Crazy Horse Buttress

Chiang Mai Day 3

Anxiety State Crisis

I sat inside the doorway of the room glumly looking at the sky, listening to the raindrops that pitter-pattered outside and imagining all the climbing that I could be doing instead. I found that tuning out a little bit made other movements a lot more noticeable - dragonflies hovering and skimming around in the air, leaves and branches swaying in the wind, and the occasional flutter of a bird that flew by. After a while, another small, irregular movement on the ground caught my attention and when I went to investigate, I found a tiny bush frog (Family: Rhacophoridae) hopping across the gravel. As I watched, I noticed more and more joining in (possibly 2-3 frogs every minute), all of them traveling in the exact same direction. My reverie was suddenly broken when a message came through to my phone. It turned out that Alex, a friend that we had climbed with in Batu Caves and in Yangshuo, had made his way to Crazy Horse without letting anyone know! So we quickly packed our climbing gear and made our way to the crag despite the drizzle.

After trading the customary greetings, we all decided that our best bet was a wall that provided some sort of shelter and the only option that we could think of was the Anxiety State Crisis Cave. What place could possible be drier than a cave?

The cave turned out to be absolutely spellbinding as light rays streamed inside the opening high up above, both illuminating the rivets of water and the drops of rain that made the long journey down to the bottom of the cave floor, as well as adding drama and lots of depth where previously there was none. I stood there with my neck craned and my mouth agape, in awe of the spectacle that lay just before me.

The cave turned out to be nowhere near as dry as we had hoped. At first we figured that the routes that we had looked at yesterday were so easy (grade 5) that a little bit of moisture could not make too much difference, but that couldn't have been further from the truth. Everything was far more difficult with the presence of the slippery gunk, slime and mud that coated the rocks. The first route from the left, 'Short Tail', 5a was fairly straightforward except for a fairly big move that required a rockover of sorts. The second route, 'Cave Man', 5b, was more complicated. Two sections required a big move like a stem or a rockover, and the precariously slippery footholds and handholds made even the simplest of moves a little bit scary. The third route from the left was completely saturated with moisture so we decided to just head back out of the cave once we were done.

Alex climbing 'Short Tail', 5a

The rain had stopped but the crag was left completely soaked, rendering our search for a dry wall completely futile. We walked to Buddha Buttress and then back past the Furnace and all the way through to the Junkyard, the Hanging Gardens and Tamarind Village but could not find anything that was not drenched. A little demotivated and very frustrated, we decided to call it a day and head back for some market food (approximately THB60).

Day 1 - 3 Expenditure

Next : Chiang Mai Day 4 – Crazier Horse Buttress