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.
In school we have been practicing spelling lately. Sometimes the words are easy to spell based on the sound and tone. Other words simply need to be memorized and this is further complicated by the fact that there are many consonants that make the same sound. For example, five consonants for the initial ‘k’ sound (ข, ฃ, ค, ฅ, ฆ), 4 consonants for the initial ‘s’ sound (ซ, ศ, ษ, ส), and 5 consonants for the initial ‘t’ sound (ฑ, ฒ, ถ, ท, ธ). The choice is even more difficult when choosing consonants for the ending syllable sound. There are six consonants for ‘k’, six consonants for ‘n’, six consonants for ‘p’, and seventeen consonants for ‘t’! Then there are the words that have a gaa-ran (Thai:การันต์) over one or more consonants. This symbol serves to silence the consonant so it is not pronounced.
This makes it seem like learning to spell is a nearly impossible task. Memorization is still needed but once the tone is figured out, the possibilities for spelling a word are greatly reduced. So, here’s a chart that can be used to help figure out how to spell words.
- Low Tone
- MIDDLE + DEAD
- อ + ย + DEAD
- MIDDLE + ่ + LIVE
- อ + ย + ่ + LIVE
- HIGH + DEAD
- ห + (งนมรยญวล) + DEAD
- HIGH + ่ + LIVE
- ห + (งนมรยญวล) + ่ + LIVE
- Middle Tone
- MIDDLE + LIVE
- LOW + LIVE
- High Tone
- LOW + SHORT + DEAD
- LOW + ้
- MID + ๊
- Rising Tone
- HIGH + LIVE
- ห + (งนมรยญวล) + LIVE
- MID + ๋
- Falling Tone
- LOW + LONG + DEAD
- LOW + ่
- MIDDLE + ้
- HIGH + ้
- ห + (งนมรยญวล) + ้
Note that in the above rules, ‘ห’ is used to change a low class consonant to a high class consonant and ‘อ’ is used to change the low class consonant ‘ย’ to middle class. When ‘อ’ and ‘ห’ are used to change the class of a consonant they are silent.
Also note that the tone marks ‘ ๋’ and ‘ ๊’ only ever appear over middle class consonants.
There are only four words where ‘อ’ is used to change ‘ย’ to middle class and they are all pronounced with a low tone. They are:
- อยาก – want / desire
- อย่า – do not / prohibit
- อย่าง – type / kind
- อยู่ – to be (somewhere) / live / occupy
I started climbing about three and a half years ago. At the time I was out of shape and overweight because I preferred activities like watching movies and dining out to anything physical. I had the physique of a software engineer and rarely tasked by body with doing anything more difficult than walk a flight of stairs or push keys on a keyboard. This meant that my muscles and tendons often get confused by what I am asking them to do for me and I have almost continuously had some sort of injury since I started climbing. Pain in various fingers has been a big one. Shoulders, elbows, knees, and feet have also been locations of some injury or another. The injuries have been pretty minor. Whenever I feel something hurting I back off for a while until it feels better then start climbing again only to have some other part of my body decide it doesn’t want do what I ask of it.
Lately my left elbow has been rather unhappy with me. I’ve been experimenting with tape and braces to support it in addition to doing some forearm exercises which should help even out muscle imbalances and I thought I was well on my way to healing this issue once and for all. Yesterday Anong and I went climbing at Chong Phli again. We warmed up on EFZ 6a+ like usual then I wanted to climb Momentum 6b again and do some laps on it to work on endurance. After 2x on EFZ and 3x on Momentum the sun was starting to hit the wall and it was time to go but I felt like I got a pretty good workout. Later in the evening I could tell I pushed myself too hard though since I started to feel a dull ache inside my elbow. This sucks because now I need to take at least a week, maybe two weeks off to let it heal and get stronger.
Momentum 6b starting holds.
Here’s a picture of the start of the route. It has a couple bouldery powerful sequences that leads to easier more relaxed climbing in the middle. Then the difficulty ramps up again the closer you get to the anchor.