Enduro king Chris Birch shows novices how to tackle epic obstacles
It looks impossible.
A wall of rock and dirt. So steep that this reporter and photojournalist Ariffin Jamar have to scrabble on our hands and knees just to get to a good vantage point.
It's three storeys high - at least - and near impossible to climb, let alone ride on.
Yet, with a roar, 2010 Red Bull Romaniacs winner Chris Birch powers his KTM dirtbike past us and takes the gradient in one fluid motion, driving the spectators wild.
The 34-year-old is at the Ulu Choh Dirt Park in Gelang Patah, Johor, to hold an Enduro clinic.
He is an expert.
As formidable as this terrain looks, it's a walk in the park for the six-time New Zealand Enduro Champion and three-time winner of extreme enduro Roof of Africa.
His skills leave participants like Mr Ben Ting awed.
Mr Ting, 37, says: "He's like a mountain goat, just hopping and jumping around like nobody's business."
The laid-back Birch tells The New Paper on Sunday: "I always run through an obstacle in my head first - what it's going to be like to ride it and the techniques to use.
"Once I've done it in my head, I know I can do it on the bike. In a race situation, this takes only a second or two."
For the 15 novice participants at the clinic organised by riding adventure group Braap Brothers, Birch's lesson focuses on balance, traction and control. Without any of these, you're unlikely to stay upright.
Some of the exercises involve finding one's limits, explains Mr Ting. He says: "(Birch) encourages us to push ourselves. You need to lose a bit of control to know where you lack control."
For another participant, Mr Kevin Low, 32, the six-hour course (from 8am to 2pm) is intense. In the first hour - under a tent's shade - the students learn how to set up their bikes, busily working on adjusting their brake and clutch levers, handlebars and suspension.
Says Mr Low: "We spend a lot of time on our stationary bikes learning the right and wrong riding postures."
Then the real riding starts, under a punishing hot sun.
The air is filled with the sound of angry engines as the students, broken into smaller groups, go through a dizzying array of exercises.
Birch shuttles from one group to another, correcting the riders' errors.
"The most common mistake made with off-road riding is lack of practice for specific skills. A beginner golfer will practise his putting, a tennis player his backhand, but bikers often just go riding and hope they will improve."
Amid the dust clouds and din of revving engines, some over-eager students find themselves with a face full of dirt when they take a tumble. Most pick themselves up and soldier on with the drills.
Says Mr Low: "While the skills we have picked up are geared for riding in the dirt, they can be applied to road riding. Essentially what we're learning is to have better control."
The students have many questions for the enduro champ. They learn that even a pro like Birch can find his limits of endurance pushed to the extreme.
Over lunch, he speaks about one gruelling race where he spent 10 hours in the saddle.
"There have been times when I have felt like giving up. I've thought 'if the bike breaks now, that would be great'.
"But then as my mum taught me, giving up has never been an option."