Polish Princess, new route on Dragon’s Horns in Malaysia by Kaszlikowski and Kubarska
In April 2011 Eliza Kubarska and David Kaszlikowski from Poland established “Polish Princess” (7b+max, 270m) on Dragon’s Horns (Bukit Nanek Simukut) on Tioman Island, Malaysia.
Every year Eliza Kubarska and David Kaszlikowski leave their home in Poland in search of unclimbed rock faces across the globe and this April the couple made their way back to Malaysia, more precisely to the beautiful Tioman Island and its distinctive granite peak Bukit Nanek Simukut which rises 700m over the tropical jungle.
A year ago they had established their first route Sam Sam (7b max, 300m) on the South Tower of the mountain (also known as Dragons Horns or Twin Peaks), and this April they established Polish Princess (7b+max, 270m), mainly ground-up and with some sections straightened out afterwards.
The route itself is a trad line with some runouts and Kaszlikowski stated We were attracted by the quality of the rock and the area's potential after our first new route in 2010. With some more skillful climbers coming Twin Peaks has the potential to become a global multi-pitch climbing attraction in the future. It is probably the only big wall on the planet that stands so close to incredible coral reefs, offering the possibility to climb and dive on the same day.
Although the South Tower is reached via a short 1 hour approach, before starting their project they had to fight their way through the jungle We used the trail cut by our friend Sam few years ago explained Kaszlikowski but to approach our project we had to cut our own small trail trough the jungle which is incredibly slow and energy-consuming effort (3hours of cutting to create 15 minutes passage). Now there is a trail prepared.
The first ascent proved more adventurous then they had initially immagined: The peak and walls itself are often covered by the thunderclouds it had been raining since early morning so after s night spent on the summit we had to rappel to our jungle camp. In the beginning we didn't care too much about rain, because it is so warm there that you can almost climb naked, but at one point it turned into fierce storm and heavy downpour. It caught us on hanging belay just 70m off the ground. It was much stronger than any other shower we've ever experienced, and very cold. We started to shiver, then the wall turned into waterfall and we had problems breathing. We survived only thanks to the tent cover we dug out from our bag just in time. We spread it between our helmets and, almost in a state of hypothermia, waited for the shower to stop. We finally managed to rappel at night, only to find our camp totally devastated by the water.
Potential repeaters have been warned. Talking about potential: Kaszlikowski concluded There is big potential for new routing, the most interesting and highest parts of the South Tower are 400-500m high, very smooth, with potentially difficult starts on very compact rock. Some of best lines on the south wall will surely need some bolting. This ia what we had originally planned to do this year but we had to retreat after serious problems placing bolts. Our elecric drill was unable to drill 4cm placements despite 30 minute efforts. After 3 wasted drill-bits, we tried our hand drill instead and this worked better. The rock on Tioman is one of the hardest on the planet. In addition, there are also some incredibly featured slabs, totally a typical on granite.
There are 5 routes to the top of South Tower:
1. Beckwith - Traver, by Steve Beckwith and Matt Traver in 2009,(400m, 5.10.A3)
2. Waking Dream - by Nick Tomlin and Scotty Nelson in 2000 (V 5.9 A2, 10 pitches), freed by Dave Sharratt and Hank Jones and graded 7c+.
3. Muka 2010 by Martinek, Benes, Sobotka 2010 (belays in place) 7a+, 360m
4. Polish Princess (7b+, 270m) 2011David Kaszlikowski, Eliza Kubarska. Direct line and prepared (crosses Muka at pitch 4).
5. Sam Sam (7b max, after a broken hold, 300m) 2010,Kaszlikowski, Kubarska.
Polish Princess on Bukit Nanek Simukut on Tioman Island, Malaysia by Eliza Kubarska and David Kaszlikowski
>> 2004: Barracuda Taghia Gorge, Morocco
>> 2005: Taghia Fantasia, Morocco
>> 2007: Golden Lunacy first ascent on Maujit Qaqarssuasia, Greenland
>> 2009: Greenland climbing new routes by Eliza Kubarska and David Kaszlikowski