Diamond Cave again. I wanted to redeem myself on Chock Dee 6a.
Chock Dee 6a. Today’s objective. It goes up and to the left then finishes under the tree.
Thankfully I was able to redpoint it without any problem.
Looking down after I climbed it a second time to clean.
Here’s where I got confused last time. The rock says go right but the bolts say go left.
After finishing up Chock Dee 6a I wanted to climb Keep The Jam, Man 6a again but some other people were on it. I decided to give No Name 6a+ a try. Based on my poor onsight performance of the 6a’s on this wall I wasn’t feeling super confident of sending this route. But somehow I did it. Near the crux I was feeling the pump and considered falling but decided to stick with it and somehow I got through it. So I was pretty happy with the onsight and it helped boost my confidence.
Then I decided to climb the 6b to the right (also named “No Name”). The anchor was pretty close to No Name 6a+ so I just moved the rope over. I was feeling confident from my previous climb but also tired so I didn’t want to lead a 6b.
The start of No Name 6b is difficult and bouldery. Once up and on the little ledge the climbing is a little easier but it is consistent and sustained. It’s a fun short climb.
The start of No Name 6b.
Looking straight up from No Name 6b
Back to Railay. I wanted to try Chock Dee 6a. I made the mistake of not checking the guide book before starting. So instead of started one route to the left of this one. Which would have been fine but I couldn’t figure out the crux. So I traversed over to the right to finish the climb on Mot Daeng 5 which I climbed last time. All this traversing put a lot of rope drag in the system which was annoying but didn’t cause any real problems.
There’s a pretty good ledge at the top so I was able to traverse back over to the left and set up a top rope on Chock Dee 6a so I could work out the beta on top rope. So going up on top rope I still couldn’t figure it out after trying a few different things. There was lots of big blocky holds to the right but I didn’t use those at first because it seemed off route. Directly above me was a good size crimp then about four feet above that a small flake I could use as a side pull. But when going up it’s a dyno from a crimp to this sidepull. This route being only a 6a should have told me that beta was wrong. I tried a couple times and failed miserably.
In Thai, Chock Dee / โชคดี means Good Luck. As in good luck figuring out the beta.
I tried a couple other things that didn’t work out so well but then decided to follow my own advice and use the big jugs. I got through it then climbed through the crux again and happy that I was able to figure it out. I just wish I could have done it on lead. Anong climbed it and said it was easy. After this we ate lunch and left the rope up since I wanted to climb it again then redpoint it and we were the only ones climbing there today.
But I never did get a chance to redpoint it because after lunch it started raining off and on. I thought it would stop but after 15 minutes of off and on showers it really started to rain hard so we packed up the gear and walked back to the beach all wet to catch a boat back to Ao Nang.
Today we went to Railay. I wanted to try some new climbs so we went to Diamond Cave. There’s lots of routes in the 5 to 6b range which is what I like to climb. I was hoping to get an early start and have boat tickets in hand at 9am. But as usual, various things get in the way. Usually it’s me being lazy and slow to get going. In addition to that, the scooter which we call “scoopy” had a flat tire this morning. So after breakfast Anong took it to the shop to get fixed. Which means we didn’t leave the room until about 10:45. We waited about 10 minutes for enough people to get on the boat then were off and on rock at Diamond Cave around 11:30.
The first route we did was Keep The Jam, Man 6a. It had slightly confusing beta (for me) at the start then straight forward simple climbing up to the crux. The crux was surprisingly difficult and I’m sad to say that I had to rest there. But after a short rest, I got past it and on to easier climbing to the anchor. I was pretty disappointed I didn’t onsight this. It’s only 6a! Anong climbed it. Then I climbed one more time on top rope to figure out better beta through the crux. Then Anong climbed it one more time. By this time we were getting pretty hungry but I really wanted to redeem myself so I pulled the rope, led it one more time, and got the redpoint!
Next we ate lunch at the same place we usually eat in Railay. I think it’s called “Family Restaurant” or something like that. The food is pretty good and reasonably priced.
After lunch we headed back to Diamond Cave for more climbing. We did the following:
Onsighted all the 5’s so that was cool. But they’re only 5’s and I should be able to onsight them by now. I felt a little better about my performance on the first climb too. When we got back to the crag, I saw a guy climbing a 6b without too much difficulty. A little later he got on Keep The Jam Man, 6a and got stuck at the same spot I did. It’s a fun climb but with one move that I think is a bit harder than the grade suggests.
We finished up at 5pm then headed back to the beach to catch the boat back to Ao Nang. Diamond Cave was a fun place to climb. I think I’ll go back and try some of the harder routes. Nearly every hold is a huge jug. If you’re not hanging onto a jug then you’re doing something wrong.
I didn’t get any good pictures. Here’s a collage of some of the pictures I took:
From August 14th. It’s rainy season in Thailand. That means sometimes it rains. A lot. Even though it has been sunny and hot for a couple days, the entire middle and right side of Chong Phli is wet. I suppose some of the routes could be climbed but it wouldn’t be much fun.
Buzzsaw / Seesaw. Higher up is dry but the first several meters looks like a swamp.
The start of EFZ. The one I climb all the time. See that black and green rock? It’s wet, slimy, and very slippery.
I contemplated climbing Chutzpah 6a+. It looked a little damp at the start but not too bad. Up high looked questionable with some black possibly very slippery rock so it was over to Exfoliation 6a+ which was nice and dry. We climbed laps on it until the sun came onto the wall and it got too hot to climb. I think I climbed it 5 times.
Anong and I met up with Lee and spent most of the day climbing at Railay. We’ve been trying to meet up the past few days but it’s been raining a lot so we kept putting it off. Finally today I woke up and it wasn’t raining. So we got our stuff together and headed out. We planned to meet at the boat ticket office in Ao Nang but there were no boats today from Ao Nang due to high waves and wind but we figured out we could get a boat at the Ao Nam Mao pier which is only a 10 minute ride away so we headed over there. Once in Railay it started raining! 😦 I hoped it would stop soon and we headed over to the Muay Thai wall and climbed the following:
This area is sheltered a little bit. It was raining off and on but not too hard so the rock was a little damp but not too bad. Some patches of rock were very wet though from seepage of past rains through the rock but most was ok. I led Hello Christine 6a then because I was feeling lazy and not stoked for the damp rock I just moved the rope over to the anchor for Valentine 6a+ and then Alone 6b because all three anchors are in close proximity to each other.
We ate lunch at a resort. The food was ok. I ate a hamburger and had french fries. As much as I love Thai food, I do get a craving for Western food from time to time.
After lunch we headed back to Muay Thai wall did one more climb. Nuat Hinn (Massage the Rock) 6a+
From the ground this route looked pretty dry. But there were a few times I reached up for a hold and it felt like I was putting my hand in a bucket of water. The top of the climb was quite wet and not much fun to lead. This is a fairly popular route which means there a lot of chalk on the rock. All this chalk turns to slime when it gets wet so some parts of the climb were very slippery. But I got to the anchor ok. We each climbed this one twice then caught a boat back to Ao Nam Mao.
Hello Christine 6a. I need to bike more. I have “love handles” spilling over my harness from eating too much durian.
Lee found a good rest spot on Alone 6b
Nuat Hin 6a+
Trying to stay calm on Nuat Hin
Anong making the crux of Nuat Hin look easy.
Anong and I met Lee and Ahn at Chong Phli. We climbed Zak Attack 5, EFZ 6a+, and Momentum 6b. I was happy to climb Momentum 6b cleanly. Even though I haven’t climbed much over the past 2 months I feel like I haven’t lost much strength. It must be the yoga and forearm exercises I’ve been doing for my elbow.
After climbing we all ate lunch at Banana Leaf then parted ways with plans to climb at Railay in a few days. Anong and I went home and were going to take a short nap before heading out to do some shopping. The short nap turned into about a 2.5 hour nap. Shopping got done though and we cooked then ate “Chicken Under Water” which is a delicious Thai dish originating from Isaan and is apparently not well known outside of Isaan.