Crazy Horse Buttress

Chiang Mai Day 2

More Rain

We found to our dismay that it was drizzling that morning, and our hopes for an early start were quickly dashed. We decided instead to try out the free motorcycle (along with free drinking water and wifi) that Jira offered and head to the Ban Sahakon (บ้านสหกรณ์) market (at GPS coordinates: 18.796986, 99.244355) to sample some of the local breakfast delicacies. We ended up grabbing a few random pandan leaf packages (THB40/2) along with two packs of glutinous rice (THB20), and bought a small pack of washing detergent (THB10) so that we would be able to wash our clothes in the sink.

With the rain stopped and our hunger satiated, we made our way back to the Crazy Horse Buttress. To our great disappointment, it began to rain once again. We decided to walk to the right side this time around to see if there were any crags that had somehow remained dry, passing the Junkyard and then on to the Hanging Gardens. It began to pour once we arrived so we figured that we would try and wait it out in a little cleft of sorts that provided limited shelter, but the rain did not seem to let up in the slightest and we were forced to head back down the muddy slippery slopes and to wait out the downpour back at Jira's.

The rain began to let up after a little while and soon after that, the sun came out behind the dense cloud-cover in all its glory. We waited for half an hour to give the rocks a chance to dry before setting off once again, walking back to the crag but cutting through the path to the Furnace this time around. There were no sounds coming from the crags on the left and the rockface at the Furnace turned out to still be a little damp, so we decided to continue on to Crazy Horse's main wall with the friendly local tail-wagging dog (Canis lupus familiaris) in tow.

'Muppet Show', 5b was the first warm-up route we jumped on, doing so quickly to try and escape the clouds of mosquitos (Family: Culicidae) that were beginning to swarm around us. Long tubular waxy nests of stingless bees (Trigona collina) dotted the base of the route, to such a degree that we had to take great care when pulling down the rope. The route ended up being quite straightforward, but still remained fairly interesting as it made its way up to the tree at the top of the wall and veered left around the pinnacle before reaching the anchors.

On the way down, I heard a very loud, unearthly-sounding, metallic croak. At first I thought that the large slab under my feet was about to sheer off, so I lowered myself with caution before peering into the crack to my right. A large Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko), with a light blue body bespeckled with orange spots and its tail discarded (via autotomy), surprised me as it jumped out of the crack and let off another hollow croak. I lowered off and let out a sigh of relief, glad that the rockface was not going to come crashing down on us.

It began to rain once again, just as Fiona began climbing 'Ding Dong', 5b. We ran around haphazardly, quickly packing up our climbing gear and made our way to the Anxiety State Crisis cave, hoping for some sort of shelter from the rain. We made our way past the main entrance with the bamboo (Tribe : Bambuseae) doorway at the base, and continued along the path and up to the upper cave entrance. The opening here was dusty and a little precarious, but the large skylight opening that let in shafts of light that illuminated the rock made it very spectacular. We sat here for a while, admiring the huge cavern above us.

The upper chamber of the Anxiety State Crisis cave

The upper entrance of the Anxiety State Crisis cave

On our way down, we made a quick detour through the bamboo doorway to the main cave below. We managed to locate the three routes that were graded 5 but by then, darkness had begun to descend upon us so we were forced to make our way back to Jira's for dinner (rice x3, THB30; red curry shared, THB89/2).

Next : Crazy Horse Buttress (Part 4)