Humans of Chico State


Graduating biology major, Matt Clark talks about his travels to Tioman island off the coast of Malaysia. Photo credit: Franky Renteria

“Me and Doug Cue (current Chico State senior) went to a remote island called Tioman island off the coast of Malaysia, trying to get the second ever American ascent of this 1,500-foot rock tower. When we got there, we were the only tourists on the island and it was filled with cats, like cats everywhere, always watching you. The local people were stoked that we were there and gave us free food and tea. We went into the jungle to set up our base camp and there were three and a half foot water monitor lizards in the trees that were freaky as f-ck. We set up our camp, and purified our water for the next few days,” said graduating biology major, Matt Clark.

“The next morning, which was Christmas Day, we started the climb with the goal of climbing the first third of it and fixing the line so we could get back up the next day. It started bad because it was monsooning and Doug was climbing the first pitch and fell and the whole hillside came down with him and completely covered me and all our gear in dirt. We moved past that and got onto granite and could see the South China Sea below us. We hadn’t realized that because of the monsoon, the rock had literally turned into a waterfall and was gonna be impossible to climb. We gave it one more day, but we ended up calling it because of the monsoon. Sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t permit an ascent. We made it off the island and b-lined it to Singapore just in time to party for New Years,” Clark said.

Franky Renteria can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.