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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Echo Valley

For a friend.

Also known as Dairy Farm Quarry, this—along with Hindhede Quarry (@ the base of Bukit Timah Hill)—was where I hung out (literally, heh heh) during my JC years when I wasn't cycling or dodging teachers' demands for overdue assignments.

If you stand anywhere between the bush on the left and hanging branches of the tree further in the background and yell, you will hear a strong echo issuing from the granite walls on the opposing side.

Another view of the same side. There are a number of routes here. All of them are single pitch. Some of the routes include: Boring & Meaningless, Crisis, Jaws, Acrophobia, Desperado, and Direct (Jam Bang, Lucky Draw Dihedral). Direct is the only route I have ever soloed in this quarry. Roy Chua has some pictures of the routes.

The climber on the left is on Boring & Meaningless, while the lady on the right is on Acrophobia.

Some of the toys. The bike's Michelle, my touring bike.

A field lies between the cliff walls.

Another view of the field, this time from the base of Boring & Meaningless.

Across the field, the cliffs are higher, and there are a couple of multiple pitch climbs. Some of the routes include, IQ 70, Nose, Razor's Edge, and Dragon Shit. Dragon Shit holds some fond memories: once, I took 2 cans of 100 Plus out of the cooler, placed it in my waist pouch, and climbed up as fast as I could; upon reaching the top, me and my belayer enjoyed a bird's eye view of the valley while savoring the beverage.

A wider view.

My dogs love this place. They would roam for hours exploring the entire valley, chasing birds, butterflies, a pissed off squirrel or two :-)


A view of Hindhede Quarry in the 1990s. The water level has risen 3 meters every year since. The water then was exceedingly clear, and the pit relatively deep. Armed with only Open Water Diver certifications, a buddy and I descended to 140 feet (43 m) before we bailed out.

Hindhede Quarry today. The spot where the previous picture was taken is now deep underwater. In 2 years, the water level will reach 35 meters above sea level and overflow. Scuba diving in the quarry is now expressly forbidden and rock climbing heavily regulated. Draconian rangers ensure compliance.


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