbing, and see if that is a calling for you. For myself, I vow to conquer this wall one day – once my arms are no longer so jelly-like.
While the Amber Rock Climb no longer costs extra, you will still need a ticket to enter Universal Studios Singapore. Check out what promos we have here.