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Waking Dream

Waking Dream.

Not sure what woke us up – the sound of thunder? The flash of lightning? I opened my eyes and saw that we were in a thick cloud. The light of our headlamps revealed a milky whiteness all around periodically illuminated by blinding flashes. “Fuck.” We got up and quickly put the fly over our portaledge. The supporting bolt was only 5 feet above a wide, sloping ramp and so we were unable to keep the thing taut: all attempts to lower the ledge and stretch the fly resulted in the stabilizer bar popping off and the ledge collapsing. Heavy rain started seemingly at the throw of a switch. Though partially protected by The Great Roof, the wind was driving the droplets horizontally at times. We covered ourselves with the loose fly trying to keep the portaledge dry. The rock was soon running with water and some of it was collecting on the canvas. Amazing how quickly we went from a hot night in the tropics to shivering. Flashes of lightning and the simultaneous explosions of thunder were all around us. We were 300 feet up a spire called the South Dragon Horn sticking out of the jungles of Pulau Tioman – a giant lightning rod. Checked the watch – it was just past midnight. A long and chilly night with a good pinch of fear lay ahead.


Bukit Takun

Wet jungle.

  • Tioman
  • Waking Dream Start
  • Mukut
  • Waking Dream Bail
  • Batu Caves
  • Cameron Highlands
  • Bukit Takun
  • Melaka
  • Singapore
  • The Beginning

    Waking Dream

    Waking Dream bivy.

    The idea of going to Malaysia has been in the back of our minds for years. Climbing opportunities looked good, we both love the cuisines of southeast Asia, and it seemed we were ripe for a reunion with some of Shirley’s family from Jakarta. Nearly a year prior, I somehow (believe it was via Eman) got in touch with David regarding updated beta for the Dragon Horns on Pulau Tioman. Not only did David patiently answer my many questions, it turned out that he and his climbing partner Stephane were undertaking the project of replacing the bolts on the Waking Dream route of the southern Horn using modern, corrosion resistant alloy bolts as the originals have badly oxidized in the tropical, marine environment. A project they of course completed. A week prior to our departure, my parents arrived from the east coast to babysit our dog and house during our absence. A late spring season of family reunions: mine in Portland and Shirley’s in Singapore. Weather forecasts were a major downer. Despite the so called onset of dry season, a steadily unstable and uniform pattern was setting in: 33C, 90% humidity and high probability of showers for the duration of our trip.



    Durian shopping.

    Though I think that Tsaranoro Massif in Madagascar takes the cake for the longest trip in our experience, the island of Tioman in Malaysia is not far behind: 1.5 hour flight to San Francisco, eleven hour flight to Tokyo, seven hour flight to Singapore, a quick night in a hotel, an hour cab ride to Johor Bahru, three hour drive to Mersing, a 1.5 hour ferry ride to the village of Genting on Tioman and lastly an hour long ride in Tam’s small boat to the village of Mukut on the southern tip of the island. A stretch of about 50 hours from the time we rolled out of bed at home and the first beer at Tam’s resort on Tioman.

    Video Haikus

    Bukit Takun


  • Storm On Waking Dream
  • Pulau Tioman Jungle
  • Pulau Tioman Jungle 2
  • Storm On Bukit Takun
  • Melaka Street Fair
  • Melaka Trishaw
  • Singapore Chicken
  • .

    Go to Tioman.
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