This morning at around 10 AM, CMRCA guides and traveling climbers discovered the body of a climber who had been free soloing on October 15. The climber was climbing alone and went to the crag on a motorbike. No other climbers saw him arrive at the crag. He chose to free solo inside the Anxiety State Crisis cave on the lower section where there are three routes graded at easy 5. The chosen route is not in the guidebook. He was wearing a harness with quickdraws clipped to the harness and had a rope tied around his back.
The climber recorded his climb in digital video which showed him free soloing past an existing sport climbing anchor. After he passed the anchor, he paused for approximately one minute before deciding to down climb and return to the anchor. Two meters above the anchor, the climber pulled a large block of rock off the wall and fell 20 meters to the cave floor. He experienced head trauma, a punctured lung, broken ribs, and a compound fracture of his right arm. The video shows that he regained consciousness after the fall and called for help, but there were no climbers in the vicinity to hear him. He passed away soon afterwards. Based on the video and the equipment he had with him, he appeared to be free soloing in order to access an anchor where he could fix a rope for rope soloing.
CMRCA has offered assistance to the US Consul General and the Mae On police in contacting the family and providing necessary information. The Chiang Mai Climbing Community met this evening to discuss the accident and speak about the importance of climbing safely, safety while traveling alone, and the use of climbing equipment. We are working together to develop ways to prevent this type of accident from recurring.
We send our deepest regards to the family and friends of this adventurous young man. We urge everyone to be aware, climb safely, and climb on.