When we started Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures (CMRCA) thirteen years ago, our core commitment was to bring climbing to Northern Thailand, lift adventure guiding standards, create local employment opportunities, and perhaps most importantly contribute to the discourse of environmental stewardship and global sustainability through the development of an environmentally conscious multicultural climbing community.
As rock climbers, our passion is spending time in beautiful outdoor environments, engaging with natural rock walls. This passion is the key driver inspiring us to promoting environmental consciousness. When we founded CMRCA we ensured that Practice Sustainability was one of the core values of our company. Our team believes strongly that when we introduce someone to rock climbing, it creates the potential to increase environmental awareness through a cascading effect in which the newcomer becomes inspired by climbing, they begin to spend more time outside, and in turn their desire to take better care of the environment increases. These new climbers then have the potential to become community stewards as they introduce their friends, family and children to climbing, and ultimately our outdoor playgrounds are better conserved, and the environmental consciousness of our community is expanded.
While we have printed a paper guide to the climbing in Northern Thailand as we have continued to explore and expand our climbing areas, the updating, formatting, and printing of our guidebook has been a continuous challenge. We also have been concerned about the increasing footprint of the paper, ink, and production involved in creating and continuously updating a paper guide. While we realise that there are also environmental consequences associated with the production of mobile technology, we believe that building an app to use the technology that is already in your pocket is the most resource friendly approach to guidebook creation.
This is why today we are excited to announce a new community project: A Guide To Rock Climbing In Northern Thailand, in iPhone App form. This digital guidebook represents all of the work our team has done over the past thirteen years and all of the support the community has provided us during this time. It details the work of countless people who helped to build climbing in Northern Thailand from the original six routes at Crazy Horse Buttress to the more than two-hundred in the region today.
This digital guide gives a climber all of the information from the paper guidebook. A search function allows searching by grade or route name. Swipe and zoom allow a climber to move easily between routes and zoom in on topos while maintaining access to the route info. And most importantly, the app updates automatically and when we make a change to a bolt count, a route grade or better yet, add a new route or climbing area. The updates will push straight to your phone and you immediately have all the new information necessary for a great day at the crag!
We can’t wait to see what you think. We hope this app will enhance your climbing experience and can’t wait to see you out at the crag.
* Note: For the moment, we have focused all of our resources on developing this app for the iPhone operating system. We recognize that Android is a great operating system as well, and we hope to start developing an Android app in the near future.