CMRCA Climbing Blog


Share This Page

Drink Water Wisely



  • It takes 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottle water?
  • It takes 250ml of oil to produce 1 liter of bottled water?
  • People in the US buy more than 500,000,000 water bottles every week.
  • Most bottled water is just tap water.

Almost ten years ago, we noticed that climbers brought a ridiculous number of plastic water bottles to our local crag every day.  Some days we were able to collect more than 100 plastic bottles.  We decided it had to stop and ever since, CMRCA has been providing a free water refill station at Crazy Horse Buttress for climbers.  The impact was immediate and the number of plastic bottles collected today is minimal.





It didn’t take long for us to realize that it wasn’t just climbers at Crazy Horse who were leaving plastic bottles behind.  It is people all over Thailand and Asia including locals, expats and tourists who are buying bottles every day and leaving the trash behind.

Let’s do the math…The Thai Authority of Tourism reports that over 17 million tourists came to Thailand in 2011:

17,000,000 people x 3 bottles per day = 158,000,000 bottles

And that’s just the tourists!

We think it’s time for a change. It’s true that in the past, water in developing countries was often untreated.  In Thailand and other parts of Asia those days are long gone. Ice is made from treated water and now access to clean water is easy and inexpensive.

It’s not enough to practice Leave No Trace ethics when we are in the wilderness. We also need to practice them in urban areas and while we travel. We have seen too many travelers purchase plastic bottles every day and we think there is a better alternative. We’re excited to introduce REFILL– an iPhone and Android App that helps you locate the nearest water refilling station. Refilling your water bottle at the machines can cost as little as 0.5 baht/liter ($0.2) vs. the 10 baht/liter for a bottle in the minimart. The math is simple – if you are traveling for 30 days and purchasing 4 bottles per day, you deposit an additional 120 plastic bottles into the trash system in Thailand and spend nearly THB 1200 ($40) on drinking water. This impact compared to zero waste and a cost as low as THB 60 ($2) make this a no brainer!

How It Works:

  •  When traveling, you can’t drink from the tap and let’s be honest – it’s hot and the climate requires adventurers to drink a ton of water stay hydrated. Pick-up a BPA-free stainless steel bottle or MSR Dromedary bag at the CMRCA Adventure Store or reuse an old plastic bottle.
  •  Open and the app will automatically pinpoint your location using the GPS system on your iPhone or Android.
  •  The screen will identify all water refill stations in your area on a map.  You can navigate using your map or by clicking the exact destination and following text directions.
  •  It’s that simple! Follow directions on the machine to refill your reusable water bottle with safe drinking water.
  •  You can also help expand the REFILL program by looking out for blue refill  stations  or water fountains and marking their location within the application.

Other Resources and Tips to Drink Water Wisely

  •  The REFILL application and water station at Crazy Horse Buttress are provided free of charge by CMRCA.  Stop by the shop and support this initiative by donating to the CMRCA Water Fund.
  •  Tell your friends!  The app works anywhere you have access to the internet and can continue to lower tourism’s negative effects on local, national and international ecosystems.

Fundraiser for Green Climbers Home

On New Years Eve, the Green Climbers Home – a climbing camp in Thakhek, Laos burned to the ground.  Fortunately, no one was hurt, but all of the bungalows and structures in the camp were destroyed.  While we can only imagine the shock of the events on New Years Eve are still very fresh, Camp Managers, Uli and Tanja Weidner, have promised to rebuild.  The community is passionate about rock climbing, but also sustainable development and supporting the local people in Thakhek.

Once of our core values is commit to community. While we actively engage with the local and traveling adventure community in Chiang Mai, this core value expands far beyond our work here at home.  We’re a part of something much larger – a community of rock climbers and cavers all over the globe that seek to challenge themselves, not only mentally and physically, but push to do so with minimal impact on the environment. 

CMRCA is excited to launch a Green Climbers Home fundraiser here in Chiang Mai to support the reconstruction of the camp.  Until the end of January, we’ll be collecting cash donations at the Adventure Store and during community events.  We will match every donation up to a total 500 USD given by CMRCA.  Our goal is to receive 500 USD from the community in addition to our own 500 USD for a total of 1,000 USD.

If you are out of town, we encourage you to donate directly to the cause via the Green Climbers Home website.

Thanks for all of your support and Climb ON!

CMRCA Facilitator Training

CMRCA shutdown the shop and wall for the day to run a full staff training.  We have a busy schedule of outdoor adventure and experiential education programs on the horizon and it was the perfect opportunity to practice our facilitation skills and come together as a family.

At CMRCA we believe in learning through experience.  All staff participated in each activity and then sat down to review the facilitator toolkit, debrief and discuss how these tools, models and activities fit into the context of student team building and leadership development experiences.  It was an amazing day and we’re feeling energized and excited for upcoming programs and launching into the New Year.

Check out photos from the training below.

Climb ON!

CMRCA Office Closed – Monday, 19 November

. The CMRCA shop will be open from 08.00AM – 08.30AM for climbers that want to use Red Truck transportation to Crazy Horse.  We will be open for regular business hours on Tuesday, 20 November.

Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. One of our core values is to seek growth and development. We believe in developing our staff – the greatest assets we have to deliver the best outdoor adventure, experiential education and leadership development programs in South East Asia. We appreciate your continued support of our services and professional development of the CMRCA staff.Please note other upcoming changes to the CMRCA office schedule:

  • Every Friday the CMRCA bouldering wall closes at 19.15 for the weekly Yoga For Climbers class.  Join us by registering for the class at
  • CMRCA will be closed on 31 December, 2012 and 01 January, 2013.

Climb ON!

Startling Evidence of Oceanic Pollution

Plastic pollution in the oceans has risen alarmingly over the past four decades [EPA]

At CMRCA, we are passionate about sustainability.  Our core value of Practice Sustainability helps provide a road map for us when making decisions about everything from the type of transporation we use, our equipment, our providers and even our urinals (if you haven’t already come by and try our waterless urinal).

Our mobile app Water Refill is designed to help travelers and all of us to minimize the amount of plastic we use.  This recent article highlights the challenge that faces our planet and creates a sense of urgency about the action we all must take.  

Oceans of Pollution

We are passionate about the outdoors and we know that nature has given us all the opportunity to live active, healthy and fulfilling lifestyles.  It is now time for all of us to do our part and travel and live more sustainably.  Join us in our efforts.  Download our free app Water Refill and help us preserve our playground.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Climb On!

C3 Community Crank – September 22, 2012

The CRANK is back!

CMRCA is excited to announce that we’ll be hosting a C-Cubed Community CRANK bouldering competition on Saturday, September 22, 2012.  The CRANK is a fantastic way for  local climbers and traveling climbers of all experience levels to come together for a friendly competition and dinner at the CMRCA gym.  We’ll be giving away gear and prizes from local sponsors to men and women from all experience levels.


15.00 – 16.00: Registration

16.00 – 19.00: C3 Community CRANKS! (climbing, spotting and good tunes)

19.00 – 22.00: Dinner, Prizes & Hangout 

Registration Fee

THB 300 (C3 members receive 20% off)

Registration includes the following:

  • Dinner and drinking water (beer and sports drinks for sale)
  • 20% discount off all gear in the CMRCA Adventure Store (9/22 only)
  • 20% off transportation to the crag on Sunday, 9/23  

If you are interested in being a spectator and joining for dinner, it will be THB 100 per person. 

Register today on the CMRCA Eventbrite page:

Eventbrite - C3 Community Crank


Crank ON!

CMRCA Completes Wilderness Advanced First Aid

The CMRCA team hung up the climbing ropes and picked up the books last week to take part in a 6- Day WMA Wilderness Advanced First Aid course. Simon Dilks, a WMA Instructor and General Manager of Insight Adventures flew to Chiang Mai from Yangshuo, China. His years of experience in the outdoor and medical industries have made him an invaluable resource for the SE Asian outdoor industry over the years.
Many things can happen at the crag, everything from mosquito bites to spinal injuries.This medical training was designed for professionals working in remote and challenging environments. What happens if you can’t call an ambulance or you are more than 2 hours from a hospital? Managing medical emergencies in the backcountry is quite different in scope from those in urban settings. There is an old saying in the guide industry that goes something like this “Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.” Our commitment to seeking growth and development of our staff ensures that we are ready for all back country emergency situations.  In an ideal world we would never have to use these medical skills, however climbing and caving are inherently dangerous and we need to be prepared to handle any emergency.
The highlight of the training was a medical scenario day at Crazy Horse. All of the scenarios involved multiple people with injuries of varying degree. Check out pictures from the 6-day training below!
Climb ON!

CMRCA Hosts Wilderness First Aid Course

This weekend, CMRCA is hosting a WMA Wilderness First Aid course in Chiang Mai.  The group is a great mix of local climbers, experiential education partners and new  friends that travelled from as far away as Kuching, Malaysia.

Certification courses for wilderness first aid and CPR are few and far between here in SE Asia. While we are busy preparing for our own Wilderness Advanced First Aid course next week, we wanted to take this opportunity while an instructor was in town to offer a course to the greater community.  We are committed to the professional development of our own staff, but in the event of an emergency, the reality is that local climbers and adventurers are more likely to be the first responders.  Providing opportunities for training is an important part of developing a safe and sustainable crag!

Stay tuned for more community-based training and development opportunities!

Climb ON!

CMRCA Schedule Change: August 20-25

Over the last couple months, CMRCA staff have been translating materials and running through medical scenarios to prepare for the WMA Wilderness Advanced First Aid course, 20-25 August, 2012.  Due to limited staffing during the certification course, please note the following changes to the CMRCA course and service schedule:

August 20-24: The CMRCA Adventure Store and bouldering wall will be open for regular business hours (8.00-20.00) and red truck transportation will be running to Crazy Horse Buttress daily.  There will not be any CMRCA rock climbing or caving courses available this week, but we can assist with booking other adventure experience in Chiang Mai.

August 25: The store and bouldering wall will be closed due to a full staff emergency response training at Crazy Horse Buttress.  CMRCA will still provide red truck transportation to the crag, but climbers should be aware that specific areas will be reserved for staff training.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  We appreciate all of your support as we continue to develop our staff and improve safety and service at Crazy Horse Buttress.

Climb ON!

Staff Prep for WAFA Course

In late August, the CMRCA staff will be taking a 5-day Wilderness Advanced First Aid course with Wilderness Medical Associates International.  Leading up to the course, staff have been meeting to translate course materials and review concepts through both discussion and scenarios.

As described on CMRCA’s Core Values page, working at CMRCA is a progression.  We invest a lot of time, energy and resources to ensure that staff are developing new skills and challenging themselves on a daily basis.  Seeking growth and development both personally and professionally is one of the values that defines us as a company.  We take these trainings seriously, but always have a fun time getting together as a family.  Check out some pictures from one of our first aid scenario meetings below.

We are offering a 3-day Wilderness First Aid course for C3 Members and the greater Chiang Mai community 17-19 August, 2012.  This a great opportunity to join us and develop your own skills in responding to emergencies.  Check out the eventbrite page for more information and to register.

Climb ON!


Page 6 of 24« First...45678...20...Last »