/bɪ ə gʊd gɜ:l/ n. moniker of she who blogs here [also known as, bie]; adj. personal awesome advice to all female kiddos

meet the fam #thechennies

meet the fam #thechennies

If you recall, I first blogged about Bielet's inaugural attempt at climbing when she was barely 2. In that post, I listed 5 climbing gyms with programmes for the little ones, and The Rock School was one of them. After 2 years in the works, ZX and I finally brought Bielet for her very first try at The Rock School's annual mass climbing event - The Rock Carnival 2014.

The annual event was held over a weekend, on 22 and 23 Nov, in two parts: The Rock Challenge is competitive and is usually for children who have at least one year's experience in climbing, with various competition categories for children between 7 and 17. The second parter is the fun The Rock Carnival, where those keen to be Spideman can have a go at climbing (children are attached to a belayer by a rope) or bouldering (no rope needed as climbers are closer to the ground but someone stands guard, should the climber fall, to soften the fall and prevent injury - referred to as 'spotting' - and there usually is a mattress or crash pad underneath).

(Source: The Rock School)

Since we were in the neighbourhood on Saturday, we headed to the event to see if we could join in. It was close to 3pm when we reached the Bedok CC (where TRS is) but they were already packing up the carnival to prepare for their competitive segment. We were winging it since we figured that Bielet could only manage a couple of climbs. However, we were really keen to let her try the float (which had already been deflated by this point) so we headed home and promised her to come again the next day.

Onward march from Bedok Mall!

Bielet was really disappointed that she couldn't climb there and then, so I really appreciated that she still hammed it up for the camera (that's why I'm posting it against my cannot-stand-hiaoness principle HAHAHA)

Bielet was really excited to get going on Sunday! But as with typical climbing events/competitions, the music was blaring and I was bracing myself for her "TOO LOUD" and subsequently changing her mind about participating. Thankfully she was distracted by so much going on, as well as all the children milling around the walls.

Proudly showing off her carnival score card and ID marker after completing registration

Getting harnessed up in Singing Rock (it's the same brand of harness that Bielet has)

We went straight for the float wall and she started really well, blazing up the first few tiles (blocks). Since it is a float after all, it is pretty floppy so when someone else started climbing on the other side, the float jerked hard really suddenly. Bielet's eyes rounded in horror as the upright wall bent forward and then flopped back. It took a ginormous amount of cheering on our parts before she went up just one more block after that, but was too frightened to go up anymore. Eep.

The belayer checking and securing Bielet's harness one last time before her climb. Very thorough!

Starting strong

She got up fairly quickly

The float wobbled at this point and she was petrified. The men (ZX and one of the male organisers) told her it was alright and she could come down, but the women (me and the lady belayer) were like, nononono just try to go up to the next tile. LOL

After a really, really long time (with lots of head-shakes and "No's" all round), Bielet managed to reach the yellow block I asked her to try for. YAY!

She went on to do four boulder walls before we breaked for lunch. There were four different routes on the wall: easiest being rainbow, or all tiles (2 bonus points for attempting and 5 for completing or 'topping' it), and hardest being black (20 points for attempting and 30 for topping). While the carnival isn't competitive, participants can still chalk up points to redeem for prizes (like the arcade). I had a brief look at the prize booth and saw one of the top prizes was a Where's Wally booklet. I liiiiiiiiiiiiiiike.

Bielet's 1st Route


Bielet was a little unsure at the start, so ZX helped by spotting her and telling her which holds to grab, and where to place her feet. She also really needed his help because Little-Miss-Excited just jumped to the first boulder wall she saw - and ignored the fact that it was the most inclined of the walls. Ambitious.

Bielet's 2nd Route

Flat wall but it was a rough start. "Already maxed out," observed ZX of her span.

Bielet's 3rd Route

Good form, don't you agree?

Bielet's 4th Route

Bielet was getting tired by this point, so we decided to break for lunch.

After rushing through lunch, ZX and Bielet had to head to the wall for their parent-child climb, with only limited slots each hour. There was an introductory briefing to all participants and a demo climb by one of the organising team members WHOSE LEG LOOP CAME UNDONE MID-CLIMB. What an epic fail moment. I'm guessing he didn't double back it. Thankfully the other members who did the children's harnesses were more thorough (and anyway ZX still did his usual checks before letting Bielet climb).

Being chatted up by one of the friendly instructors (that came out wrong)

Bieny looking on at the wall longingly #asif

Bielet was really uncomfortable in this harness (Petzel) but it might be because it was too large/loose for her? Singing Rock FTW

Giving Bielet a leg up during the briefing

There were two walls and the organising team suggested ZX and Bielet try the easiest wall ("That was what I was going to say," ZX told me after), so they queued up after another mother-daughter pair. But when it came to the mother-daughter's turn, the little girl was hesitant so her mummy told Bielet she could go first. "Okay," she shrugged and headed to the wall. WAH SO BRAVE! Unfortunately, when she encountered a tricky part, she was all like "I don't want to climb already" and "I want to go down". Um, maybe not so brave after all lol. ZX did a grand total of two moves and they ended the climb. Cue doi doi doi music.



Just compare how much shorter Bielet is next to ZX! Although she isn't the tallest kid around, I'm quite relieved that she didn't inherit my lousy, short span. (I was the third tallest among the 7 girl climbers in my batch, but I had the shortest span - when fully stretched - so that sucked.) That aside, I really love the pictures of their co-climb! :))))

But while her span might be long for her age, it didn't count for much when compared to the other children around (at the event).

See?

We thought Bielet would want to leave after the parent-child climb, but this one has boundless energy and went straight to the other boulder walls which she didn't try yet. Strong~ This time round, I asked her to set herself a target tile to reach while we were waiting in queue. And boy, did this trick work like a charm! She was less clueless and more motivated to reach the goal. (Should have done this from the very start.......)

Bielet's 5th Route (Target: Green Tile)



Bielet's 6th Route (Target: Blue Caterpillar Tile)



Bielet's 7th Route (Target: Any tile on blue triangle contour)


She tried this wall twice. First two photos of her first attempt were because she reached the tiles on the blue triangle in two moves and came down (the spotter was so shocked because she just reached the tiles and said, ok I'm going down). So he let her try the other side of the wall and she posed for a photo before saying she was done! 

The last three walls were her best climbs yet! It was just five or six moves and she didn't complete any preset route but she completed the route she set herself :)) That's achievement enough for me. Really proud of my little rockstar.

Every time Bielet came down from her climb (boulder), she happily shrieked and pointed out that she got another 2 points! Her unbridled glee totally made my day!

Other stuff that happened:

Poor Bieny got left on the mat while Papa and Mama were cheering Bielet on!

Yes, she was actually sitting on the mat for the slackline. Papa 'showing off' heh. 

Bieny OOTD on Day 1 (left) and Day 2 (right) - She was bushed by this point on Day 2 so she didn't want to stand for the photo!

While Bielet was more than happy to have a photo op with the supposed Cookie Monster. Looks like the climber-version monster looks a little pirated. Must be a healthier diet!

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>> In a nutshell: The Rock Carnival 2014 <<

What Mum liked
1/There were sufficient walls and routes to climb so the children didn't have to wait that long. On average, Bielet had to wait 3 climbs before her turn on the boulder wall (the main and hence most popular sector). 

2/The organising team was very encouraging to the kiddo participants - the spotters helped to boost Bielet (like literally, they pushed her to aid her in reaching the next hold) and the judges returned her scorecard with a huge smile, some telling her "well done" or "good try". 

3/The prize redemption is a nice touch, but the minimum score was 20 so it was impossible for Bielet to get a prize - she tried 7 out of 8 routes, even if she had tried all, she wouldn't have achieved the minimum. ZX's response? "Do you know how difficult it is to organise such an event? They can't let everyone have a prize, you know." then refers me to an article on the importance of teaching your children to lose. Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

4/The goodie bag is really quite good! Looks like the school hols is going to be quite fun-filled because of all these swell vouchers heh.


What Tot Liked
Mama: Did you enjoy yourself? 
Bielet: Yes.

Mama: What was your favourite part of the event? 
Bielet: The elephant balloon. (The carnival also included a flea market and child-specialty booths.)

Mama: Um, what about the climbing part? 
Bielet: The blue caterpillar (tile on her second last boulder wall).

Mama: If there is another event like this, would you like to join again? 
Bielet: Yes.

Mama: Why?
Bielet: There was a man who climbed so fast then after he come down, the other mummy said I can climb first. It looked fun to me. But when I climbed, it was quite difficult.
[Note: Mama thinks she means it was a challenge.]

Mama: But do you think you did a good job, or do you think you could have done better?
Bielet: I did a good job. The other korkors and jiejies did a good job also.

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[Note: If you noticed the watermark on the photos, it indicated "sportthatkid" instead of my usual "bieagoodgirl". Yup, I'm in the midst of setting up a new blog dedicated to all the fun, sporting activities for children! There are plenty of stuff for kids to do, yes, but ZX and me like (trying) to be active so we need to get our girls going too. I'll update when I've finally gotten that going - this is just a teaser of what you can expect! Still a lot of stuff to do but I'll slowly migrate my #sportie posts over there, with less rambles and more succinct posts. Promise.]

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