Crazier Horse Buttress

Chiang Mai Day 5

The Final Day of Climbing

The weather just simply refused to improve. It ended up drizzling once again, completely dashing all our plans for an early start. Ian and Geetha decided to utilise the free motorbike that Jira offered and to head out to explore the Ban Sahakon (บ้านสหกรณ์) market instead. By the time they came back, I was pretty ravenous and was delighted to see that they had ended up buying huge chicken sticks and glutinous rice for our brunch (THB20).

We set off for Crazy Horse as soon as the drizzle let up and were glad to see that Phet had also decided to tag along and keep us company.

Phet ("Diamond"), the resident dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The Furnace turned out to still be wet but we decided to give it a shot anyway. As Ian and Geetha jumped on 'The Easy Bake Oven', 5b+, I decided to warm-up on one of the many 6a+ routes that were there:'Backburner'. I was initially surprised by how dry this route seemed to be but quickly had my hopes of an onsight dashed, as I found soon after that a critical hold at the base of the tree was completely filled with water. I had yet to clip in to the first bolt so decided that instead of risking a slip without any protection whatsoever, I would just try another route. Fiona and I gathered up our gear carefully, trying our best to not disturb a huge Pink Gypsy Moth (Lymantria mathura) that had chosen to deposit her eggs just nearby, and moved over to the far right of the wall instead. This time, I climbed 'Love Me Love My Route' 6a+, instead, a route that had deep juggy holds everywhere and began just above a boulder on the far right. There was a section with a step-up in a depression in the rockface that my knee ended up getting jammed in as I extended my leg. Ian on the other hand, who is shorter than me, completely breezed through that section with exactly the same move; a good example of how different body types and sizes affect the difficulty of the routes. Once we were done, we began to make our way down towards the Junkyard and then on to the Hanging Gardens.

Ian climbing 'The Easy Bake Oven', 5b+

The Hanging Gardens were completely surrounded by long tendril-like vines that were hanging from the rocks high up above. Mosquitoes were ubiquitous and buzzed around us relentlessly despite all the layers of bug repellent that we had applied. The rock was very damp but the grades were very easy so we just decided to try and smash them out. I jumped on the route on the far right, 'Rock Climbing 102' 5c after Fiona gave it a shot. The bottom of the route was pretty wet as it passed through a channel that the rainwater flowed through. The middle of the route also proved a little tricky with the wet rock but the upper half turned out to just be a quick scramble to the anchor above. I jumped on 'Flapper' 5c, right after, a route that had big footholds that allowed me to easily get past the sections that were the most wet, but once past, I faltered a little on the slippery rock as there was a hold that remained elusively out of my line of sight. Ian who was right above me on the route on the right mercifully ended up pointing out the location of the hold.

Ian climbing 'Rock Climbing 101' 5b

We walked down past Tamarind Village after that and back out to the road, where we swung right to head back to the Crazy Horse carpark. We made our way back in to the trail and then up to the lower entrance of the Anxiety State Crisis cave. The routes here were all wet but we were not left with much choice, so we geared up and got ready to climb. Ian and Geetha jumped on 'Short Tail' 5a, whilst I began to climb 'Horses Heart' 5c. The route was terribly slippery and I hung on precariously trying not to slip off even the really good, juggy holds.

The light from our last day at Crazy Horse started to fade as the sun began to set, so we made our way up to the upper entrance of the cave to take in the magnificent views from the top once again. We spotted the minuscule anchors of the routes off in the distance, well below us, and were left reeling at the sheer size of the cave chamber. I made a little vow to myself then and there that I would return one day and brave those scary-looking multipitches, before making our way back to Jira's for dinner (Chicken curry shared THB89/4; Yellow curry shared THB89/4; Mixed vegetables shared THB79/4; rice x3, THB30)

Day 4 & 5 Expenditure

Next: Chiang Mai Day 6 – Doi Suthep