Almost exactly four years ago I was stood beneath a piece of grey pockety rock in a German forest, having just put on a brand new pair of 5.10 climbing shoes, about to get onto my first ever outdoor sport route on the sharp end of the rope.
Our first climbing day in Croatia was atrocious. I had heard the grades may be a little harder than in Greece, but neither me, nor Clay were expecting to get completely shut down by a 6a.
When we set out for our trip to South East Asia, we though we would spend most of our time climbing in Southern Thailand, and another large chunk in Vietnam. We were also planning to check out the climbing in Northern Thailand, maybe for a week or so, and Laos and Cambodia were reserved for a short tourist trip. How wrong we were…
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.