Chong Phli – Day 9 + Yoga

Got a late start and didn’t make it to the crag until about 10:30am.  I was hoping to get on Exfoliation but there were already people climbing it and the easy unnamed rout to the right of it.  So I was forced to try something new.  A little further to the right is Chutzpah 6a+.  Protection is only slings which sketches me out a little bit.  The guidebook says 10 but I think there are more.  Anyways, I decided to give it a go.  Right from the start I was struggling.  I think someone in a group next to us was enjoying watching me struggle but the felt sorry for me and suggested I start a little further to the right.  Much easier.  Thanks dude!

The next few clips are pretty easy but then there’s all these tufas and it got confusing so I was not climbing it well but I eventually made it up to the last sling before the anchor.  The rock up to the anchor from here was looking a little mossy and damp and it was also a little but run out up to the anchor so I was having some confidence issues even though the moves weren’t that hard.  After a few feeble attempts at going for the anchor I was starting to panic a little bit and thought I was going to have to sacrifice another carabiner.  But I saw a nice dry path to an anchor one route over so I got over there without much trouble and was able to relax.

The rest of the climbing day was working out the moves on Chutzpah (well, all of them except the last section to the anchor).  Easily done on top rope.  I guess my trip to Laos didn’t help my climbing 😦 I’m also starting to wonder about the grades on some of these routes.  EFZ, Exfoliation, and Chutzpah are all graded 6a+.  But Exfoliation is significantly harder than EFZ and Chutzpah seems harder than Exfoliation.  For my ego it would be nice if Chutzpah was a 6b or 6b+ but it’s probably the other way around, Chutzpah is a 6a+ and EFZ is more like a 5.  All the routes at this crag were set by a small group of guys who must all be extremely good climbers.  There are routes graded up to 8a here so my theory is that it’s hard to accurately grade the easier climbs.  Seems like anything easy for these guys got a default rating of 6a+.

After several laps on Chutzpah I thought I’d try the actual climb my rope was on.  It looked significantly harder.  It starts of sort of slabby and balancy.  Then much easier climbing up to a ledge.  Then I got stuck.  I could kind of see what to do but the hands were a bunch of one finger pockets with terrible feet.  Not going to happen and I didn’t want to injure my fingers by trying it.  Well, it was fun to try something way above my ability.

After climbing it was back to the room for lunch of Chang beer and Pad Grapow Gai Kai Dao (spicy stir fried chicken with a fried egg).  Then to Tesco Lotus to get a helmet.  Then finally to Aonang Yoga for Yin Yang Yoga.  I had not done this style of yoga before which is holding poses for 3 to 5 minutes with no muscle contraction and focuses on increasing flexibility.  I can definitely see how it can increase flexibility but I thought it was kind of boring and I could do on my own if I wanted.  Maybe I will try it again but for now I think I will stick with Vinyasa.

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