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Though our flight worked out well, Shirley’s mother’s flights had some delay issues and the 6 hours spent at the airport allowed us some liquor shopping opportunities. We eventually made it to Railay in the middle of the night and I have to say that our first impression was “why did we come here?” The place was crawling with drunken tourists and the whole area seemed to be vibrating with loud techno music. Not love at first sight.
We woke up late and hiked over to Tonsai thinking that there was little chance we’d be able to get on the super-popular Humanality
route (5-pitch 6b+). We were wrong – one party four pitches up was the extent of the crowding. Despite the warnings of being fried to death by the incoming sun (a warning we’d hear often in Railay), we headed up the route and had a blast! Even if the limestone was very polished in places, the positions were incredible. How many other times does one get to stem off of a giant stalactite high above a turquoise colored sea? We were done with a large Singha at the Freedom Bar below before the sun hit the face. Our initial perceptions of the place were shelved and replaced by new excitement.
Mango and sticky rice dessert…so pretty, so tasty, so rich!
The 6 hour wait for family at Krabi airport made easier by Hong Thong (Jan. 2013).
Late night long-tail boat ride into Railay (Jan. 2013).
An unusual tree somewhere in the jungle above Railay (Jan. 2013).
Hiking the jungle path from Railay to Tonsai with some bungalows around (Jan. 2013).
The start of the Humanality route is reached by first climbing a ladder leading to a short, low 5th class traverse pitch followed by a short 6a+ boulder move of a pitch…and then the great fun of Humanality begins!
The lower approach pitch to Humanality…our first taste of climbing among the stalactites. Pretty wild to us anyway (Jan. 2013).
The view of the Railay West beach from somewhere on the Humanality route (Jan. 2013).
Shirley on the upper of the two approach pitches to Humanality…marble-like, polished limestone (Jan. 2013).
Starting up the first pitch proper of Humanality (but this is 2 short pitches above the beer already though; Jan. 2013).
Shirley on pitch 1 of Humanality with the Freedom Bar directly below (Jan. 2013).
More fun climbing on Humanality – this is pitch 2 (Jan. 2013).
A long-tail boat as seen from Humanality (Jan. 2013).
Starting the lead of the crux pitch (#3) of Humanality. The iconic stalactite is above (Jan. 2013).
Shirley low on pitch 3 of Humanality (Jan. 2013).
Shirley nearing the top of the money pitch on Humanality…probably the most famous position in Thai climbing and my camera lens was wet from my sweat dripping down. The move is indeed memorable as you climb the face on the right and then are forced into a stemming series of moves using the stalactite behind you…haven’t done that before.
Shirley topping out on Humanality…unfortunately my lens was still wet with sweat (Jan. 2013).
Shirley in the landing zone from the Humanality raps. Freedom Bar is on the left…I’ve never had to pull the rap ropes off the roof of a bar before (Jan. 2013).
Shirley feeling very stoked after our first climb in Railay (Humanality). You literally rap onto the patio of this here Freedom Bar coming off the route…wilderness? No, but the beers were ice cold (Jan. 2013).
Shirley hiking back along Railay (west) beach after Humanality (in background).
Although there are no cars on the peninsula, these converted motorcycles provide a critical service (beer supply transport; Jan. 2013).
Shirley and her mom on Railay (Jan. 2013).
Post climb happy times at Railay West (Jan. 2013).
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