Climbing in Railey Beach, Krabi, Thailand
Climbing in Thailand was one of the main draws for me. I wanted an international climbing experience. I wanted to climbing on something primarily described with a French rating system. I wanted to take a plane to a foreign country and touch new rock, exploring the world with my hands.
We took a ferry from Krabi to Railey beach for 180 baht. We found a small climbing shop to rent gear and managed to check out a rope, harnesses, quickdraws, and a local climbing guide for less than $30. In retrospect I would have been much more comfortable if I brought my own harness and quickdraws.
I felt so strong climbing in Railey beach. There were lots of climbing groups around occupying some of the easier routes so we were forced into the more intermediate routes. We ended up leading 5.10C/Ds to stay away a bit from the beginners crowd.
The climbing was superb. The limestone was pocketey, and there were slings hanging from small holes that were etched into the rock. I am so used to thin faces and negative slopes with bad feet. The limestone was almost just the opposite. There were big and small pockets big enough for fist jams and two finger holds. There were strong pulls over bulbous jutting faces. One of my favorite climbs was a 5.10D called Le Petite Orielles (the little ears). It was a puzzle of dozens of two finger pockets on a jutting slope over 100ft high.
Another Note on the Pro: Slings hanging from little holes would not fly out here in So Cal. People round these parts barely accept stainless steel when there is titanium available for bolted routes. It was nice seeing how other climbing communities form solutions. Out here, peeps wont even use leftover bail out slings to repel.
The cool part about limestone was that we were on the beach, facing the pacific ocean climbing on rocks. It was so hot and humid to boot. It was only doable to climb with as little clothing as is decent. Fun Fact, in Thailand, women climbing in a sports bra is not considered all that decent.
I could have spent the entire trip climbing on the beach in that amazing humidity. Alas, we only spent 2 and a half days climbing. Any more than that and we would have died from the exertion. The next day we took a ferry to Koh Phi Phi where we went scuba diving.