AUSTRALIA & THAILAND
2011 was all about skiing for me and this year, between Canada, Alaska and Australia, I managed to be skiing almost every day for 10 months. This is enough cold for anyone, and in search of some heat. So my good friend Chris Bevins and I planned some toasty climbing trips. We started in the Grampians, Australia. I had just finished the season at Mt Hotham, and Chris was fresh off a month base jumping in the Alps. We had both not climbed in a long time, and it showed…but still, it was delightful.
Unfortunately, we were hampered by my ankle which I had injured a week before by falling 7 meters onto it but that is a whole other story.
THE GRAMPIANS. It was great to be back in the Grampians. It is one of the best climbing areas I have ever been to, with hundreds of crags, all steep, and guaranteed to get a pump on. We met some great people, as usual, and had a enjoyable time climbing and bouldering. Finding new crags, and of course got lost in the process we would end up climbing in some very random places, and this added a little spice to climbing. The journey always matters.
It was spring so we had some pretty average weather but my $20 tent just about survived another year! After 2 weeks, Chris then had to work, so I went to Melbourne to see my new nephew but we agreed we would meet on the beach in Ton Sai, Thailand this same time next week!
A week later, I was there on the beach as Chis arrived on the boat, and we had 3 weeks of sun ahead of us. Ton Sai is an incredible place. All the usual perks of South East Asia - crystal clear water, sweltering heat, great, cheap food, and friendly people. Plus we managed some pimp accommodation, so all was good in the hood and we were set for another memorable climbing trip. We met a friend of ours, Jack Griffiths from London who we had not seen in years, and climbed with him for 2 weeks which was icing on the cake.
There are some brilliant crags around Ton Sai, but the best climbing has to be just on the main beach. It is a bit like Hollywood as everyone watches, but surely the reason you go to Thailand is not to climb in the forest with the mosquitoes…We also met a great, young American photographer, Patrick Orton who hung out and took lots of shots. www.patrickortonphotography.com
Ton Sai was a great playground, and we climbed almost every day, took photos, base jumped, slack lined and rigged a high line! It was packed full of all the good stuff.
Chris was really into his Base these days, and after his first jump ending up in the water, I definitely took advantage of this, calling him Bear (his favourite hero) for the rest of the trip! Had to be done. It was incredible to share the experience with Chris and there were a lot of mixed emotions when you climb with your mate and he then jumps off next to you. All the time thinking - open, open, open, few seconds later the chute opens and he is on the beach! Right. Now I have to get down…
Also here is an awesome link to a video Chris made when I left….
The climbing was awesome and everything is steep.. the thing I came learning from there was how to knee bar off anything!
We also rigged a high line, here is a Funny video of Luke heading across, with a bit of wobble, very funny to watch but not to pleasant to do…
Length of time: 3 weeks
The Goal: Climbing in the sun, eat coconuts and deep water solo.