I have been getting requests for “CR” from Thailand. Don’t know what “CR” stands for but I can hazard a guess. Seems like the longer I postponed writing this post the harder it got to actually do it. Mostly because I know the people requesting “CR”s will be bitterly disappointed…
I spent three weeks in Thailand. One week in the Bangkok/Pattaya region. I wanted to see tigers. But made a bad call about drinking water and paid the price. I got sick. Did see some bits of Bangkok and Pattaya that I wish I hadn’t. Actually I don’t really wish I hadn’t, but I did find what I saw to be deeply disturbing. If you don’t know what I am talking about, it is the rampant sex tourism that goes on in Pattaya and some areas of Bangkok. I thought it would be cool to see Walking Street in Pattaya but I could not stomach it. So I was relieved to leave the area behind and go to Railay.
Super stoked to be climbing in amazing surroundings, but the heat beat me up too severely to even consider climbing during the first couple of days. Good news was that the beach was great!
When I finally felt like I could do anything in the heat, I hired a guide, because my partner had never climbed before. I did mention I met a girl right? Anyway, the guide put up the topropes, instructed Wi in the art of belaying while I was climbing and I tried to control the feeling of panic as my hands got sweatier and slicker with every move.
Because we had a guide, I didn’t bother with the topo. Just asked him to give us some easy stuff. As it turned out, Wi is an absolutely stunning natural climber, and absolutely crushed the 5’s we started on. Moving on to 6’s she did not get shut down until 6b/c. I couldn’t do it clean either, but managed all the moves at least. But doing hard moves without being able to chalk up, and feeling every hold slipping under your fingers was very discomforting. But there were some cool routes and cool moves, and since I just toproped, it was pretty chill. Oh, I forgot to say we stayed at Railay Phutavan resort, where we could watch people climb at Diamond Cave Wall as we ate breakfast. So this all went down at Diamond Cave wall. Climbing ended when the mosquitoes started ganging up on us. Did not want malaria, and there seemed to be enough of them to actually cause significant blood loss. Reminded me of a distant holiday in Finnmark, except I was not wearing shorts and t-shirt back then…
I do apologize for the fact that I cannot say with certainty what I climbed. But all toprope, so it doesn’t count anyway, yea?
After that it rained for many days. It seemed I just hit the last bit of the rainy season. Because it was wet. A lot. But I enjoyed my time regardless, saw some sights, went in to Krabi town and swam. And drank beer. Good times. Then it stopped raining and we went to the beach. Bought a beach volleyball and played around with that. I was pretty decent when I was 17 so I found it hard to adapt to the way I sucked. So I tried to make up for lack of technique with a never say die attitude, diving like a madman for every ball. On one such occasion I did not land too well. A stabbing pain in my chest followed. It hurt a lot. All the time. It hurt to take a shower, not to mention trying to use a towel after the shower, it even hurt to breathe. So I thought I had cracked a rib. In retrospect, silly conclusion, but in my defense, I have never actually broken any limbs in my lifetime. Either way, it took me several days to realize that the fact that it always hurt more in the night and the morning, and less in the afternoons and evenings pointed to a muscular bruise. Anyways. Rain, heat and broken rib syndrome took away about 10 climbing days out of 14.
Day before we were going to leave I felt decent in my chest area, and the weather played nice. So we climbed again. Same procedure and location as the first time, but a couple of new routes. And I managed to climb a 6b clean, but it was still toprope. I was just not feeling any desire to lead. The ragged slings around thin bits of stone scared the crap out of me, and the thought of slippery hands at the wrong moment was not too comforting either. So, to use Nigels word, I was pussified. Even so, I had a lot of fun on the wall, and fully expect to return in the future.
Now, looking at the topo from the comfort of my own home, I will go ahead and list the routes I think we toproped.
Mr. No Name 5
Chok Dee 6a
Mod Deng 5c
Keep the Jamman 6a
Diamonds are Forever 6b
I repeat, everything was toproped, and Diamonds are Forever did not go clean. But Tacktit did, and I was well pleased with that. If I had led it, it would have been a new personal best. But yea, clipping would have made it harder…
I do apologize for the wait, and the rubbish and utterly disappointing content.
If it is any consolation, I am now trying to get a job, and if that goes well I will soon be unable to make these kind of trips whenever I damn well please. That would help, no?