Rock Climbing At Fairy Cave Bau
This climbing area has 8 separate walls with over eighty climbs here. Difficulties ranges between 5-8 (French grading).
All climbs have glued in (Hilti RE 500) and fixed hangers on expansion bolts certified by International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA).
Located 6-km away from the town of Bau, the Fairy Cave area comes under the Krokong village committee made up of 17 smaller villages.The Bidayuhs here are the ancestral custodians of the cave area. Most of them here are Catholics and their parish of 7 villages has worked with local climbers in carrying out community service at the climbing areas.
The Fairy Cave Climbing Areas
Visiting climbers have commented that the Batman wall is peculiar because of the overhangs that require a lot of upper body strength while not requiring precision footwork. The rock formations with its chimneys and pillars are quite unique too. Several of the climbs are ‘un-gym’ 3D like climbs, requiring climbers to know what is around or behind them.
This wall is climbable in any conditions. There is a row of stalactite that keeps both rain and sun off the wall. Grades at Batman Wall go from 6A to 7C. There are roof climbs under this wall with a minimum grade 7B.
One would also need to do a Batman start to climb ‘Fist of Fairy’ a 3 pitch climb, beginning from the top of the Fairy Cave stairs. It begins with a 6A+ and has a 6C finish. The reward for this climb is to top out and walk into the gigantic Fairy Cave where one can walk down.
The other walls have ground up starts and feel more ‘conventional’ with small crimps requiring more finger work. The grades vary between 5 to 6C. There are also a few open projects. It is estimated that these climbs are in the 7B range.
There are ample bouldering opportunities with the many ‘problems’ that litter this climbing area.
There are a number of places to put up an abseil line. This is an ideal place to take absolute beginners progressively build their confidence to go on longer runs. The climax would be the abseil from the Fairy Cave opening 100 meters above street level.
There is a marked walkway to and through Fairy Cave. A cement and wooden walkway covers part of the trail that goes through the cave and mountain exiting at the back of Gunung Kapor (Chalk Mountain). There are several passages that require specialist knowledge in spelunking and SRT (single rope technique).
The Fairy cave area is also the venue for the annual Rock On climbing festival held in conjunction with the Bidayuh people in Krokong. Besides climbing, there are lots of food, drinks and live music.
Climbers need a 60 meter rope and 12 draws but there are some climbs that require up to 14 draws. In addition to this are shoes, belay device and cow’s tail. A tarp is needed to keep your rope clean. A towel would come in handy to wipe the sweat and grime off. The local service provider have equipment for hire.
Accommodation And Food
Homestays are available at Peros village 5km away from the climbing area. Most hosts speak English and can help with transportation to and from the crag areas. It cost MYR 65 per person and this includes breakfast and dinner. Bookings must be done at least a day earlier by calling 082 450378 or email.
Getting ThereThere is a bus service from Kuching to Fairy Cave. The route goes from Kuching bus terminal at Jalan Masjid (road) to Bau town where one needs to change for bus No.2 to Krokong. Tell the driver to stop at Fairy Cave. He will stop at the road junction leading to Fairy Cave. It is 1.5km walk to the climbing area. There are road signs leading to it.
By Road. There are two roads that lead to Bau. One past Kota Sentosa and another through Batu Kawah past Tondong. There are car and scooter rental companies in Kuching. You can navigate by following road signs or via GPS. For large groups to 6 to 10 persons, it is best to hire a chartered van. It will cost about MYR 100 per way or MYR 270 for a full-day charter.
Road signs are deceiving! Fairy Cave is also known as Gua Pari-Pari (in Bahasa Malaysia), so look out for Bau and the two names on road signs.