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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Climbing route Climbing Krabi s Karst Walls

Agen Biang Parfum Jakarta
Where else can you climb a technically mind-blowing 8c route in the morning, take a swim in the warm Andaman Sea in the afternoon and dance away the night with hot single travellers on the beach until you collapse or get lucky? On Railay Beach, that s where. The rock climbing scene around Krabi has been legendary for years, but you don t actually climb in Krabi Town. You take a longtail boat on a 15 minute jaunt around the cape from Krabi to an inaccessible headland known as Tham Phra Nang. This is the home of Railay Beach, wherein lies the finest climbing in Thailand, and quite possibly the entire Asian region.

Things got started in the late 1980s, when a local Thai climber named King began putting up routes on the limestone cliffs surrounding Railay and Ton Sai Beach. Originally just another idyllic sandy hideaway for intrepid backpackers, Railay has quickly evolved into a major beach destination for climbers and sun seekers alike. What makes Railay unique is that even though it s connected to the Thai mainland, it is only accessible by boat thanks to the towering limestone cliffs that create a natural barrier to roads. No motorbikes, no traffic. Just the quiet hum of longtails puttering off in the distance.

The other quality that draws visitors to Railay year after year is the surreal limestone karsts which rise out of the Andaman Sea just offshore like tantalizing fingers beckoning adventurous climbers. With over 650 climbing routes already established, and more being put up every season, Railay is the climbing centre of the universe in this part of the world. Best of all, the diversity of the routes is such that a complete beginner can have just as much fun as a seasoned rock junkie.

With about ten climbing schools on this tiny beach, there are plenty of experienced guides who can show you the basics. My girlfriend is a serious climber back home, one French traveller admitted. So I took a 3-day course and now we re doing 5c climbs together. I love it. The climbing shops also rent out all the gear you ll need, eliminating the necessity of hauling your ropes half way around the world. Just pack your shoes, harness and a few favourite pieces of gear and rent the rest at the beach.

The routes on Railay are rated using the French grading system. Climbers will find everything from easy 5a walkups to intense multi-pitch 8c s that will challenge even the most experienced climber. There are so many routes - each with its own unique character - that even seasoned climbers will have years of exploration ahead of them. Easy days spent bouldering or knocking out a mellow 6a climb can be finished off with some beach volleyball or snorkelling. A hard day on the rock will earn you a cold beer in your hammock as the sun sets behind the Andaman Sea.

But it s not all about climbing at Railay. Most of the people here have come for the stunning beaches, calm clear waters and fun nightlife. Rock climbers either like this aspect of Railay, or absolutely hate it. But either way, it s a major part of life on this super-popular beach which most visitors enjoy. Sex, sand and climbing, one Brit proclaimed. What more could a person want? Indeed, the relatively cheap cost of the bungalows, food and beer make Railay a popular winter retreat for climbers from all across the globe. Dozens spend the entire winter season from November to April just hanging out, climbing and sea kayaking. It s a veritable paradise for those who can get away for a few months.

Most of the high-profile climbing routes are located between Railay Beach East and Tham Phra Nang headland. Spectators lounging on the beach can watch climbers scaling sheer 200 meter cliffs like Eagle s Nest just at the end of the sand. But the busy winter season brings hoards of visitors to Railay, a condition which hardly any climber enjoys. Like all beautiful places, Railay is no secret. Already, new spots in the Krabi region such as one area about 2 hours south of Krabi have been discovered. Routes have been bolted, maps drawn up, and the soul climbers now have a private place to climb in peace (at least until the first bungalows are built).

Source : free-hobbies.blogspot.com

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