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Borneo is an off-the-beaten track destination, mostly visited by only the most adventurous backpackers. Borneo consists of two Malaysian states, Sarawak and Sabah. Indonesian Borneo is called Kalimantan, which is the lower 2/3rds of the island. Brunei is the oil rich kingdom situated between Sarawak and Sabah. Certainly, Borneo conjurs up images of fierce Headhunters, white rajas, pirates and Sea Gypsies, but while there are still reminders of these things all round, modern-day "Borneo" is relatively tame. Despite its proximity to Thailand and mainland Malaysia, Borneo is often overlooked by rock climbers. Perhaps this is because of this "exotic" image Borneo inspires and the perceived difficulty in getting there. However, the two Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah are easily and cheaply (check out AirAsia) reached by plane from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and now Hong Kong (to Sabah). Sarawak contains numerous limestone crags, of which only a few have been developed, near Kuching and bouldering at nearby Bako National Park. Sabah's main appeal is climbing 4000m Mount Kinabalu. However, Berhala Island, off Sandakan, is a vast sandstone playground, with only a handful of sport routes put up. There is much potential for putting up new routes in this area. Borneo is reserved for the motivated adventure climber, who will be rewarded with uncrowded crags, seclusion, challenging limestone and sandstone sport routes, and very welcoming and hospitable local climbers, who will no longer take your head!
Sarawak is easily reached from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Singapore. Sabah is reached from Kuala Lumpur and now Hong Kong.
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Featured Route For Borneo
Evil Chimney 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13 Asia : Malaysia : ... : Gunung Buros: White Magic W...
Interesting and unusual climbing on limestone. Harder than it looks. Climb/stem up a few meters into the obvious chimney, which is open at the bottom. Chimney along horizontally out to the main face while it gets tighter. When you feel stuck move out of the chimney/offwidth into the overhanging wall. Climb the crack and later face to the anchor. It is a good idea to clip stick the first bolt as the first meters are of lower rock quality. ...[more] Browse More Classics in International
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