Friday, January 29, 2010

Thailand: Climbers Paradise (if you're good)

I feel fat, lazy, weak and undisciplined.

I have never climbed outside our country before and low and behold I choose a world class destination where (no kidding) world class climbers come to climb. And amongst these climbers my ego shrinks into a tiny grain of sand that is in endless abundance here.

In Canada, from what I hear, the average climber climbs at about 5.10b and to climb at a level above 5.11 is very common but definitely above the average grade range. Not here. Not at all. It seems that the vast majority of climbers that come to visit Thailand are all well seasoned in sport climbing performance and to be above average here is to climb 5.13. So coming from a place where I take pride in my 5.11d's, in Thailand they are the warm ups.

Only the students of the climbing schools am I out performing!

I am convinced that the best climbers come from Spain. They are so good at this game. Myself, choosing a rather healthy lifestyle in hopes of better climbing performance, am SHOCKED when I see a group of Spaniards sitting under a 5.12d laughing, talking and smoking cigarettes! All the while watching one of their buddies take another burn on lead! I heard that the Spanish government PAYS climbers if they can climb 5.14 or harder... Talk about cultural motivation!

I am also fully disheartened to realize I am fat! Everywhere I turn is another Six-pack and pecks I wish I had. I think wearing a T-shirt is the best option because people don't KNOW what you have under there and if you are average here... You must be CUT! But that isn't an option because it is just too damn hot.

In reflection of this climbing trip I highly recommend the climbing in Thailand here in Tonsai and Railay, and if you like heat and skin than THIS is the place to be. Though beware the bolts...The bolts so looked at with affection at home (regular expansion bolts) are looked at here with suspicion and disdain for the sea air mixed with steel and the limestone let the bolts escape its normally permanent prison.

New Zealand next.



  1. Jordan YOur Still My Hero!!!! Very well written.