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.


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