Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
57Trip End May 2010
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You can see why they call is Crazy Horse!
Lindsey loving Crazy Horse's great rock, beautiful setting and perfect climate!
Upon arrival in the city, a quick stop at the local climbing shop was really the only stop we needed to make. They had abundant copies of the extremely coprehensive Northern Thailand Climbing Guide; the staff set up transportation to the crag which includes a lunch (and there are numerous food choices!) and helped us set up accommodation in a nearby village so we could focus on climbing and not have to travel back and forth to Chiang Mai each day! Talk about service!
The climbing is on steep limestone with pockets and all sorts of stalagtite/stalamite features - basically it amounts to really fun climbing. The climate in Chiang Mai at this time of year is just perfect too. Hot enough to wear a T-shirt and shorts from dawn till dusk but not too hot and humid to be comfortable for us Pacific Northwesterners!
Lindsey leads up a classic chimney at Tamarind Tree area
Ben stoked on the great exposure on the two pitch classic Into the Sun
We returned to Chiang Mai after three great days of climbing and prepped for the arrival of our good friend Ray. Ray has been roommates with us in Hotel Ashworth in Wallingford (Seattle) and then when we bought a house in Greenwood, he moved in with us there as well. He's quite the character too! Part rock star, part sailor (he is the lead singer and a guitarist for Gertrude's Hearse and he has run sailing programs, sold yachts and raced in rigattas from Alaska to Puerto Rico), Ray is always ready for a new adventure. Pretty much the minute Ray arrived, we rented some scooters and we headed out to let him experience what climbing in Thailand is all about.
Meeting some of the local Buddhist monks
Ben and Ray gives the locals a helping hand
Ray grunting his way up a 7a (5.11d)
Wherever you go in Thailand, the King is always with you!
Ray has done some climbing in the past, but between sailing, snowboarding, being a musician, he doesn't get on the rock much anymore. But after just two days of climbing, he was charging up tough climbs and he even led a 5.10a! We also explored waterfalls, spent a fun night seeing what Thailand's bar scene can be like (ex: Ray learned firsthand what a Thai Ladyboy is), and enjoyed the famous Sunday Street Market.
Ray getting a good soaking in the waterfall
The lovely Lindsey
Though our time in Chiang Mai was quick, it was plenty of time for us to fall in love with just how easy life can be.
Ben, Lindsey with the cooks from one of our favourite low key Chiang Mai restaurants (Pad Thai here was 75 cents for a plate full!)
While in SE Asia, renting underpowered motor scooters and buzzing around town is a must. Lindsey snagged this shot while we navigated the chaos of Chiang Mai during the afternoon rush!
A video of these great underpowered machines
Ray leads his first climb - a 5.10a!!!
Ray raging the rural roads around Chiang Mai
What's next? Limestone cliffs, emerald ocean and picture-perfect sandy beaches and islands of southern Thailand's Adaman Coast!
We all had a big work out session while we killed some hours in the Bangkok airport on our way to southern Thailand.
More photos of Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/benkunz/sets/72157622978240250/