Monday, February 28, 2011

Thailand-Phi Phi-Ton Sai Tower and Departure (Day 33)

Our last day on Phi Phi we were thinking of climbing Djamuuk Ling but needed a second rope to rap of.  We checked with Cat’s Climbing but all there ropes we could rent were out on courses so tried Spider Monkey.  Spider Monkey said they require a passport to rent a rope.  I said you must be kinding I rented a car in 2007 without leaving a passport, can we leave a deposit?  The lady at Spider Monkey was super rude they way she said no passport no rope.  Since the climbing didn’t look great and in addition to the rope issue we were going to have to handle a longtail ride to and from logistics we scraped the plan.  We instead headed back to Ton Sai Tower to do some of the routes we hadn’t done yet.  We climbed: Hanna's Gift 5.10c, Cottonbrains of Infancy 5.10b, Golden Copulation 5.10c/d, and Kiss the Serpent 5.10b
Anja high up Kiss the Serpent.
The next morning we packed up our room at the Hussin House and at about 11 am Dov’s parents showed up and we joined the three of them for lunch at our favorite Thai place on Phi Phi. Dov’s folks were really cute and had been reading the blog and excited to meet us with lots of questions about our travels.  In our small world, they are both school teachers in Santa Cruz and had been legendary climber Chris Sharma’s elementary teacher.  It would have been nice to hangout with them for a day but we were ready to head to Railay and Ton Sai Beaches.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thailand-Phi Phi Don-Drinking Wall (Day 32)

Well it has officially been a month since we said far well to Boulder,our van, and most all of our stuff.  Having so far seen so much family, friends, and loved ones we are not homesick one bit.  Wonder how it will feel a month from now?
We headed up to drinking wall on Phi Phi Don.  It is home of of the harder climbing on Phi Phi and we were curious about the challenge and to push the grade some.
We climbed five routes at Drinking Wall: Luis Trinker 5.11b/c, Osapft Is 5.10d, Prost Mahlzeit 5.10b/c, Appetizer 5.10b, and Snapper 5.10-
Me on Appetizer 5.10b
Ram was having a high energy day so he sat out the next three climbs.
Me on Osapft Is 5.10d.  I really enjoyed this route. 
I wanted to do a few more easy climbs before we started pushing and we got on Prost Mahlzeit 5.10b/c.
We also got on Snapper 5.10-, it had a hard pull at the start but then was really cruiser and kind of uninteresting for Thailand.
Anja and Ram had to combine efforts to get up Luis Trinker 5.11b/c.  It was really steep at the start and then moved to more vertical but runout ground.
After the super steep stuff there was a big ledge to rest on so I took the rest before heading off toward the giant beehive near the anchor.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thailand-Phi Phi Don-work/rest day (Day 31)

So we’d SCUBA dived and climbed for a number of days straight so I was in need of a rest day and Anja needed a day to work.  We found a nice restaurant with outlets, ocean views, and drink and setup for the day.
On a walk on Phi Phi we say this bungalow constructed out of concrete which I thought was really well done.  The doors to the bungalow are the only thing made of wood.
After working Dov took us over to a bar to witness a snorkel test.  I guess it is a like a dive master graduation ceremony.  Once you finish your certification they take the new dive master to a bar, put a scuba mask on you which has been blacked out so you can’t see and then they give you a snorkel with a funnel on the top.  With the snorkel and mask on the only way you can breath is through the snorkel.  Your dive instructor then fills your snorkel with any liquid.  You’ve got to drink it or it all goes down your shirt.  From the way this woman was dress Dov knew they were going easy on her.  She also slipped a finger under the mask so she could breath through her nose.
After the snorkel test Anja called it a night and I headed over to the Rolling Stoned Bar with Dov, Ram, and two Swedish sisters Dov had meet.  The thai cover band was pretty good and Dov said sign the same songs in the same order every night.
They started drinking buckets and looking forward to the next day’s climbing I called it a night.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thailand-Phi Phi-Ton Sai Tower (Day 30)

Anja had a conference call in the morning and Dov had to work in the afternoon so I took Dov out to climb the multipitch route Anja and I had done in 2007.
It was supposed to be 4 pitches and I remembered Anja and I had managed to do the route before the 2:30 pm ferry so figure Dov and I would be ok.
Dov pulling the last steep moves of pitch 1.  As we were working on the belay swap Anja came running up to the base of the route and said can I play too?  I dropped an end of the rope and she climbed up to us.  Since we were set in the belay she took the next lead.
It was a steep move off the belay but had a nice bolt right above.  She charged up the 6b and 6a+ pitches.  Communication got really bad so I followed and then sent her back down to give Dov the end of the rope to follow.  It was a little of a mess but we got it worked out.
Lots of monkeys were running around on the base.  Dov had even watched one open Anja’s bag, pull out a 7-11 plastic water bottle, bite into it, drink a few drinks and then toss it aside.
There was a funky lizard thing too.
The monkeys seemed to be watching us rappel.
pp 2007
Phi Phi Don from Pai Noon Mai January 2007.  Since we had done this route before it was interesting to compare and contrast the differences in the views from 2007 and 2011.  When we had come in 2007 it was not that long after the tsunami and many people had discuraged us from coming then saying there was sewage running down the beach and other such stories.  Compared to 2011 there seemed to be 1000 times more people this trip.  These photos were taken I think at exactly the same spot.  Notice the number of boats in the photo and even how the trees are vegetated.
Phi Phi Don from Pai Noon Mai February 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thailand-Phi Phi-Oyster Blade (Day 29)

So Dov and Ram had been out parting late the night before and we got a crack of noon start and headed out to the Oyster Blade to climb the Hand of Budda (5.10c).  We rented a second rope from Cat’s Climbing for 200 baht for the day.
Ram had a confusing discussion with the boatman as we wanted to avoid a repeat of the other day riding past our planned destination.  Ram did get the confussion figured out.  Hin Tak means broken rock and Ao Ling means monkey bay.  In the end we were able to stand on the pier and say Hin Tak above lamp post.  This was exact as a lamp post on the pier was directly below the Oyster Blade.  We agreed to 100 baht each one way, we over paid by two times but we were off.
The first pitch was short and moved left of a large stalactite so Ram took his only lead of the day as he would be tired soon from multipitch climbing.
The first pitch was steep but pleasant.
Anja and I would lead for Ram and Dov from here.  Anja and Ram went first so Ram got some awesome photos of Dov and I from above.
This is my favorite picture from the trip so far.  The climbing was great, the water way just that beautiful, and the views were awesome.
Ram sat on the very edge of the pinnacle and posed for Anja.
Then he moved on the land behind the pinnacle for some more photos.
A view of Dov on the pinnacle from below and above.
We rappel down to the ground and were late again.  As we rapped down we could see our boatman hanging out relaxing listening to music.  One great thing about over paying for services is often you get great service.  He knew he had 400 baht coming down off that peak so he just relaxed and waited rather than running around the street saying “Taxi Boat?  Taxi Boat?”
It was a quick boat ride back to the pier.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thailand-Phi Phi-Rest Day (Day 25)

Opps I accidentally skipped Day 25.  I was felling a little run down so I took the day off from everything so Anja went for a run and work some and Ram slept in and worked some also.
On a walk around town I saw this sign.  We all went out to dinner together and then Anja and Ram went out with our SCUBA class buddy Didi.

 Ram, Anja, and Didi enjoyed some Chang Beer and Muay Thai Boxing.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thailand-Phi Phi-SCUBA Dives 3 and 4 (Day 28)

We were back out for Open Water Dives 3 and 4.  We were joined by Jennie a woman doing her SCUBA diver certification.  SCUBA diver certifies you do dive with an instructor, while Open Water Diver certifies you to dive with other open water dives and no instructor.
Dov did a pre-dive plan talk with us discussing the skills we needed to complete in todays dives to finish our certification.
We hit the water with Jennie and were rolling.
Dov and Jennie
Anja and I
Anja posing with the turtle.
Then a shark swam by.  We signaled Dov and swam after it but lost it.
A lot of fish are not as interesting after you have just seen a shark.
Then we saw this shark coming in.
It kind of looked like a gaint 4ft long tadpole to me but what an awesome way to end our last dive for our certification!!!
Definitely, one of the highlights of being on Phi Phi has been hanging out with Dov and the fact that the left door is his room and the right door was ours.
We headed our to dinner at Papaya’s the awesome cheap spot for Pad Thai and Ram got everyone in to a dried chili challenge.  He goated Dov into it.
Then he taughted Travis (Dov’s roommate) with 1,000 baht if he would do it so Travis an Australian never above doing anything stupid for money did it.
Poor Travis was already a little drunk and didn’t handle the spice well and threw it up in about an hour.