Early in 2004, we set out to develop a program that provided opportunities for Thai guides to experience climbing and guiding in the United States. We realized that it was our responsibility as a climbing company to create climbing opportunities for those in our communities, especially those who work with us and share their passion with our clients on the rock.
Nine years later we sent our first guide to participate in an exchange internship with Colorado Mountain School. We have now been able to send three guides for advanced training and experience in the US and the experience has been incredible for all of us.
In the summer of 2015, CMRCA guide Surachet Kongsingh (Add) became the third CMRCA guide to participate in the program and spent almost four months traveling and climbing in the USA. His trip included a number of notable accomplishments: Certification as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT), climbing desert towers and cracks in Moab, Utah. Becoming certified as a Climbing Wall Instructor with the Climbing Wall Association. Participating in a two month guiding internship with the Colorado Mountain School, and culminating with an ascent of the famous Grand Teton by way of the Exum Ridge.
On the Exum Ridge, Add put his guiding training to the test and guided two other Thai climbers to the summit. Ex-Thai national team member Khaetthaleeya Morris (Kat), and Northern Thailand native and Jackson Hole, Wyoming resident Somjai Kamthong (Pui) joined Add as they became the first all Thai team to ascend the route. Check out this video that highlights the experience climbing in the Tetons and the United States.
One of our core values is to Seek Growth And Development. It’s important as individuals and it’s also important as a company to push ahead and look for opportunities that are beyond our reach. Business and personal development are like climbing. We see the mountain we want to climb and we work toward gaining the summit. It can take time, but if we break it down into smaller steps it gets closer and feels more within reach. It took us 9 years from the moment we started until we were able to get someone to the US and in the three years since that first trip, we have accomplished so much and each guide has grown and developed in tremendous ways themselves. Add’s experience and his commitment to continued progression sets an example we can all strive to.