Never mind that the connecting domestic Thai Airway flights to and from Krabi were delayed.
Never mind that the service at some of the eateries was kinda slow (according to our standards); or that the transfer from Krabi mainland to Railay (and vice versa) via the longtail boats required wading into the sea with heavy backpacks and climbing onto the boats.
Never mind that D & I didn’t manage to have our thai massages as our itinerary was packed with climbing as many limestone crags as possible.
Never mind that D & I have cuts, scratches and mozzie bites which we had “collected” in the last 6 days… especially D who had more wounds than I, of which some were due to my horrible belaying which didn’t catch his fall as he plummeted almost 6m (I reacted by closing my eyes ?!?!) and that resulted in more gashes and rope burns (Really sorry, D, I should have been less complacent and more vigilant… when it came down to it, I “chickened out” and didn’t dare to see you fall).
Still, the last 6 days were well-spent. We had fun doing lots of climbing at various locations (Eagle Wall, Diamond Cave & Muay Thai).
D & S (our climbing mate) had definitely improved their lead climbing skills exponentially during this trip. The 2 boys can now lead 6a and 6a+ successfully and tried some 6b routes which required some rests up on the wall. Moreover they took up the multi-pitch course with our climbing guide, Soley, and did well leading & climbing 2 pitches (6a).
As for us gals, we top-roped the 6a routes that the boys led. Although I am not exactly pleased with my performance on those routes since I shouted “Tension” a few times during the climb, I am still glad that I had tried those grades.
D thinks that I am analysing far too much while I climb and that I don’t trust my feet, hence I am not being an efficient climber. I do agree with him, but I like my moves to flow into each other and look good. That’s why I tend to analyse each set of moves while climbing, wondering if this or that combination is best (perfectionist?). But D reckons I don’t have that luxury of time and energy to do that if I am climbing long distances or leading.
“Sometimes, you just have to suck it in and climb,” D said.
At Muay Thai and Diamond Cave, I practised by lead-climbing skills, while putting aside the fear of falling, on simple grade 5/5+ routes. I so need to do more lead climbing at the outdoor wall at King’s Park and practise the procedure of tying the rope to the anchor.
On Christmas morning, we took a break from climbing and went for an elephant trek. To D and I, it was an okay thing to do, ‘cos we actually just wanted to climb as much as possible during this trip. After the trek and walking around Aonang, we took the longtail boat back to Railay and went to Muay Thai to do more climbing.
The next day, which was Boxing Day, the 4 of us went on our first Deep Water Soloing (DWS), organised by Wee Climbing School. It was a good day out at sea and looking up close at these huge limestone formations in the middle of nowhere. There were some really good climbers there, and one of them, an American, climbed up the crag as we cheered him on and jumped about 20m into the waters below.
I was happy to traverse along the crag and took the giant stride out of the limestone platform about 5m above the waters. As there were insufficient climbing shoes, D and S climbed/bouldered barefooted till they couldn’t anymore as the rocks were becoming sharper.
D is sure he will not be jumping off the cliffs like that American guy but felt challenged to try out this 7a problem. He didn’t do too badly, considering this was his last climb of the day and that he managed to do at least 3 moves with little energy left, hanging upside down and almost horizontal.
There was this young chap (I thought he looks like he is from one of the East Europe countries, although S reckons he could be from one of the former USSR states) who tried the 7a problem very smoothly and made it looked so easy. Nonetheless he fell off at the last couple of holds, but I believe he would have made it if this was the first route he did at the start of the DWS.
The trip came and ended quickly, before I knew it, I am back home and chilling out the next few days before school starts again on the 3 Jan 07. Amazing how time flies, especially during the hols. 🙂
Here are the photos hosted on Webshots (click on the links):
2. http://sports.webshots.com/album/556699437EhylnM (Multi-Pitch Course)
3. http://sports.webshots.com/album/556718092gCDwbD (Me leading)
4. http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/556717605wzUTwJ (Deep Water Soloing)