Thursday, July 31

Back. Alive.

No Matterhorn summit for me, but my team and I are alive and safe and that is all that matters. Will be back with updates shortly.

Monday, July 14


The walls. In Krabi. They eat. Draws. Could it have been the sun?! The tiredness? I don't know... What I do know is that when I left for Thailand two weeks ago I left with 14 runners. And when I went yesterday to collect them from the airport from Sandra there were 13 runners. Of course I didn't see that there were 13 when I was at the airport but when I was cleaning the runners in the evening (thank god for that, cause sandra's family was waiting for her at the airport). Now I don't know if you know my problem now. I've tried to rationalize about it. To think clearly, make fun of myself and stuff. Think that maybe I could go with 12 runners to Switzerland. But that would be too little. But I know now. I CANNOT GO ON A TRIP WITH 13 runners. I cannot!!!

So. Here am I. 13 runners in my backpack. I had to come to school because, even though I am leaving tonite, I really must work in order to graduate, move closer to home and get a REAL job, have money to climb, have a house of my own and a dog/cat to boot.

And there is Marian. Stuck in front of the Climb Asia store. Which is CLOSED. Waiting for some guy to come and OPEN. Going to buy me a light, cheap, brightly colored draw (in that order). Thank you my love.

UPDATES: Apparently Climb Asia opens at 5pm on weekdays. So poor Marian had to wait there until somebody arrived and opened the store for him. Anyhow, I got the lucky number 14. It is long, black and light. And ... cheap! See you all in 2 weeks!!

Wednesday, July 9

Crimp harder, Step harder!

Woohoo, back from Thailand!!! Sorry for the looong silence, I have been trying to catch up on my work.

Never realized how much I missed this place until I saw it again. This is the beach I ran on for two consecutive mornings. For the rest of them I was either a) too tired or b) to groggy (from not sleeping) to run. Yup. Sandra didn't sleep for the first few nights, I woke up every day at either 7 or 6.

One good thing about staying in Railay beach is that instead of going to Railay walls to climb, we decide to trek over to Tonsai to climb. Smart. First day: Fire Wall: 6a, 6a+, 6b, 6b+. Guys struggled on some 6c+ that another girl with huge shoulders from Canada nearly on-sighted. Girl power!!

Next day: the Keep. My own choice, mind you. I was given the choice since I was only there for one week. So I chose the Keep after they told me that you have to trek to get there. First go through the water.

Then through Duncan's Boot. 6a, 6c (much easier than graded), 6b+ (hanged on it and when I tried to do it again, I couldn't start. Shame). The worst thing about that is that I overheard Pengyang rant that One-two-three wall was hogged by ang mohs and i just didn't want to try again.

And climb down a chimney.

But the views from The Keep are amazing. 6c, 6c+. Sandra finished a 6c!!!(Woohooo!!!) Doris and I struggled on another slabby technical 6c. Guys (John, Jiasheng, Yixiang) 6c+ (nutcracker - i love the name) and 7a, woohoo!

Next day: REST Day!!! Futile attempt to see the sunrise at 0630 - it was cloudy and the sun was already up. We wanted to eat dim sum in Krabi town, BUTT because the guys were late getting up (as usual) we got there too late and just ate some leftover dim sum.

Krabi town is interesting. But nothing much. Went to the internet, 4 times to the wet market hoping that maybe the stalls would open. Funny traffic lights,

Unknown fruit,

Unknown idols,

Driving cat

We spent a lot of time searching for Padi, Chili. Padi, Chili is the key-chain elephant that I have attached to my chalk bag. Chili Padi is cut chilies in soya sauce. THE thing Caleb cannot do without.

On the way back on the long tail boat we nearly got stranded on a sand bank because of the low tide. Jiasheng, Yixiang and I got off the boat to push it on a deeper channel. Jiasheng lost his slipper (notice the sad face).

The sun got to us so by that night, Gerry, Doris and I were sick. 3/4 of our room was sick and Sandra was still insomniac.

Next few days it was Dum's Kitchen and Tyrolean walls. By this time we had already lost John and Pengyang who went searching for more exciting (grade-wise, and climb-wise I hope) routes. The route most dear to my heart is Missing Snow. Get it, missing, snow?! It has some tufa on it that looks like icicles (this is not my picture because I did not bring Bobby along).

Last climbing day was at Dum's Kitchen. 6b and a pathetic failed attempt on a very strong 6c through which Doris just breezed. Had I had any ego left I would have felt very bad. The only good thing about climbing harder routes is that Your. Ego. Just. Goes.

I love and hate climbing on the beach (notice Gerry, NOT posing).

I love it for sights like these, but I hate it because ropes get wet and sand just gets everywhere.

Notice me, my big ass and Padi, Chili climbing the 6b. Right hand to a crimp then to a big jug. Big move. I have just realized that for me, putting up the draws on a route is very hard. No shit.

I saw Lion King (notice the bigger flake and how it just looks like a lion's mouth) and decided that this is next year for me. Yixiang finished it, yay!!

Jiasheng moved into the 26-year old league. Welcome, friend!

Saturday I left for Phuket. The boat - bus thing repeated itself, only this time I was alone. I had asked the driver to drop me in Phuket town but when I got there and saw that there were no hotel signs and everything was written in Thai (!!!) I decided to go to Patong Beach instead. Got there, got off the bus and went in the first guesthouse I could find. Realized that my tv has only one channel (in thai) and went to find a bookstore. After walking 3km to the Robinson mall (the dear driver had dropped me at the beginning of Nanai street - the street with all the guesthouses) I found a bookstore. Bought a book. Then went to carrefour for some cheese. Yes, I know. Trekked back, realized what was wrong with the tv but by that time I was too tired to read or watch tv. Got met by Marian and Maria & Mihai at the airport and that was that.

Crimp harder, step harder! :
Yell from above: I don't know how to do!!!! Answer (by Jiasheng): Crimp harder, step harder!!!

We missed Cherlyn. Never summoed on the beach. The girls (Gerry and Doris) should not be allowed to climb in the sun. The rest of the photos are here.