CMRCA Climbing Blog
Today we celebrated the hardwork and friendship of Somjai (Pui) Kamthong. While we are sad to see Pui go, we’re excited to hear about her new adventures in the United States and will hold on to fond memories of her six years with CMRCA.
Pui and Josh.com will be moving to Josh’s hometown of Jackson Hole, Wyoming at the end of the month. Today marked the beginning of celebrations of her work at CMRCA and our appreciation of Josh and Pui’s amazing impact on the Chiang Mai Climbing Community. More to come!
It was a normal Thursday – marketing meeting, shipment from Black Diamond, and helping customers in the shop…until Taw returned from Crazy Horse with a baby owl!
Taw and Mario found the owl on the ground on their way up to the Rooftop. It appears that it fell from its nest and fortunately survived the fall and is uninjured. Taw and Loong Nan were able to feed it and fashion a box and towel into a comfortable nest to transport it back to the CMRCA offices.
All productivity ceased while we ohhed and ahhed at this amazing creature. Tune sprang into action and was able to contact the government wildlife agency who sent an officer to safety transport the owl to a conservation center. Check out the video below!
It was my a first big trip that i’ve done in my life also the first climbing trip out side of Thailand. I kind of very exited and nerves to travel by myself. I flew to KL and changed a flight to Guilin in the next day. While i was in KL i’ve had checked out one of the best climbing gyms in S.E.Asia Camp5 and climbed there for a little bit just stretching my muscles then the next morning I had a early flight from KL to Guilin. After i arrived I can see when you go outside of the airport it no any english sign. Anyway I was waiting my partner Andrew Goldsmith who can speak very good Chinese and we go to Yangshuo town together so we took a bus from Guilin to Yangshuo town about 1 and half hour. I slept the whole way there because I didn’t sleep much while i’m in Malaysia. I woke up again already in Yangshuo town.
After I got there i’m psyched to check out the town . I stay at Rock”N”Grill with my partner after we put our stuff in the room we went to checking out the town and met our friends at Insight Adventures it was so glad to see them there Tina,Lieng, and Som and other new crew. The weather on our first day was so cold because of rain from the night before we had a very good foods on the night and went back to the GH early to have a rest for first day climbing Andrew and I decided to go to the egg it was raining there, but we still could climb. After warming up two 5.10+, I jumped on the route’s “Chuck if ya want to” 5.11d I got an onsight attempt on this route then rest a little bit and moved to climb “The new decade” 5.12a/b took me two attempt to finish and my buddy adrew told me you should try the route that Josh Morris, Marshall Balick and Paul Collis bolted it is called “Duck” 5.11b. I onsight this route it’s all about technique with crimps and long reaches.
The second day it was raining so much in Yangshou we weren’t sure that we will go or not i just hang out around town instead in the morning but in the after som took me get to know James and Abond and his friends I went out climbing with them at Lei Pi Shan in the afternoon. The wall it so beautiful and steeper than Crazy Horse. I warmed up on 5.10a after resting 20 Min then my buddy James give me a belay for “Crash and Burn” 5.11d it was steep and I didn’t expected to get a onsight attempt but I did and after I was psyched to try “Singularity” 5.12a/b. I fell off on the sixth bolt so I didn’t finish the route on that day but Andrew and I came back and I finished on my third attempt. I felt like I used all my energy after I sent it and then I climbed on the another nice 5.11c and sent it on my second attempt. After that, I looked at a route called “Thunder” 5.12b/c, the first pitch was bolted by James Pearsons from The North Face team. I climbed this route which requires very dynamic movement for short people. I did not send this route, but if I can finish this route it will be my next level of my climbing ability. I will come back and try it next year again. Ooan and Olivia came to Yangshuo the next day and we decided to take a rest to go pick them up. I was so excited to meet them here we made it man!!……Ooan and Olivia got here and the next day we went back to The egg again i’ve tried 5.12c’s call “The wiggle” and 5.12d call “The way to hilldurado”, but couldn’t send these route again today.
The next day it was our first birthday outside of thailand we were excited to go to White Mountain the wall is so so incredible and HUGE man. Most of the routes here are long and endurance climbing and a tons of routes i was so excited to climb so after warming on 5.11a I wanted to try something harder so I jumped on “Lucky Zone” 5.12c. It took me 9 attempts to send it in 3 days while we were climbing at White Mountain and I was able to try other classic 5.12b’s called “China White” and 5.12d ‘s called “White Devil”.
The next day we tried to check out one of the best climbing area called The Banyan Tree a the rocks here that looks like Ant Hill but not really similar. After warming up on a 5.10+ I saw one route like crag climbing style 5.11b “Open Team” I got onsight attempt on this route after that I jump on the route of Todd Skinner who is one of the first pioneer climbers in Yangshuo t was no name 5.12 b classic route i’ve climbed 3 tries and i couldn’t send it after 3 tried i was so pumpy i figure out all the moves but just no time to come back there again we climbed here just only one day i will come back and send it again next year and try some things harder here next year so STOKED!!!!! The last three day in yangshou before i hit the road to HongKong we decided to go the climbing in Yangshuo Moon Hill the wall it so amazing it beautiful shape of rocks we were climbing there for two day the first day i only sent one 5.12b here because 70% the rocks got wet from the rain we coundn’t climb much on this wall.
I’ve had an amazing time in my life and felt at home when I was in Yangshuo. The food is great, people are so nice and met a lot of new friends. I learned the new language and culture. Great community. Thank you so much to Insight Adventures people you guys so so Awesome. I appreciate that and glad to know most of you, Thanks Som for helping me a lot when i was there, Thanks P’ Andrew Ooan And Olivia i was so happy to climbed with you guys.
Live adventure and do what you love!
Surachet (Add/”NSTAR”) Kongsingh
Make sure you follow NSTAR’s adventures on his blog!
The CMRCA community celebrated Earth Day by gathering for a special showing of One Day On Earth – a documentary film that features footage from all over the world shot in one single day (10.10.10). The film was a poignant illustration of the diversity, tragedy and triumph of the human experience.
One of CMRCA’s Core Values is to Practice Sustainability. We are committed to operating a company that seeks to limit our impact on the environment and to educate others about how they can lead greener lifestyles. CMRCA is excited to announce and highlight some of our green projects and initiatives:
- REFILL Mobile Application – Before the movie, Josh presented screenshots from a mobile application we’ve been working on over the past 6 months. The application will allow iPhone and Android users to locate the water refill stations around Chiang Mai. We encourage all locals and travelers to use reusable bottles and one liter = 1 baht! You save money AND ensure another bottle doesn’t end up in the landfill. This app is still in development so stay tuned!
- CMRCA Renovations
- LED Lighting in the seating area
- Installed a waterless urinal in the bathroom which will save between 20,000 – 45,000 gallons of water in one year!
- Offsetting – During registration, CMRCA gathered information about the mode of transportation and distance traveled to the event for each individual. In an effort to make the event carbon neutral (or as much as possible), CMRCA will offset the emissions used by investing in sustainable energy resources (solar, wind and hydropower).
- Red Trucks – We transport all group programs and climbers to Crazy Horse with local songtaos. The trucks hold 10 people which decreases the amount of emissions that would have been produced if the climbers transported themselves to the crag.
- Reusable containers – All local lunches in Mae On are provided to customers in reusable lunch containers.
- Gear – Stop by the shop and check out our Innate water bottles, reusable containers, MSR Dromedary Bags and reusable shopping bags! All eco-friendly items are 30% off until 30 April 2012.
Thanks to everyone that came out for the Movie Night! We hope to see everyone at our upcoming community events.
Posted by: Katie Proudman
At the beginning of April, CMRCA sent a team Doi Ankhang to continue exploring the cave systems. The focus of this years caving expedition was to re-explore and map known passages from the last years expedition, explore and survey new parts of the Elephant Tusk Cave.
We got in late the first day to Sui Tang but were able to meet with the village head. After sharing a few cups of local tea we were given permission to enter Elephant Tusk Cave. We were anxious to get underground and entered as the sun was setting. Our main objective for day one was to make sure there was no debris in the passage and to set up some of the rigging to the lower passages.
The next few days consisted of getting to last years low point, pushing the cave past a waterfall pitch, survey, and re-exploring known passage in the attempt to find any overlooked passage. We were able to locate some possible leads, however the best lead was over the waterfall. So we drilled some holes and rappelled down. After pushing the cave for about 10 meters it became evident the passage petered out. Upon heading back out we saw a small passage above a large mound of mud and guano, we proceeded directly up. The passage above turned out to be a fossil passage, which is essentially a passage that is no longer active with high water flow. These passages are exciting due to the amount of features present in them. Without frequent water running through the passage the speleothems are able to grow without interruption.
Among goals of this years caving expedition was to conduct a cave survey. Many caves here in Northern Thailand have never been seen by human eyes and as cavers we have a responsibility to collect as much data as possible, not only for future cavers but also the local community. Having proper maps has many uses including information on what gear will be needed, where cave systems interconnect, alternate entrances, dangerous areas, and many other bits of crucial information. Data was collected and we hope to enter the information info a specialized caving software to give a 3D view of the cave system.
I experienced an amazing atmosphere of teamwork. Working together as a team and depending has inspired me a lot.
I worked with Taw and EQ to set-up the rigging for the expedition. The challenge for me was to not knowing what was coming next in terms of the rigging. How to set-up the systems while being safe, fast and efficient. I gained a lot of new knowledge.
For me the highlight of the expedition was the waterfall pitch that Taw and I rigged. We rappelled down right next to the waterfall.
This was my first proper caving trip, and as such I was a bit nervous going into it. These nerves stemmed from my lack of experience caving, but I was able to spend the week prior to the expedition practicing single rope technique.
Once everything was underway I could really feel the sense of camaraderie that expeditions create, it had been awhile and it felt good. Everyone had my back and I had theirs.
Check out more images from the expedition in the CMRCA Image Gallery.
It was the First time I travel outside of Thailand. I kind of nervous a little bit and excited at the same time. So i landed in Guilin and I looked from out side of the plane and I can all ready smell Chinese breath. Here look! I made it to China(I told myself). Andrew and Add came to pick us up at the Airport and we took the bus to Yangshuo. First thing that caught my eyes was that there were no English sign in the bus and most of the place around. My Adventure has begun!
First day of my climbing trip here. We went climbing at White Mountain. This place is incredible and HUGE!!!!! We started warmup on “The Stone Dog 6a+” and I flashed ” Face Route 6b+” after I was trying my first project here “Stick Devil 7a+/b” twice but I failed…. We decided to return again the next day and after warmup I sent this route on my first goal this second day. Then I saw Add tried the route” Lucky Zone7b+” I gave my self a shot on the route and I fell over again and again at the crux. The first crux begin with two pockets fingers and small crimp for the left hand andthan bump up left hand again to the small side pull. From there i have a very long reach move for the right hand to a small crimp then i can have a little time to rest. The second crux is the big throw to the sloppy pinch. I was so closed to send it and we ran out of time. But I rig my way to the top. Eventually I sent it in a couple days after. Then we have been climbing to other famous crag around here like The Egg, Moon hill and Banyan Tree. I onsighted ” The Duck 6c, redpointed ” The New Decade 7a+/b” on second attempted, redpointed” Open Team 6C” second attempted, redpointed ” Apollo7a+” second attempted.
I have been living in Yangshuo almost two weeks now. It has been awesome so far. And I will stay here eat local food and learn Chinese language for another 4 weeks. I love this life that gives me the opportunity to travel and learn new things everyday. Thanks for reading.
To be continued…
ROCKSTAR (Suradet “Ooan” Kongsingh)
It’s that time of year again!
CMRCA will be closed for the Thai New Year 12 – 15 April. We will reopen for regular business hours on Monday, April 16th at 8am. If you are interested in signing up for a course, transportation to the crag after the holiday or need any additional assistance, please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call and leave a message (+66(0)53 207 102) and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Best wishes for a fun and safe Songkran! Climb ON!
The One Day On Earth team just released the music video below to promote the release on April 22. We’re excited to be a global screening location for this extraordinary project. Join us at the CMRCA bouldering wall to celebrate Earth Day on Sunday, April 22, 20.00 – 22.00.
The CMRCA Movie Night is FREE, but we ask that you register on our Eventbrite page via the button below for tickets.
Our adventure store was recently stocked with the latest and greatest gear from our friends at Stering Rope and Black Diamond. While most of our stock is dedicated to everything you might need for your next day at the crag, we also carry Sterling Rope safety and rescue equipment.
The videos below show the F4 Safetech Escape System and F4 Tactical Kit in action and how they are used by firefighters to escape by rapid egress. These safety systems are now available at the CMRCA shop – come check them out!