Koh Phi Phi
Trip Start Feb 01, 2006
37Trip End May 04, 2006
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So, my last week in Krabi (Railay beach specifically), was definitely the most adrenaline filled week that I have had in Thailand so far. I signed up for a two day rock climbing course, and since I climbed once when I was 13 and then twice indoors about six years ago, I figured that I should probably sign up for the advanced course rather than the beginners. In retrospect beginners probably would have been the less terrifying way to go, but by the end I was having a good time. The "class" consisted of me, a Norwegian guy (Ke Kahn (sp.?)), me, and our Thai instructor Porn, who said about his name: "my nickname used to be Pornstar, but that was four years ago, and no one calls me that anymore", hmmm retired I guess..? Anyway Ke Kahn apparently climbed all the time at home, and actually seemed to be better than some of the instructors. Good for him, but not so good for Dan, seeing as how I was expected to climb up the same rocks as him (after he had climbed up first and set up the ropes.)
All in all the first day was equal parts terrifying and exhausting. And I really didn't even start to enjoy it until midway through the morning on the second day. It is kind of ironic but it took falling a couple times for me to really feel comfortable. Once I had fallen (maybe 8 feet or so), I realized a couple things, 1.) that I could really trust the equipment, and 2.)that falling was just that, it wasn't incredibly painful, and that after I fell I could just climb right back up. So of course as soon as I was getting comfortable doing one thing we immediately had to move on to the next, more challenging part of climbing, which was 'leading'.
With regular climbing the rope is attached to a metal hoop that is secured by three ropes that are attached to the rock, and you just climb your way up, and there is someone holding the other end while standing on the ground. When you are lead climbing you climb up about 15 feet with the rope attached only to your belt, at this point you attach the rope to a metal loop with one hand while holding on to the wall with the other. After which it is okay to fall because your partner has you secured from the ground. You then climb another 7 feet or so to the next hoop and attach yourself, and so on until you reach the top. It was definitely exhilirating, but the fact that if I fell at certain points it would be about a fourteen foot drop in to the rock face made it pretty nerve-wracking. By the end of the second day I had done two lead climbs. At the end of the first day I thought there was no way I would ever attempt leading so I really felt proud that I had accomplished something that I didn't think that I could do. I am glad that I did it, but I don't think rock climbing is something that I am going to really get in to, the fun to danger ratio is just a little too skewed for me, but, ya never know, I might give it another shot some time.
Anyway, Mel arrived two days ago, and we had a very exciting day yesterday, but I am going to try and convince her to write about it, and everything that we do this week if I'm lucky!
I'll try and post soem pictures soon...