From what we’ve heard, Krabi is a rock climbing mecca. I had done a little research and read stuff like this on www.railay.com:
The rock is all limestone and is part of the worlds largest coral reef, stretching from China down to Papua New Guinea. The routes are all bolted sport climbing routes. The French grading system is used. With over 700 routes ranging from beginner 5a’s to classic multipitch 6a’s right up to the extremes of 8c there’s enough here to keep any climber busy for years.
But that meant nothing to me. I’ve seen many photos of climbers scrambling around on the karst formations jutting up out of the water, and it looked like fun.
When we realized that our friends, Dean and Elaine Voge, would also be here in Krabi at the same time, we decided to spend a day climbing together. Unfortunately, many of the climbing schools were fully booked. One lady said, “Hmmm… we already have a full group, but we could take you if I can find some more instructors.” I pictured her recruiting a couple tuk tuk drivers and opted out. I called Elaine and said we would have to come up with an alternate plan. Kayaking? Beach time?
I was eating breakfast at my hotel yesterday when I got a call at 7:45 a.m. “We’re ready to pick you up for climbing.” It was a climbing school I had contacted online the day before, but when I didn’t hear back right away, I assumed we didn’t get a reservation. I told the woman on the phone that we weren’t ready to go, so she offered to pick us up later. Perfect!
King Climbers drove us to a long-tailed boat for the ride to Railay Beach, where we met the Voges and their kids at the climbing shop. From there, we walked to the rock wall. The instructors showed us how to tie the figure-eight knot, but otherwise we got no instructions on what to do. They even had us take turns with the belay device! So maybe it wasn’t the safest operation ever, but we had fun.
Wading from the long-tailed boat to the shore. Some people were checking in to hotels at Railay Beach and had to lug their suitcases through the water.
Tony learns how to tie the knot.
Owen Voge (aka Mountain Goat) helps me tie my knot.
OMG, I had no idea what I was doing and some poor Swiss guy’s life was in my hands.
Tony on the rock.
Me at the top of my second climb. I thought my arms would fall off.
The Dents and the Voges – we “rock”!!