Sustainability

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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


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

When Eating Organic Was Totally Uncool

 

This is a great article about growing up within a Hmong community in the US and what happens when tradition meets modernization, and different cultures and beliefs collide.

“To me, the organic food movement has become dizzyingly, surreally chic. Farmers have become rock stars; the most exclusive restaurants name-check them so much you can almost see dirt on the menu. But before organic produce exploded into a $25 billion industry, before city gardening became cool, I grew up in a Hmong refugee community, living the urban organic lifestyle not because it was fashionable, but because we were poor. I couldn’t wait to leave it behind…”

Read the full article HERE

 

Drink Water Wisely

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DID YOU KNOW?

  • 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.

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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.

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!

Baby Owl Rescue

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!

CMRCA Celebrates Earth Day

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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.

 

Climb ON!

 

Posted by: Katie Proudman

 

 

 

One Day On Earth Music Video

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.

Eventbrite - Earth Day Movie Night - "One Day On Earth"

Crazy Horse Road Complete!

road maintenance_07The crag is ready for another year of climbing and adventuring after the completion of a month-long road improvement project and Crag Clean-up day on 10 December.

After a particularly rainy season, CMRCA invested nearly THB 100,000 into widening the access road and spreading gravel in the Crazy Horse parking area.  We have raised THB 13,000, but our goal is to raise a total of THB 30,000 from the climbing community to support this project.  If you would like to make a contribution, please donate at the CMRCA Shop or via PayPal.

Register for Community Fund - Crazy Horse Road Maintenance on Eventbrite

Check out this awesome video from the 8th Annual CMRCA Crag Clean-up Day.

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