I’ve never longed for rain this much in my life. A few days ago, temperatures reached a toasty 34 degrees Celsius, with Google telling me it “feels like 37”, and I could feel every single damn degree of it. My head was pounding, my body refused to move, I was starting to get pretty irritable. The weather forecast promised a 60% chance of rain, and I could sense it hanging heavy in the air (even heavier that the usual humidity in Thailand), but it just wasn’t coming.
No advice can really prepare you for rock climbing in a tropical country when you’re used to the mild European climate, but I wish I’d done a little more research about what it’s like to climb in Thailand.
We’ve been climbing at Crazy Horse for six days now (with a two-day break when we went back to Chiang Mai for the weekend).
To be honest, it’s been a whole lot better than I expected. The rock is beautiful and not too polished, the routes are interesting and incredibly well-bolted. The grades are maybe a little soft, but the heat and humidity makes everything seem so much harder.
After a few days of eating everything Thailand has to offer and accumulating some substantial podge around our mid areas, we finally made it to the climbing area in Chiang Mai.
Situated in the North of the country, Chiang Mai has unfortunately become far more touristy than when I last visited Thailand a decade ago. The climbing has also now been discovered by more than just a handful of foreigners, but it is still nowhere near as popular as some of the more well known destinations, such as Krabi in the South of the country.
After nearly a year of planning and saving, on Thursday 2 November 2017 we finally arrived in Bangkok to begin our year-long rock climbing-and-travelling adventure, and it feelt pretty surreal.
When you’ve been looking forward to something for so long and it finally happens, your brain refuses to believe it has become reality. So even though I know these are just the first few days of the three months which I am going to spend in South East Asia, I can’t help feeling like we are only here on a two-week holiday and fretting about not making the most of my time.
‘Wow! A lifetime would not be enough to climb all the rock in this place!!’ – that was my thought when I first arrived in Asturias, a region in the North-West of Spain, in June this year. I have now just come back from a second trip, and I want more already!!!
My love affair with Asturias dates back to a day in mid-May when I was googling somewhere cheap to fly to in Spain at relatively short notice, to climb, of course. I stumbled upon Asturias on skyscanner.com. The flights were cheap! Even for the May bank holiday weekend, the return tickets were barely over £100. ‘I wonder if there is any climbing there?’ I thought to myself, so I looked around and came upon this article on UKC…and I knew straight away I had found something pretty damn special!