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Na Pah Hua Jai or Heart Wall is a special place to climb. It contains some of the best routes at Crazy Horse. It’s name is rooted in the word Jai, meaning heart in Thai. The word jai has a special meaning in Thai language and culture. Whereas western culture is often rooted in emotions defined from the head, nearly everything in Thai is defined from the heart. The word jai can be combined with pretty much any other word in Thai language to create words that describe emotions as well as characteristics of a person. For those of us who have climbed at Heart Wall, it is easy to identify with how special the experience is. The routes are featured, overhanging and in the shade for most of the day. The longer approach (though let’s not kid ourselves, it’s not that far) earns more than 20 routes covering the full spectrum of grades with stunning views looking north over the Mae On valley.
At Heart Wall, every route name has the word jai (heart) in it in an attempt to describe the experience of climbing the route or even the bolting and preparation of the route. Jai Rawn for example is directly translated as hot heart and means hot-headed or impatient. When bolting Jai Rawn we were baking in the sun and a bit rushed and raced to finish gluing the route in the dark. Our hastened pace resulted in poorly placed pro and a stopper loosed from its placement while I was gluing hitting me in the forehead just above my glasses. The result? 5 stitches and an unfinished route, providing the important lesson of going slow to go fast. The first route at Heart Wall, Jai Yen Yen translates as cool heart or patient and calm.
This is rooted in the fact that our initial foray into the Heart Wall development was met with a tremendous amount of obstacles. They started with access issues, a tremendous amount of vegetation covering the cliff, a ridiculous amount of loose choss on the rock face, and more access issues. We began cleaning in 2005 after Bangkok local and Arizona legend Jim Waugh saw the cliff from the hot springs on a clear day in the rainy season. It wasn’t until 2008 that we finished drilling and gluing that first route thereby earning the name. It is also knows as The Proposal because I proposed to my wife Kat a couple of weeks before we finished the route. The second route at Heart Wall, Ruam Jai means together or community. That route is indicative of the effort of many at Heart Wall. With more than 5 bolters and even more trail builders and route cleaners, it has come to represent the culmination of our approach to bolting and crag development working together as a community to build a crag we are all proud of and all have a responsibility to maintain.
With all of the success and incredible routes Heart Wall has produced, our work is not finished. Currently there are 20 routes at Heart Wall all on the right side, what we are naming the Hong Hua Jai Kwa (Right Ventricle). In December, we got together as a community and decided it was time to begin developing the left side of the crag which will aptly be named Hong Hua Jai Sai (Left Ventricle). CMRCA team members Mario, Add, Ooan, Jon, Kat and Josh were joined by local climbers Jens, Pi Tuk, and Andrew and Bangkok climber Richard Eden in an effort to begin bolting. Our first look at the left ventricle has been promising and we believe another 15 lines can be bolted and developed. On December 27th we launched an initial expedition to Heart Wall to begin development of the Left Ventricle. As is typical at Heart Wall, the lines look good and promising and then the cleaning begins. Bolting a route at Heart Wall involves a tremendous amount of cleaning to first clean all of the dangerous rock and vegetation from the cliff. Then top roping and thorough climbing by multiple people in the community to really get a feel for the route, its moves and where it will go. Then we work together to determine the bolt placements to ensure people of all levels, shapes and sizes will feel protected while on the route. Upon final confirmation, the route is glued. We then work together to build belay platforms and trails leading to the routes that are safe and minimize erosion. It is a tremendous amount of effort especially when cleaning. Every route at Heart Wall has required significant cleaning and these new routes are no different.
Developing at Heart Wall is a community effort and we are hoping to expand our community. Bolting and developing is costly. Each route requires bolts, glue, brushes, drills, ropes, draws, rigging gear, gasoline, trucks and more. Most importantly it involves human labor. Each route is representative of a significant amount of effort by people in the community. We have set a goal of selling 50,000 THB of bolts to the climbing community by 14 February 2015 in order to bolt 15 new lines by 31 July 2015. We hope that you will be able to support us in reaching this goal. The video above helps to show a bit of what it means to climb at Heart Wall.
If you are interested in contributing to the project, please click the Buy Bolts button below. We have set the prices based on a fixed number of bolts. Each bolt costs approximately 150 baht for the bolt and 50 baht for the glue needed to place it. A typical route takes 10 to 15 bolts. Included in your purchase, we will mail a the Bolt Heart Wall sticker to you. You can see the design below as they appear on the images. We really appreciate your support and look forward to climbing new routes at heart wall with you soon!
Thank you for your continued support and commitment to making climbing in Chiang Mai and at Crazy Horse Buttress such a special experience. We look forward to more adventures with you in the future.