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Final day in Railay.
The final day turned out to be drizzly but we were itching to get one more climb in. We headed back to the Ao Nang Tower and climbed the Orange Chandeliers
, a 3-pitch 6c route that did not seem soft to us. It also overhangs enough to stay mostly dry in the rain. Somebody had to hang on some bolts on the crux pitch. Spectacular line and the fact that you start from the long-tail boat and then rap into it on the way down makes it unforgettable. We were hoping to get one more sea stack climb in but of course we ran out of time. Painfully long trip home was made a bit more interesting by a missed approach at SFO and misplaced reservations on the final (domestic) leg. Will we go back? I’m not sure – the cultural aspects were great (esp. Lopburi) and the food was amazing but the climbing …well, it’ll probably be a while.
A long nosed whip snake we found crossing a trail. Apparently mildly venomous in a bee sting sort of a way. As is apparently common for her species (reliance on camouflage vs. speed), this one was indeed slow and seemed totally unperturbed by my camera (Jan. 2013).
No cars on the entire Pra-Nang Peninsula…nowadays anyway (Jan. 2013).
Approaching the beautiful Ao Nang tower. Orange Chandeliers (3-pitch, 6c) route climbs the face visible in profile on the left (Jan. 2013).
Ao Nang Tower with its Orange Chandeliers route visible…not on the (drizzly) day we climbed it.
The tricky transition from the rocking boat onto the tower (Jan. 2013).
Shirley getting ready to start the short traverse pitch that gains the start of the Orange Chandeliers route (Jan. 2013).
The cool belay station that marks the start of the Orange Chandeliers route (Jan. 2013).
…and off we go.
Getting ready for the first pitch proper of Orange Chandeliers route on Ao Nang Tower. Photo taken by the long-tail boatman we hired (Jan. 2013).
Starting up the first pitch of Orange Chandeliers. Photo credit goes to our boatman (Jan. 2013).
Starting up pitch 1. Unlike some of the other 6b’s we’ve tried in Thailand before, this one took some effort (Jan. 2013).
Shirley nearing the top of pitch 1 of Orange Chandeliers. Photo credit goes to our boatman (Jan. 2013).
Shirley topping out on the first pitch (6b) of Orange Chandeliers…things are already quite steep and are about to get much steeper (Jan. 2013).
Starting up the 2nd pitch of Orange Chandeliers – a steep bulge followed by some easier terrain (Jan. 2013).
The opening moves of pitch 2.
Pitch 2 of Orange Chandeliers (Jan. 2013).
Shirley topping out on the spectacular 2nd pitch (6b+).
A titanium glue-in bolt. Considered the safest option in the humid and marine environment of Railay (Jan. 2013).
Arriving at belay (Jan. 2013).
The opening bulge moves on the start of pitch 3. I thought this was not the crux but Shirley disagrees…
Topping out on the third and crux pitch of Orange Chandeliers. Photo taken by our boat man from below (Jan. 2013).
View down to the boat from the top of the third pitch (and the route). The entire upper part of this third (6c) pitch overhangs and you get that nothing but air feeling between the belay and the ground… I mean sea (Jan. 2013).
Looking towards Ao Nang the village from the top of the Ao Nang the tower (Jan. 2013).
Shirley rapping back to the boat from the top of the 2nd pitch of Orange Chandeliers. Despite our best efforts, the ropes got totally soaked in salt water (Jan. 2013).
The short ride back to Railay after our climb of Orange Chandeliers on Ao Nang. We never got our boat man’s name (Jan. 2013).
Views from the kayak (Jan. 2013).
Shirley admiring the Happy Island formation from a beach on the Railay side. We discovered the local cheap rum there and it became our constant beach companion (Jan. 2013).
A long-tail boat on Railay beach (Jan. 2013).
A long-tail boat motor (Jan. 2013).
More views from same beach (Jan. 2013).
A floating food vendor somewhere on a beach in Railay…the aroma of roasting corn brought out the crowds including us (Jan. 2013).
Somebody soaking up the beach life (Jan. 2013).
A large (the table top is about an inch and half thick) praying mantis (Jan. 2013).
Shirley and her Mom strolling Railay East (Jan. 2013).
Views from Railay East (Jan. 2013).
Our ride home at Railay East on the morning of the departure day (Jan. 2013).
And back on the mainland. Vacation is over – time to go home (Jan. 2013).
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