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2018 Community Crank – Round 2

Round 2 of the 2018 Community Crank Competition was a HUGE success!  The energy was incredible and really showed how amazing our Chiang Mai community is!  We had 23 exciting routes, delicious food, craft beer, and amazing prizes that together made this event a great experience for everyone who came!  Thanks to the 26 competitors and members of the community for coming and for being a part of our vibrant community!

The Kids Crank was first and had 3 strong up and comers!  It was so fun and exciting to watch them climb and to see how the crowd cheered them on!  This was one of those moments that we know exactly why we do what we do!  Great job kids and congrats on pushing yourselves and inspiring the adults!  Although there were only 3 kids I would still say that they stole the show!

Next up was the adults.  There were 23 adult climbers and the way it worked was that we split them into to groups in no particular order.  This means that advanced climbers climbed with beginners and beginners climbed with intermediates from all genders in this open “red point” format competition.  Each group was able to push their limits and climb as many routes as possible in two 45 minute long heats.  Each route is worth a certain amount of points depending on the difficulty and there was a 10 point bonus for climbing the route on the first attempt AKA “flashing” the route.

After each heat during the break we would raffle off some amazing prizes donated by our sponsors.  Competitors and spectators were able to make donations to our crag development fund in exchange for raffle tickets.  In total we raised 1,600 THB in donations.  That is about half of one sport route and we have to say thank you for those who contributed!

At the end of the four heats the judges collected each competitors score card and disappeared to add up the scores and determine the winners.  Winners were determined by their top 5 scores, and in the event of a tie, the top six and so on.

While the judges deliberated, the route setters quickly changed the wall to a dyno competition.  A dyno is a dynamic climbing move that usually requires one to jump from hold low down on the wall up to a big jug way above.  What a fun way to exhaust our energy while we wait for the results and of course some entertaining competition.

At last the judges appeared with envelope in hand.  The winners were announced for each division and prizes were given.  Round two was so much fun and we can’t wait for round 3 which is the series championship!  We have been keeping track of the results form each round and sometime in the fall we will crown the Crank Champions!

 

 

 

CRANK ON!

 

A special shout out to those that made this event possible:

MC and Head Route setter: Kwang

Route Setters:  Ooan, Bo, Gee, Tiffy, Nob, Run, Pong

Ops Team:  Knot, Lookpud, Aey, EQ, M, Nan, Aommie, Becca, Zatarng, Zoom

Photographer:  Fai

All of our amazing sponsors!
– Klean Kanteen Thailand
– Mad Rock Thailand
– Black Diamond Thailand
– California Barber & Coffee Shop
– Rock Domain Climbing Gym
– Climb Central Bangkok
– Urban Playground Climbing
– Flight of the Gibbon
– Segway Gibbon
– No.9 Hostel & Café
– My BEER Friend
– dusitD2 chiang mai
– Akyra Manor Chiang Mai
– RatiLanna Riverside Spa Resort, Chiang Mai
– Chiangmai Zoo Aquarium
– ราชพฤกษ์ (พืชสวนโลกเชียงใหม่)
– Rimping Supermarket Nawarat Chiangmai
– Jojo Healing Balm
– Horizon Village & Resort โรงแรม ฮอไรซัน วิลเลจ แอนด์ รีสอร์ท เชียงใหม่

Here are the results from round 2:

 

Dont Forget its not over yet!!!  Round 3, The 2018 Community Crank Championship will be held later this fall!  Stay tuned for dates and registration!  Here are the current series standings:

Stay connected with all things CMRCA by joining our MAILING LIST and following us on Facebook and Instagram.

Crank ON!

Crazy Horse Bathroom Build – Sustainable Building Project

At CMRCA we are committed to a life of adventure.  Our roots come from a passion for climbing and the vertical world.  Crazy Horse Buttress is a special place and it is where it all began.  Throughout the years, Crazy Horse has hosted thousands of climbers from all over the world as they look for adventure and climb through the karst landscape watched over by a protective yet daunting horse’s head.

It is important to us that Crazy Horse is a model of sustainability. We work hard to ensure the crag is developed with sustainable bolting practices that are long lasting and provide the highest level of security, well maintained trails that use the natural terrain and resources, and connecting with the local Mae On community to ensure that the community that supports us also grows with us.

As the number of users in the area has increased, it has become necessary to enhance the infrastructure to accommodate that use.  We recognized that we would need to work on the bathroom at Crazy Horse as it was beginning to fall apart and difficult to keep clean.  After our staff retreat at Mae Jo Baan Din two years ago, we were inspired by Mae Thongbai and her team and what they had achieved with natural building techniques. After much discussion and a slight (ok year long) delay, we decided it was appropriate to build a new bathroom made from mud.

For us this was an opportunity to work with the local community in Mae On, the climbing community, and our team to build a new bathroom that we could all be proud of.  Over 4 days in the months of April and May 2018, we came together as a community while drawing knowledge from another community to build a new bathroom.

The first week brought together nearly 80 people to stomp on mud mixed with rice just and create 650 mud bricks to be used to build the walls of the bathroom.  The bricks were laid out to dry over the next 7 days.  When we all got together again the following week, we used the bricks to build the walls support posts of the bathroom.  It involved making a mortar made of mud and hay and working together to build the walls.  This also included an initial plastering phase.  Our community got creative and sculpted relief on the walls of the bathroom.

After letting the walls dry for another week, we came back to put a final layer of plaster on the walls and tidy up all of the corners and edges.  Last but not least, we spent a day painting the bathroom where everyone in the community was able to share a part of themselves.

Our goal with this project was to build a new bathroom and in doing so brought people from different communities together to share knowledge, experience and fun.  We could not be more proud of the result. When you are next at Crazy Horse, consider taking a moment to experience what could be the most comfortable bathroom at a climbing area anywhere.  We will leave you to make that judgement.

We could not do any of the work we do with the dedicated support of an incredible community. Many people came together to provide physical labor to make this happen. There are also costs associated with building the bathroom and operating Crazy Horse.  If by chance you are inspired, you are more than welcome to make a contribution.  Perhaps you should wait until nature calls  so you can experience yourself just how inspiring it can be.


Contribution Amount


Bolt Crazy Horse Project

“Grrrakka kkakkakkakkakkakkakk akkakkakk kkakka akk”

Francis Haden bolting the classic Head Hunters route at Crazy Horse Buttress in Chiang Mai, ThailandYou may have noticed this sound over the past 2 months while climbing at Crazy Horse Buttress.  Do you wonder what it is?  It’s the sound of a Hilti TE-6A cordless rotary hammer drill working hard to drill holes that will hold the bolts that protect all of us while we enjoy climbing at Crazy Horse Buttress. 

At the end of 2017 we set a goal to finish developing Crazy Horse Buttress in 2018. By our estimates, 100-150 new routes can still go up on untouched rock at Crazy Horse. So we set out to make that goal a reality.  Funded by CMRCA, Francis Haden and the rest of the bolting team at CMRCA are working hard to bolt as many lines as Crazy Horse will take. We started in December and as of now, more than 45 new lines have been bolted.

Practice Sustainability

One of our core values is Practice Sustainability. To us, this means operating a sustainable business, building sustainable partnerships, and bringing a sustainability focus to the environment.  What sometimes gets missed but is also hugely important us, is how we approach the development of Crazy Horse as a sustainable climbing resource. 

Our Bolting Standard

When we began bolting at Crazy Horse Buttress years ago, there were already many lessons learned from the developers in the south of Thailand.  We already knew that expansion bolts were not a long term solution and Hilti RE-500 glue was already showing it was the strongest and longest lasting resin solution.  Though we installed some expansion bolts during our first development phase in 2001, we have since shifted entirely to glue in bolts. Our goal has always been to use the best gear available with the focus of bolting a route so that it will last for as long as possible.  With our current marine grade stainless steel and Hilti RE-500 glue standard we believe the resource will last for at least 50 years and are hoping for more.

You may have also noticed that we are changing top anchors out so there are two bolts each with long chains and rings. This is the news standard for top anchors at Crazy Horse Buttress and will be the standard for any routes developed by CMRCA. This helps with rope twisting and makes a nice equalized point to thread the rope for rappel or lowering.  We really hope you like what you are seeing. 

Crag development is a huge task.  Developing a route is more than just the bolts and glue. It also requires ropes, drills, drill bits, loads of other equipment but most importantly it requires time and experienced labor.  Just the bolts and glue for one route of 10 bolts costs about THB 5,000 baht. A 15 bolt route costs about THB 6,500.

How Can You Help?

To help with the cost of bolting, you can contribute directly to the effort by purchasing a Bolt Crazy Horse t shirt, Bolt Crazy Horse stickers, the printed guidebook, or the guidebook iPhone App.  You can also make a direct contribution to the Bolting Fund. Just stop by the shop and say you want to contribute to the crag or you can use the PayPal donation link below and contribute online.  Interested in a First Ascent? You can help pay for the cost of a route and we will save the first ascent for you and you’ll get your name in the guidebook.


Contribution Amount




In the meantime, get out and enjoy the new routes at Crazy Horse.  Let us know what you think!  Thank you for your continued support.

Learn About Bolting

Interested in learning more about bolts, the bolting process, how it all works?  Join us for a weekend bolting seminar with the CMRCA team. On Friday night, 09 March attend a bolting presentation by Francis Haden at the CMRCA Bouldering wall.  Then on Saturday, 10 March Francis Haden, Josh Morris and other bolting instructors will be on hand at Crazy Horse Buttress to demonstrate how to bolt and glue as well as pull testing bolts to see when and how the fail. Stay tuned for more information.

Climb safely and climb on

15 Years of Adventure And Community

15 Years of Adventure And Community

When we started this organization 15 years ago, our vision was for climbing to become a regular activity in Chiang Mai that supported community and inspired people to get outside to experience the natural environment. We have always believed that when people get outside and have an authentic adventure experience, they will continue to come back for that experience and along the way they will develop a new respect for the environment and ultimately take more action to protect it and develop sustainable behaviors every day of their life. These behaviors will not only apply to the outdoors but to urban life as well. At this year’s Chiang Mai Rock Fest, we saw our vision of 15 years ago become reality.  Local community, climbing community and new comers celebrating the environment and a healthy active lifestyle together.  Hearing what our community feels about CMRCA brought tears to our eyes and filled our hearts with gratitude.

Climbing in Chiang Mai is a special experience. It is defined by the incredible group of people who each bring something to the community in a shared vision of living adventure. Thank you to all of our community, family and all climbers who have helped make climbing and adventure in Chiang Mai and at Crazy Horse Buttress such an incredible journey throughout these past 15 years.

As we look ahead to the future, we are inspired by this shared passion and look forward to continuing our efforts to develop climbing and inspire a new generation of adventurers committed to a healthy and sustainable future.

Thank you for your continued passion, enthusiasm and support.  See you on the rock!

Climb Safely and Climb On

Josh and Kat Morris

Chiang Mai Rock Fest 2018

Chiang Mai Rock Fest 2018

On 6 January 2018, we hosted the first ever Chiang Mai Rock Fest.  The rock fest brought together three regular annual events into a single day to celebrate adventure and community.  This year, rather than host each of those events separately, we decided to bring them together to connect our communities in continued effort to celebrate an outdoor, active  and healthy lifestyle and a commitment to sustainability.

The day began with our 14th annual Crag Clean Up Day where climbers and locals came together to help clean trails, fix belay platforms, pick up trash and give some tender loving care to Crazy Horse Buttress. It was a huge success with our biggest turnout ever with more than 100 people.

After a lunch provided by one of our favorite local providers, Mae On Pochana, and our special Som Tum team of Pi Gong, Pi Tuk and Pi Tune, we invited the community to participate in an afternoon of Living Adventure.  We set up three of our regular adventure programs for the community. They included a caving and geology tour of the stunning karst of Crazy Horse, an afternoon of rock climbing with our incredible guiding team, and a chance to try out our tyrolean traverse which required participants to pull themselves across the anxiety state crisis cave before rappelling to the floor of the cave.  It was awesome to see the smiling faces of so many people and to get to share some of what we do every day with our committed community.

The evening finished with a celebration of 15 years at CMRCA.  We could not be more humbled by the outpouring of support that was shown.  The evening included a video presentation of the past 15 years that included interviews with climbers, staff and members of the Mae On community.  We shared an amazing meal provided by another local provider Krua Mae Luang. And celebrated the location of our host, Mon Khao Kwang.

This years event was a huge success. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.

#LiveAdventure #CMRockFest #CMRCA15

Climb Safely and Climb On

CMRCA Annual Progression 2017

Progression:

A movement or development to a more advanced state.

….

As we’ve grown from a small guiding business to the robust community of climbers and adventurers that we are today, we recognized the need to assemble as coworkers and friends and to take the time get to know each other more closely. Based off of this thought, the theme of this year’s annual retreat was born: Come Together. As an organization, we believe that everything we do serves to develop our people and our community. We recognize that the services we provide at CMRCA are only as good as those who run and breathe the life into them, therefore we set forth to provide extensive training and a great experience for our entire CMRCA family.

With the spirit of unity in mind, we set out together as a group to the beautiful Sabai Sabai Resort, a peaceful Muay Thai training campus located in the heart of Mae On, a region that holds great significance to us as an organization. Starting from small group team-building activities and ice-breakers, to playing Frisbee and soccer in our free-time, we spent the next three days talking, eating, learning and ultimately, growing together. Much like the students in the programs we lead, our staff worked together to encourage and support each other throughout the various challenges presented throughout the week. These included a steep and muddy morning trek, group activities, trust exercises, and quiet reflections.

Aside from the fun and games enjoyed at Sabai Sabai Resort, the staff, old and new, ventured out into Mae On and participated in activities commonly found in the curriculum of our different group programs. CMRCA works in conjunction with local educational NGO’s to teach students about Thai culture and customs. In addition, we had the pleasure of testing out several new offerings for the upcoming 2017 season, such as visiting the Mae On Organic Agriculture Education Center, where we learned about sufficiency farming and helped in the creation of organic soaps and composts. Other activities involved preparing and sampling Thai snacks, bamboo weaving, and indulging on the ever-delicious butterfly pea juice.

As a whole, the annual staff progression served as both a three-day team-building activity, as well as a way to prepare staff for our programs of the upcoming season.

As we looked forward to our busiest season yet with our largest staff to date, we felt more prepared than ever for the year to come.

Climb on!

CMRCA Annual Gear Swap 2017

Another year, another successful Gear Swap! As late afternoon set in on the evening of December 9th, climbers and adventurers alike made their way to the Bouldering wall area of CMRCA to barter, bargain and trade their goods, all while drinking some brew in the company of friends.

All together, 12 vendors participated in the sale of their gear, while a solid 40 people showed up to visit the stalls and peruse the items. As the old saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” While the goods being traded were hardly trash, there were certainly treasures to be found at the event, ranging from gently-used shoes, trekking and climbing packs, equipment and more, making it an event not to be missed.

A big thanks on behalf of the CMRCA crew to all those who attended the event. We’re looking forward to seeing people out at the Crag using their new goods and are excited for another successful Gear Swap next year!

Itching for more things CMRCA? Join us at the Chiang Mai Rock Fest, a large event combining the screening of Reel Rock, our Crag Cleanup day, and CMRCA’s 15 year anniversary.

Live adventure!

Happy New Year!

To our valued community,

What an incredible year it has been.  As we close 2017, we reflect on a special year to celebrate, not just because of what we have accomplished but also because we celebrate 15 years of adventure and community.   When we began this journey as a small guide service with just four people in December of 2002, we could never have imagined it would be what is has become today.

In October, we took time to as an organization and a family to come together at our annual staff progression. We spent three days reflecting on who we are and the type of organization we want to continue to build together. We spent time adventuring and reconnecting with what makes CMRCA such a special place.  (Read more about our Annual Progression here).

These are some of the highlights of our discussions include:

Crazy Horse Buttress has become an internationally recognized climbing destination know for it’s sustainable approach to climbing development.  Our team has grown to more than 35 full time staff. We have been able to send 9 of our staff on multiple trips to the United States for advanced training and development. We have been instrumental in bringing the AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) to Thailand as well as Rescue 3 and WMA (Wilderness Medical Associates).  We have provided more than 6,000 climbing and caving courses, transported more than 15,000 climbers to Crazy Horse, provided life changing adventure experiences for more than 10,000 students since 2011, installed more than 2000 bolts at the crag, and we have built incredible partnerships in the communities with which we work.

One key initiative we are particularly proud of is directly related to one of our core values of #PracticeSustainability.  We learned very early that plastic bottles were a major issue with travelers and locals alike. In 2007, we introduced free water at Crazy Horse Buttress to help lower the number of bottles climbers were putting into the environment, but we always felt we could do more. We looked for a key partner to bring reusable bottles to Thailand in an effort to curb the amount of single use waste we put into the environment. In 2014, we forged a partnership with Klean Kanteen and since then have sold more than 36,000 reusable bottles.  Based on use of 2 bottles per day, this translates to more than 5,000,000 plastic bottles we have helped keep out of our oceans. This was capped off with our participation in this year’s Wonderfruit festival where we helped communicate the need for changing our daily behavior away from single use products to a more sustainable approach.

Everything we do serves our purpose as an organization: to facilitate authentic and personalized adventure experience in order to create a more conscious approach to our interaction with the world and each other.  We believe that the more time people spend outside experiencing adventure, the more actively they will work to preserve the beautiful places where we play. To that end we provide training and experiences that enable people to adventure safely and we also provide quality gear that people need to meet their adventure objectives.  That purpose is what drives everything we do. It’s part of our DNA and what keeps us motivated to adventure every day regardless of the challenge.

Looking ahead to 2018, we could not be more excited about what is to come.  We are gearing up to launch a new website with better information and more inspiration.  We are releasing an update to the guide to climbing in Northern Thailand app with an update to the book following shortly after.  Our dear friend, family and community member, Francis Haden is helping us to establish more climbing at Crazy Horse with a goal of as many new lines as Crazy Horse can handle by the middle of February.  Our team is getting ready for a full year of community building events including the beloved Community Crank, building new mud brick bathrooms at Crazy Horse and other get togethers that bring our community together and engage locally.  Keep your eye open for some great new t shirts put together by the team. We can’t wait to share them with you.

Perhaps most exciting, in September of 2016, I gave a keynote speech to ministers of sports and tourism where I pitched climbing and adventure as a new model for economic development in underserved communities.  The speech was received well and we are currently working with a number of provincial governments to develop a model of development in which the government supports the development of climbing infrastructure using Crazy Horse Buttress as a model.  Stay tuned for new climbing areas development in the coming years.

In celebration of all of this, we are hosting the first ever Chiang Mai Rock Fest on 06 January 2018.  The rock fest is a celebration of 15 years of community and adventure as we come together as climbers and adventurers and connect with our local partners in the Mae On community to celebrate all we have accomplished together and look ahead to continued collaboration.  We would love it if you can join us and share your passion during the Chiang Mai Rock Fest (Read More).

Thank you for being a part of this journey. We would never have been able to come so far without your kind support and engagement throughout the past 15 years.

We wish you an incredible 2018 filled with adventure and look forward to seeing you as we continue this journey together.

Happy New Year!

Josh and Kat Morris

Founders

Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures

The “Spirit of Crazy Horse”

Dear Chiang Mai Climbers,

Nice to meet you!

Progression Group How psyched am I to be a part of such an active and awesome climbing community and to be able to write to all of you!  My name is Alan.  Some of you might have seen me around CMRCA already and we might have even met, but for those of you who I have not yet had the pleasure…    I look forward to it.  I moved to Chiang Mai a little over a year ago and started a job at CMRCA as the manager of Adventure Programs.  Basically, it is my job to oversee our daily guiding operation, certification programs, bouldering wall and retail store as well as to relay our message to the general public.  It has been a year now… And I feel that I understand enough about CMRCA and Thailand that it is time I start sharing my experience and experiences with you all, and to start working with everyone here to make climbing in Chiang Mai the best it can be.

We at CMRCA are extremely lucky to have you!  The climbing scene around here is amazing and growing bigger by the day.  We want to make every effort we can to make climbing accessible, exciting, fun, social, and sustainable for everyone young and old; beginner and expert.  We want to make sure that the “climber’s voice” is heard so we can help develop our climbing areas and programs to meet the communities needs while at the same time preserving relationships with local communities and the land at Crazy Horse Buttress.

Alan AvedovechI am seriously passionate about climbing and seriously passionate about the social aspect that climbing creates.  I have swapped leads, played games, sung songs, and shared many campfires discussions with my climbing friends.  We are all connected by a common interest and a certain “dirtbaggery” that makes our cause special and unique.  We all like to get dirty, sweat and scream for the love of climbing.  Without community I would be climbing alone… Not the safest practice nor is it all that fun.  Climbing needs community and a the climbing community needs a voice so that everyone’s different and unique perspectives are heard.  My goal is to open the door to a fun and energetic place that people want to come and where we can all share ideas to not only make the climbing here better, but to create lasting friendships too!

Building a Bigger Community

What I have seen and experienced in my one year here is that the people of the Chiang Mai climbing community are strong, passionate, goofy, and all out fun and good people!  We each have our own styles and schedules and with the challenges of modern life its not always convenient or accessible to get together.  At CMRCA, we have always strived to create a space or a forum where we can hang out together, climb and train together and share our ideas.  With your help, I want to take those efforts even further!

Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures

We have listened to your feedback over the past year and are announcing new Chiang Mai Climbing Club Membership pricing.  We think you’ll be pretty happy. In addition, we are building a schedule of regular clinics and events which will continue to be the catalyst for an even more active and connected climbing community.  Check out this new Chiang Mai Climbing Club Membership Pricing and keep an eye on our upcoming event schedule on our website and Facebook for events like the 2017 Community Crank Cup, Movie Nights, Guest Speakers, and more!!!  If you have any ideas for events or suggestions in general I would love to hear them.  Stop by and chat, climb and share your ideas!  You can contact me directly at info@thailandclimbing.com as well.  

Lets bring the “Spirit of Crazy Horse” to life!

Climb ON!

Alan

Seeking Growth And Development In The Tetons

Early in 2004, we set out to develop a program that provided opportunities for Thai guides to experience climbing and guiding in the United States.  We realized that it was our responsibility as a climbing company to create climbing opportunities for those in our communities, especially those who work with us and share their passion with our clients on the rock.

Nine years later we sent our first guide to participate in an exchange internship with Colorado Mountain School.  We have now been able to send three guides for advanced training and experience in the US and the experience has been incredible for all of us.

In the summer of 2015, CMRCA guide Surachet Kongsingh (Add) became the third CMRCA guide to participate in the program and spent almost four months traveling and climbing in the USA.  His trip included a number of notable accomplishments:  Certification as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT), climbing desert towers and cracks in Moab, Utah. Becoming certified as a Climbing Wall Instructor with the Climbing Wall Association. Participating in a two month guiding internship with the Colorado Mountain School, and culminating with an ascent of the famous Grand Teton by way of the Exum Ridge.

On the Exum Ridge, Add put his guiding training to the test and guided two other Thai climbers to the summit.  Ex-Thai national team member Khaetthaleeya Morris (Kat), and Northern Thailand native and Jackson Hole, Wyoming resident Somjai Kamthong (Pui) joined Add as they became the first all Thai team to ascend the route.  Check out this video that highlights the experience climbing in the Tetons and the United States.

One of our core values is to Seek Growth And Development.  It’s important as individuals and it’s also important as a company to push ahead and look for opportunities that are beyond our reach.  Business and personal development are like climbing.  We see the mountain we want to climb and we work toward gaining the summit.  It can take time, but if we break it down into smaller steps it gets closer and feels more within reach.  It took us 9 years from the moment we started until we were able to get someone to the US and in the three years since that first trip, we have accomplished so much and each guide has grown and developed in tremendous ways themselves.  Add’s experience and his commitment to continued progression sets an example we can all strive to.  

Climb On!

 

 

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