Sachi Amma and Yuji Hirayama: Hard New Routes in Borneo
In 2013, we ran a feature by Yuji Hirayama about the climbing on Mount Kinabalu in Borneo. Three years after Hirayama’s historic 2012 trip, he’s returned with crusher Sachi Amma.
The two Japanese climbers spent three weeks at the iconic Mount Kinabalu where they sent a number of new routes.
Sachi Amma made the second ascent of Excalibur 5.14c, which was bolted by Hirayama and sent by Daniel Woods in 2012.
Amma, who had never been to the alpine, worked on a project that Hirayama had previously bolted called Jerung, but could only work out a two-thirds of the moves and said the route is harder than 5.15c and possibly 5.16.
Amma also made the second ascent of Tinipi 5.15a, which is an amazing achievement at the high altitude. He then climbed two new 5.12bs called Orion and Union.
“Yuji taught me how to find a good line to bolt and clean the holds,” said Amma. “The process of finding a good route and is a lot of work, but I learned many things.”
“I still believe that Tinipi is my most beautiful line I have developed,” said Hirayama, who climbed a new trad route called Osonongkono “Looking Good,” which has an 80-metre 5.12b first pitch and long 5.11d second pitch, on the 2015 trip.
Hirayama also freed the first pitch of Jerung, a 50-metre 5.14a and repeated the route Two Step Process 5.13d.
“This trip is over,” said Hirayama, “but we are very excited about our next trip. Sachi knows about Kinabalu now and I bolted other routes possibly in the 5.15 range. We will return next year.”