First day at Chong Phli – Spirit Mountain

Went climbing yesterday.  Finding this was a little tricky because most guidebooks and online sources give directions to the crag that are no longer valid.  From my location near the Palm Paradise Resort in Ao Nang I headed North on road 4203.  Then at the intersection turn left on road 4034.  Then drive about 1 kilometer and turn right on Soi Chong Phli 6.  So far so good.  Here’s where it gets tricky.  Most sources say to drive less than 100 meters and turn right on the first narrow dirt road next to a low wall.  This is incorrect.  Drive 300 to 400 meters and turn right at the “T” onto the dirt road (there is a sign pointing to Spirit Mountain)  Then drive another 100 or so meters and look for a second sign indicating the direction to Spirit Mountain and turn right in to an area with a few bungalows.  Park.  Then when facing the cliff, walk to the right and soon the bolted routes become visible.  Super short approach.  View of where I parked from the belay spot:

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Today’s objective, climb something easy to get some confidence back.  Zak Attack given a rating of 5 in the guidebook seemed perfect.  Here’s the climb:

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The starting hand hold is the chalky bit just to the right of the tufa and there are a dozen or so slings leading up to an anchor.  The start of the climb is a bit wet and mossy which is no fun.  But a few meters up it looked dry so I decided to give it a try.  Well, things went well and I made it to the anchor.  Onsight even!  Here’s the view from the top:

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Looking up from the ground, enjoying my send:

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And looking down after climbing it a second time on top rope to clean the route:

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Next when I was lowered I threaded the rope through the bolts / slings one route to the right to try a harder route on top rope that finishes at the same anchor.  Most of this route was wet but climbing on top rope didn’t sketch me out too much and near the top there were some super fun layback moves on a tufa that was nice and dry.

Well, it turns out I was a little confused.  What I actually climbed was EFZ (Ego Free Zone) rated 6a+ in my guidebook then ended up climbing the easier route Zak Attack + an extension to the anchor of EFZ.  Good times.  And a bit of a boost to my ego / confidence for climbing something harder than I thought I could.  If you remember, I was shut down on a 6a at Ton Sai a couple days ago.  I wonder if my bailbiner is still there?  Maybe I should go get it.

And now for the best part of the day.  Lunch!  Larb Gai and Som Tum.

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