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Shirley climbing the first pitch of Corcovado.
The following morning, we rented a scooter from Noom (the owner of the guesthouse we were staying at) and set off to find the peak. The whole scooter, two people with gear, and wrong-side-of-the-road traffic package was probably the most memorable (…dangerous) part of the whole trip. By the time we finally found the Buddhist temple where the approach trail begins my forearms were pumped and I felt generally cooked. A polite exchange with the groundskeeper and we were let in onto temple grounds and were at the base of the formation 10 minutes later. After a bonus pitch (screw up) and some vertical bushwhacking we finally found Corcovado
, the 6-pitch 6b line we came for. Once on route, the climbing went quickly and soon we were lounging on the overgrown summit under some (prayer?) flags. The route was clean and well-bolted, the ratings felt soft, and the limestone was pristinely rough. We liked it! We killed the rest of the day by eating our way across the old city and people watching. At about 5pm, a large crowd gathered in the square and then engaged in some aerobics set to a fast-paced techno beat led by a guy up on a stage with the visage of The King behind him. This turned out to be a daily occurrence. During dinner we saw small groups of old men bring their own bottles of local whisky and polish them off over their meals. We promptly rushed out and got our own bottle of Hong Thong for 300 Baht…cultural immersion and all. This would turn out to be a valuable lesson later on during the family portion of the vacation (though ultimately we’d switch rum).
The crux of a climbing day in Thailand – the ride in on the scooter. At least we looked cool (& felt cooler).
Where are we? Sunflower fields as far as the eye can see…
The beautiful limestone tower of Khao Chin Lae 2 with the famous sunflower fields below. After a bit of back and forth we finally found it on our first day of climbing in Thailand (Jan. 2013).
A Lopburi sunflower not quite ready for harvest (Jan. 2013).
Shirley climbing the first pitch of Corcovado. I actually screwed up and did an incorrect pitch next door thinking I was on Corcovado…a few slings poorer and a few scratches richer I saw the error of my ways (Jan. 2013).
The views from low on the Corcovado route – beautiful sunflower fields of central Thailand (Jan. 2013).
Shirley on pitch 2 of Corcovado. The route is clean and vegetation free despite the look of the photos. The limestone is pretty virgin (as in unpolished) and shitton of fun climb on (Jan. 2013).
Starting up pitch 3 of Corcovado route on Khao Chin Lae 2 peak. The beautifully colored sunflower fields are below (Jan. 2013).
Shirley belaying me on pitch 3 of Corcovado (Jan. 2013).
Shirley on pitch 4 (I think) of Corcovado (Jan. 2013).
Shirley topping out on pitch 5 of Corcovado – happy to have done our first climb in Asia. The shadow of the mountain is visible on the sunflower fields below (Jan. 2013).
Views from the summit of Khao Chin Lae 2 peak after our climb of Corcovado (6P 6b; Jan. 2013).
Some asshole on the summit of Khao Chin Lae 2 peak after our climb of the Corcovado (6b) route (Jan. 2013).
Shirley arriving on the summit ridge of Khao Chin Lae 2 after our climb of Corcovado (Jan. 2013).
The highly overgrown stairway leading up to the base of the peak from the temple (Jan. 2013).
Khao Chin Lae 2.
Some light roadside mangosteen shopping (~5kg) on the drive back to Lopburi from a day of climbing (Jan. 2013).
Go to Lopburi Part 3.
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