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
Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures