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Rock Climbing : Comments

Comments by rtwilli4 (9)

Article: High Times
I'll tell you what you should do next... you should write!

Julia, I really enjoyed that. First off, I was excited to see an article about Tonsai. I left the United States last September in search of something different. I too, ended up climbing in Thailand. I fell into a job as a rock climbing guide on Koh Phi Phi (not the place to travel but I loved getting paid) and spent as much time as I could in Tonsai. Wee, Sol, Alex, Yon... the boys... what a solid group of guys!!

The buckets have ruined my memory but I spent most of my time at the bar with the slack line (not the one under Humanality but the one down the beach) and ate breakfast at that restaurant across from Wee's... a girl named Pam owned it. I always stayed in the bungalows up the hill across from that Indian restaurant.

Did you know a British red-head named Judy or an beautiful, blonde American girl named Sarah? Where did you hang out, what did you climb? I am sure I was there at one point at the same time as you. I was there for a week before Christmas, and then off and on from February to May.

Anyways... I returned home to North Carolina in May and have been slaving in the front yards of rich people. I have only climbed 4 or 5 times. I am finally free, and am heading to Red River Gorge next week for a few months, before I fly back to Thailand. It made me so happy to read about that "Krabi limestone." Thailand is the best place in the world isn't it? I miss it SO MUCH!

It is interesting that you are in England because my girlfriend happens to be a British Citizen and just moved back to England after overstaying her visa in the United States. I will be moving there in May to be with her. I'm kind of excited because it gives me a chance to permanently get out of the US, but I'm nervous about not being able to work there, and even worse, not being able to go climb as much as I'd like. I hope you are enjoying it there and getting to climb.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about traveling in general, and especially Thailand. I really loved it. Please let me know how your time in England is going and keep in touch... maybe we will find each other on the rock some day whether it be English grit or Krabi limestone. :) Or Greek limestone!!!!

Article: Stick Clip Tricks for Sport Climbers
Nice info. I'll be sure to tell all the wimps using stick clips next time I'm at the Red :)

Article: The Mental Toughness Error
I understand the point being made here but Craig took a whipper because he failed to see pro on Zoo View. I've done the 'traversed too far to the left' route and there is pro on it.

Even if there wasn't, what was the guy supposed to do? Down climb and then fall? How can that be good mental training? That just trains your mind to down climb to the last BOLT on any trad climb you might get pumped on. IMHO he did exactly what he was supposed to do. How are you supposed to train for those 'no fall situations' without actually climbing through them?

ALSO... There are some amazing pictures out there of Zoo View... why the hell are we looking at a picture of whatever dihedral that is in CO?

Article: Photo Essay: The Birds' Nests Collectors of Thailand
The birds nests are made from swallow's saliva. The nests are used to make "birds nest soup" which is a delicacy in China. It is said that it helps asthma, digestion, your immune system, and it is even considered an aphrodisiac. The nests are exported to China.

The locals have done a pretty good job of figuring out exactly how many nests they can take without disturbing the bird population. After all, if they made the birds uncomfortable, then they would stop building their nests!

The birds nest people are serious about their property. They work hard to have the right to harvest the nests and they will defend that right. They have right to shoot you if you climb without permission. However, they are extremely nice just like everyone else in Thailand and if you speak a bit of Thai you can usually get permission to climb wherever you'd like.

Article: Photo Essay: The Birds' Nests Collectors of Thailand
You guys should see these dudes climb. They don't use a rope/anchor system where I work.... only free soloing with bamboo "scaffolding." They are all pretty amazing climbers and people. I have gotten the chance to meet a few of the people who live in Tham Pya Nak ( on Phi Phi Le and they are, as usual in Thailand, the nicest people I've ever met.

On Phi Phi, however, it seems that the nests get poached quite a bit. We do a lot of DWS and we often see people stealing the nests. Also, almost every night I spend on the boat I see nests being stolen. I'm not sure that the poachers are as responsible as the collectors when it comes to thinking of the birds.

I'll try and get some videos and post them sometime in the next few months. They have bigger balls than me, that's for sure.

Article: Photo Essay: The Birds' Nests Collectors of Thailand
I couldn't really figure out how they are haling him up either. I think someone leads a pitch and comes down on the anchor. Then they tie the "thick rope" to the climbing rope and pull it through the anchor. Most of the anchors in southern Thailand are equalized climbing ropes with two large (I can fit my hand through them) rings. It is easy to pull even a big knot through the anchors. When they say the collector is pulling down on the thin rope... I think they mean he is just boinking up like you would after a fall... he is just pulling on the climbing rope until he gets to the knot, then pulls on the thick rope.

Article: Evolv Optimus Prime and Pontas
I'm not sure shoes even matter at .12b! Yea there is a difference in shoes... but the little things we argue about are all pretty dumb. I never sent a .12b but I been on plenty of climbs harder than that and let me tell you... I probably could have done just as good in a good pair of approach shoes! Certainly my onsite grade could be done in approach shoes most of the time.

Article: Climbing and Murder
The Morgan guy was obviously a bit of a dick head... even his friends are testifying against him!

That doesn't mean that he is a criminal. Ward holds just as much responsibility. He hadn't been climbing in 13 years and decided to go lead the third pitch of a traditional route... on a slab... a wet slab... with tennis shoes... and no water!

It's a civil matter at best. Maybe in some crazy back water area they would bring criminal charges, and probably get a conviction because of the jury's lack of knowledge of climbing and ignorance when it comes to marijuana. If that were the case... I say all three of the climbers would be equally responsible. No one was paying Morgan. All three smoked weed.

Article: The Painted Wall
I really enjoyed that. Sounds scary and intense but you're story just makes me want to climb there even more! Hopefully I'll be there this September!