Tonsai – Gibbon Roof

I hadn’t been to Tonsai in awhile so Anong and I headed over there yesterday morning with plans to meet up with Martin.  I wanted to try to send Baby Snake 6c at Cobra Wall but the tide was too high to get over there without getting very wet.  So we moved on to my second goal for the day, Caroline’s Last Day 6a at The Nest / Wild Kingdom.  This is a climb that has given me trouble for over a year.  I couldn’t even get to the top a year ago.  A few months later I failed in the same place and kind of gave up on the route.  This is one of those climbs that would be very unpleasant to fall on so I was happy when I was able to work out the beta a few weeks ago on top rope.  It really wasn’t that hard so I’ve been looking forward to my next trip to Tonsai to finally redpoint it.  Today was the day!  I had to climb in the sun so it was quite hot but the middle part of the climb stays shaded all day so it wasn’t too bad.  I got to the top without too much trouble and happy I finally redpointed this route.  Now I don’t need to climb it anymore, perhaps my last day on Caroline’s Last Day.

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Looking to the left side of Gibbon Roof.  The dude in the helmet is standing on the start of Infected Mushroom.

Next order of business was to check out some climbs at Gibbon Roof.  This is one of those areas I never really considered climbing at because the easiest climb starts at 7a.  But there has been some new development and rebolting here going on so now there are a few climbs in my grade range I can try.  First up was Infected Mushroom 6a+.  Very steep and pumpy.  I had to fight for it but I got the onsight.

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On Infected Mushroom.  I hope my mushroom doesn’t get infected from climbing this.

Then we tried NWA 6c+ which is newly rebolted with titanium bolts.  This is an impressive climb.  It starts steep and overhanging up some stalactites and tufas for a couple bolts and is not too difficult, maybe 6b.  Then it turns completely horizontal for about 12 meters.  Martin and I each tried it a couple times doing better each time as we refined the beta but we still only made it to the 4th bolt.  We are both stoked to project this climb and decided to return every week or two to keep trying.  The individual moves so far don’t seem too difficult but this climb is a case-study in endurance.

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Panoramic view of NWA.

After getting tired of falling off of NWA we learned there are 4 new routes past Infected Mushroom, bolted just a month ago.  Walk about 50 meters to the left of Infected mushroom and there they are!  The first is about 5c.  Then two 6a’s and the furthest left is a 6a+.  I don’t know the names of these so I’ll just call them Gibbon Roof New 1 .. 4 from right to left.  First we tried Gibbon Roof New 2 6a.  It was ok climbing but very dirty and lots of loose little rocks.  Onsighted.  I wouldn’t really recommend it until it’s cleaned up a bit.  Then we tried Gibbon Roof New 3 6a.  The first half is similar to Gibbon Roof New 2 but higher up there are lots of interesting rock formations, and some pockets.  Onsighted.  I thought the climbing was pretty good.  But again, it was very dirty with some small loose rocks so best to wait until it gets cleaned up.  Anong and I finished the day with a bowl of noodles then waited for the boat back to Ao Nang.

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